Medical care should not be a luxury. But in the region outside of Accra, Ghana, it was! Access to medical facilities was a primary barrier to improving the health of the residents of Ga South municipality in Ghana. But a new health clinic, built by the Anglican Diocese of Accra in partnership with ARDF is changing this!
“I have seen so many lives … saved since I started working here. The profound one I would like to share is about a little child who suffered severe malaria and was sent into the clinic one fateful afternoon, almost at the point of death. It happened that the mother had kept the child in the house till the illness became very severe before rushing him to the clinic. What saved the child’s life that … day was the closeness of the clinic to the patient’s house [about 400 yards]. The child arrived almost gone, but by God’s grace, we were able to save his life. He now lives with his parents, living happily, and they are very grateful.”
— Sophia Asare, a nurse at Pokuase Medical Clinic
Previously, residents needed to walk more than a dozen miles for healthcare, not easy for a villager with a sick child or a pregnant wife. Occasionally a medical volunteer would visit the village, but this occurred only sporadically. Many residents just went without medical care. Frustratingly, the most common ailments were easily treatable, although when left untreated became life threatening.
Building the clinic was not easy. A change in church leadership meant construction delays. But now the clinic is operational and the church has begun ministering to patients’ spiritual needs as well as their physical ones through two chaplains aided by volunteers from the local church. Because this clinic has so much potential, ARDF agreed to fund another clinic in a different village. Healthcare facilities in rural Ghana are scarce!
The newest project will build a clinic in Tiboko Township, where poverty rates are high and residents are in poor health. Teenage pregnancy is prevalent and problems of illiteracy, self-medication, poor sanitation and poor hygiene have created a high morbidity rate. Due to the poor infrastructure and lack of health facilitators, residents of Tikobo Township have to travel hundreds of miles to seek health services. The nearest hospital is in the district capital, over 50 miles away.
Like all ARDF projects, this is a true partnership. A local villager who is a member of the Anglican Church has donated his home to the diocese to be converted into a healthcare facility. The local chief and elders have pledged to provide communal labor for construction. The national Ghana Health Service will pay for medical personnel services. The diocese will cover the cost of the clinic infrastructure, operating expenses and healthcare personnel training.
ARDF is excited to continue the partnership with the Diocese of Accra!