We left Joe’s house early and began walking through the village. We were beginning our journey to the health-care clinic, but nothing is direct here in Ghana.
Our first stop was to visit a ‘concerned citizen’ member’s house. Second, we stopped by the King’s house. This was a formal meeting where the King sat in the center of the room and welcomed us. He wished us well for our visit to the clinic.
Then we made our way up the main road. It was about 90 degrees, but luckily the humidity was only 99%.
We were greeted at the clinic by Susie, the PA. She is proud of her clinic and works hard to make a difference. Our tour covered the Emergency Ward, patient records, the one exam room, maternity and the community health area.
Over 100 patients were seen today. There is not enough room for more than four at one time. Patients wait for hours. Many children are in need of care, febrile due to malaria. Diarrhea is all too common. The community’s water source, the river, is bacteria-filled.
An impressive place, with an impressive staff. While there are many challenges and many needs, they are achievable for METI and our supporters. Prioritization is key. But there is structure and command here.
We are ensuring that we respect their process, but now they are asking for helping building a system — a system that we can help to engineer. The list is long and many items that we take for granted cannot be located here. They would reuse a non-rebreather mask, if they had one. Hypertension, diabetes and asthma are just a few of the ailments that they would be able to help if they had the ability to get the patients from there to here.
When asked about the vision for our collaboration, they responded with “an ambulance, a process, equipment, a lab” — to name just a few things. The handwritten list was presented by Susie, neat and clean, with compassion for her community. “We can save lives and save people!” Susie said. “With your help, we promise to make it sustainable. We already have a plan”.
Systems and sustainability are what we at METI strive for. Equipment and “stuff” is obtainable. We have much work in front of us. We are passionate about this project and will drive results.
And then Susie added: “And I need a new roof so that my patients don’t get wet while they’re delivering their babies.”
We looked at each other. We can raise funds and get glucometers; we can find the time, get the people, and secure the bed sheets; we can borrow BP cuffs and obtain a bassinet; we can, donate a stethoscope.
But they need a roof, to simply keep their patients dry.
We CAN find some good people to help. There are four groups of you: The medical providers who will donate their time; the hospitals who will donate their stuff; the ambulance guys, who will get the ambulance, ship it here and fill the containers with EMS items.
And then, maybe, there is you. The good person, who will help to purchase supplies for the roof, and keep the patients and staff dry.
Here, in this community, the people believe that God blesses them every day. God even blesses the rains down in Africa.
Now we just need a new roof. Who’s in?