This year, we'll be continuing our partnership with Show Me Your Stethoscope (SMYS) to bring teams of nurses and nurse practitioners to Ghana to treat villagers in underserved, remote areas. We were initially asked to organize two missions - in April and October. The two trips filled up almost immediately, so we added a third mission trip in August. Here's a little about the focus of each mission:
Our April mission will be a general health mission, to treat all ages and any medical condition that comes our way. Since our mission in October 2016, we have a better idea of the types of illnesses and injuries we can expect to see and we aim to be better prepared with more types of medications and supplies. Last year our seven nurses and several Ghana-based practitioners saw over 800 patients in five and a half days; this year we'll have 10-12 nurses and NPs plus our Ghana Health Service staff and we'll be in the villages for six and a half days. We expect to treat at least 1000 poor villagers.
In August, our pediatric mission will focus on well-child checks, dispensing vitamins and de-worming medication, general children's health education, and treating illness. We'll be gathering summer-weight used clothing, books, and shoes to distribute as part of the mission. I recently discovered a non-profit in the US that gives free health education coloring books for mission groups, too. Last year, we had an entire school of children come to our clinic - unfortunately we were just finishing up for the day and had already seen about 200 patients! I'm hopeful we can return to that village to care for those sweet kids.
In October, we'll be focusing on women's health. Our women's health mission will run concurrently with a project we're doing with the non-profit Women To Be, to distribute kits of washable and reuseable sanitary products to girls and women in villages who have no access to disposable pads, and no safe way to manage their monthly period. We have a great group of women's health-oriented practitioners who are really excited about sharing their healing gifts. We hope to be able to provide free testing and treatment for STIs, pregnancy testing, and prenatal care, and of course evaluation and medication for general health conditions.
We are honored to bring medical mission teams to treat poor villagers who may not be able to afford even a small amount of money for treatment of their conditions. Our long-term goal, which we hope to realize this year, is to raise enough money to build an upgraded medical clinic in Dogbekope village. With a larger clinic, there will be infirmary, labor and delivery, laboratory, and exam rooms. We could then bring in mission groups on an ongoing basis to provide follow up care for the patients. We often think about the people we've seen and wonder if they've been able to continue treatment. With a new, larger clinic, we'd be able to sustain healthcare for the poor in this area of the Volta Region.
We've been given land for the clinic, and we have the architectural plans, now we just need the funding! The photo above shows the land where the new clinic will be located. We'll clear away the broken down old building and a beautiful new facility will take its place!
PLEASE DONATE TOWARD THE NEW CLINIC BY CLICKING ON THE DONATE BUTTON ABOVE!