With the country in the grip of Brexit and everyone holding their breath, I wonder why the Home Office decides that now’s the right time to harrass long-standing, legitimate UK immigrants. We’re spending a lot of time helping frightened friends to appeal against deportation. Why now?
Last week we wrote about our new project called ‘Develop A Ward’ in Mampong Maternity Hospital. Room by room, we intend to refurbish the hospital and provide it with modern equipment. And we will keep a close eye to see that our improvements are properly maintained.
Imagine our feelings when we were immediately promised two amazing sums of money to start the work – almost enough to cover the whole Mother and Baby Unit. We haven’t decided yet, but we’ll probably spend the it on some of the really important equipment the hospital lacks.
Thanks to our donors, halfway through 2019 will be a much better time to be born than 2018. We couldn’t be more grateful.
We’re starting a new project called ‘Develop A Ward’ in Mampong Maternity Hospital. The hospital has 55 beds catering annually for 2,000 deliveries and serves 102,300 people in Mampong District. It is also the principal referral point for maternity cases in its own and several neighbouring Districts.
We’ve chosen five rooms in different areas of the hospital to start with, and talked at length to the staff. They’ve told us how the absence of equipment damages their work. If, for example, if they had a scanner (price £405) they could measure the baby’s pulse and position and if necessary, rush the patient to theatre. A portable ultrasound machine that could move round the hospital would be only £4,035. Dozens of babies’ lives would be saved.
On this basis, we’ve put together and costed ‘shopping lists’ of everything needed in these five rooms. They range in price from £356 to refurbish a room in the antenatal ward to £12,439 to set up the mother and baby unit. We will use our own staff to oversee the work and they will account for every penny spent. And when we’ve finished the job, we will raise money to do the same for five more rooms.
Now we just need some donors to fund them. Please let us know if you have any ideas where we could find it.
In Ashanti, social structures are tending to break down. For example, the old rites of puberty, engagement, marriage and many more are dying out, and alcoholism is spreading.
Martha Boadu, our founder, is concerned about this, and has built a museum to preserve the Ashanti heritage. There are already museums in Ghana, but most major on sepia photos of colonial rulers, with ceremonial thrones and drums. By contrast this museum will specialise in things collected by local people.
So far, the museum has a little house, built by traditional building methods (see bottom photo); lots of clay and wooden bowls; some old muskets; tribal robes and witchdoctor’s equipment; old Ghanaian currency and even European currency, which local people may never have seen. It’s planned to video ceremonies and children’s games and storytelling evenings, and display them too.
Maybe one day this will be a really key museum of Ashanti culture. And the building’s great too!
Onyameani means The Eye of God. It is the name of a very pretty village we visited last month. When we arrived, the community were waiting for us and were dancing to pass the time. They were very friendly and welcoming, though we smelt alcohol on some of the men.
The village stands on the site of a cocoa farm, destroyed by fire in 1983. The inhabitants are northeners, recruited long ago as labourers by the owner. There are about 400 of them. They are polygamous and there are many more children than adults.
We assumed that the village’s title referred to a small, round pool of stagnant water, full of frogs and turtles, from which the people drank. They told us that every week one or other family had to visit hospital, but they hadn’t made the link between the water and their health.
We’ve since found a sponsor to pay for a borehole, and the village has been visited by our doctors, shown in the photos. They’re going to need a lot of help to reach any sort of stability.