From March 3-10, our small group of three American volunteers (one RN, and two non-medical people) joined with our Ghana team to provide medical care for patients from 3 months to 104 years old! It was just a short trip, as we had all been to Ghana before and we "knew the ropes" and could dive right in to take up our post for the mission.
We're still entering data, so the final analysis isn't ready yet, but here are some reflections on the mission from Lisa, Healthy Villages, Inc. board member and the RN on the mission:
First worksite - Avegato, Ketu South Municipal District, Volta Region, Ghana
Tuesday and Wednesday we set up clinic in a village outside the city of Aflao. It took a while to get organized the first day and there were only a few people waiting for us. But word soon got out that we were there and they started coming! We saw 125 people. The second day there were 75 plus people waiting for us and we saw 180 people. The large amount of hypertension always amazes me. Both young and old walk around with BP’s of 220/130 or higher. They aren’t on any medication. Some have never been told they have high blood pressure. Others have been on medication before but stopped for various reasons—ran out, couldn’t afford to keep taking, didn’t know they were supposed to keep taking, don’t like taking medication, or choose to take herbs instead. A lot of children have skin infections, respiratory infections or worms. We had medication for all of these.
Second worksite - Denu, Ketu South Municipal District, Volta Region, Ghana
Thursday, Friday and Saturday we set up in the village clinic that Philimon, a physician assistant, runs. It was a great set up and ran much smoother than the previous one. We saw 119 the first day, 105 the second day and 201 the third. We were on site and seeing people usually by 8:15 and wrapped up 4:30-5:00 except on Friday when we stopped at 1:00 to attend the local market. Our youngest patient was 3 months and the oldest 104. Almost everyone complained of hurting joints or limbs, headaches and feeling tired. More serious issues that we couldn’t treat were hernias needing surgery, cataracts of which were visible in many, and low vision.
Five clinic days, 730 people seen and treated and we are now headed back home. Sunday traffic was light so it only took 3 hours to arrive back in Accra. We visited the artisan market for treasures to take home and then said goodbye to Godfried and spent the rest of the day at the airport waiting for our 10:30 pm flight to Amsterdam. I definitely felt the prayers from all my supporters on this trip. The gratitude from the people we treated and those we worked with and my gratitude for being able to do this will never be forgotten. Each of you who supported me was a part of this! God is so great and good. Thank you and God bless you!