In Ghana, the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services oversee national health care. In reality, those who live in urban settings have more access to healthcare facilities than do the villagers from rural areas. People in villages rely mostly on traditional medicine. For serious medical issues or emergencies, they must find transport and travel some distance to a large town where a hospital is located. The National Ambulance Service does not operate to the villages.
Malaria, diarrhea, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and hypertension are the health issues for which villagers most need treatments. Access to health education, immunization programs, women’s and infant health programs, and preventive screenings are also significant needs.
In Ampeha the health officer and midwife, who take care of the health of the community, often do not have sufficient medical supplies and the equipment needed to serve the people adequately.
Owusu Kwakye – Health Officer
Mr. Awusu is the government appointed Health Officer who dispenses malaria medication to children and infants and refers ill villagers to the hospital in Nkawkaw for evaluation and treatment. In emergencies he administers First Aid.
Mary Akua Asantewaa – Village Midwife – in Her Birthing Room
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Mary has been the village midwife for 30 years. Each year, ten to twenty mothers from the village and the surrounding area come to a room in her house to deliver their babies. Long ago, the people promised her a clinic but they have not been able to afford to build it.
Years ago, she attended a government training session in the next village for traditional birth attendants. She would like to increase her skills with additional training so that she can provide more assistance when something unexpected arises during the birthing process. At present she must try to get a car to come from Nkawkaw, 40 minutes away, to rush a patient with complications to the hospital.
Realization of her dream of a three-room clinic with a birthing room, a recovery room, and an office would enable her not only to have a dedicated place for delivering babies, but also a place to hold health screenings, health education sessions, and immunization programs.