The Ghanaian Health Service has recently initiated a national emergency ambulance service. Our medics Chris and Helen met some of the local team, who were enthusiastic and currently responding to about one emergency call a week. Feedback was given that the team are underutilised, for example because people don’t understand that the ambulance is available for emergencies, but instead believe it exists to transport people who are already dead.
Chris Hartley-Sharpe, who used to work for London Ambulance, hopes that Ashanti Development may be able to provide them with support as their service develops.
Our Ashanti Development medics Chris and Helen recently visited our projects in Ghana. Here is what they got up to:
– Met new staff at Sekyere Central District Health Directorate and re-established their village screening programme.
– Ran a screening programme in the villages of Ankumadua and Jansa, testing adults for TB, diabetes, HIV, syphilis and hypertension.
– Kept an eye out for breast cancer and the neglected tropical diseases of yaws, buruli ulcer and leprosy.
– Agreed to fund further screening at other villages every three months.
– Checked-in on the great work of Christabel, one of our full-time staff members in Ghana. She has become a community health volunteer in a nationwide project to prevent onchocerciasis (river blindness), making sure that all adults and older children in Gyetiase and Tadieso villages receive a regular dose of Ivermectin. Christabel is shown in the photos below.
A huge thanks to the continued support from Chris and Helen🥳
Thanks to our donors BasAid, who sponsored a project to replace kerosene energy with solar, we saw solar panels wherever we went in Ashanti. Many of them were on the roofs of migrant houses, and the photos below show how they are even used to charge mobile phones.
The Maji Water Dispenser has just been installed in our home village of Gyetiase! It is an electronic tap that allows people to collect water using prepaid WaterCards which helps to settle disagreements about how much water has been drawn and where the money went (people buy water by the jerrycan, and the profits are saved for repair and maintenance). It can check exactly how much water has been used, and ensure that the money is properly banked.
The Water Dispenser has been fixed to a brand new borehole, which appears to hold an enormous quantity of good quality water. Activity can be monitored from London, and we were told yesterday that before 11am in the morning the Dispenser had been used to sell 4,000 litres of water.
The village is very thankful.
During our recent trip to Ghana, we visited the Mothers and Babies Unit that we built last year. We found the incubators and baby radiant warmers all occupied – 37 babies is the record monthly score – which pleased us a lot.
We were told about one mother who had given birth to a very premature baby. The baby is now at 25 weeks and having spent 14 days in an incubator now has a good chance of survival.
These photos are of Nkwanta Primary School in Ashanti. There was a hole in the roof, so all the children were sent home when it rained. We agreed to mend it, and then found the structure was not particularly safe.
So Nkwanta became a larger than anticipated project. We strengthened the superstructure, aligned the brickwork at the top and then put on a brand new roof. The children’s education no longer depends on the weather.
We managed to drill two successful boreholes in our home village of Gyetiase last month.
The photos show the second which was drilled late into the night, and struck water close to our headquarters building.
Happy new month 🙂
Today we share a photo of when Chris Hartley-Sharpe, Ashanti Development’s co-chair, was recently in Ghana and bumped into a former client of our eye clinic. The photo shows the patient explaining how grateful and how much better his life was now that he’d had cataract surgery and could see again.
Noting the non-traditional local housing in the background, the setting is believed to be of in the migrant village of Amoaman, where most of the population have walked south from Burkina Faso.
We’ve just drilled two new boreholes in our home village of Gyetiase, where the population will soon have outgrown the water supply.
Both hit water at 140 metres but we have yet to test them for water quality and quantity. We’re hoping that the borehole in the centre of the village will pass both tests, as it would be convenient for everyone, but if not we at least have the second for back-up.
On the left of the picture below is Prosper. He has been working for us for about a year now. Prosper is a graduate of agricultural college and teaches people farming, including Mariama Issah, a migrant from the Sahel. Mariama is happy because she’s just harvested her maize crop and finds she’s got over double the amount that she had last year.
People like Prosper allow for the real difference Ashanti Development can make, we are very grateful for his work.