Credit goes to Lisa Bowers, RN for this wonderful series of daily diary entries from our medical mission October 2016. I've added a few photos. I hope you enjoy stepping into our world for a little while! If you'd like to experience Ghana while truly helping people in need, join us for a humanitarian mission. Healthy Villages, Inc. will organize every aspect of your mission and make sure you have a meaningful experience!
Today we are setting up clinic in Dogbekope, the village we are staying in and the village Godfried is from. By the time we arrive at the clinic Philimon (the nurse who runs this clinic and who had worked with us all week)had all of the stations set up. It didn't take us long to get ready as we had this down to a science by now! There were about 50 people waiting for us under a tent. We learned after the first day that the best way to see that everyone is seen fairly is to give each patient a number on a small piece of cardboard when they arrive. When their number is called they then register and are given their booklet. Janeas and I manned the vital sign table; Philemon recorded their complaints; Shana, Jo and Jennifer did physical assessments and testing; Jalil and Wendy made diagnosis and treatment plans and our pharmacist friends gave out the prescribed meds. We saw a lot of children but it went smoothly and we ended up treating 158 people.
Joe Degle met us when we got there and had each of us ladies a beautiful woven scarf and Dale and Jalil a shirt and scarf. Very nice! It was breezy and shady where we were set up so the heat wasn't nearly as oppressive. We had a significant increase in the number of positive malaria cases though and one particular 9 year old girl was quite dehydrated and ill. The village chief came to be seen and checked out which was an honor. The people who we didn't get to see were recorded by their booklets with their numbers on it. They were instructed to return tomorrow afternoon as we would be continuing our clinic in this village then.
One young man in his early twenties came to me for vitals and spoke very good English. He was interested in what his numbers were and was obviously knowledgeable. I asked him if he was in college and he politely replied "not yet". I told him that he needed to and he said "thank you Ma'am ". Before he left I told him that he would make a great doctor and with the biggest smile he thanked me again. These are very bright, intelligent, hard working people but lack of financial resources, medical care, sanitation and nutrition are all factors working against them.
e closed clinic early around 2:00 today because it was market day. Every village has a market day once a week where locals bring and sell their crafts, produce and a little bit of everything. Some will also travel distances (usually on motorbikes or bicycles) to other villages to sell their wares. Godfried stopped a gentleman on a motorbike the day before who had a large bag in front of him. He had woven cloth made in Dogbekope that he was taking to a market 600 kilometers away! So we went back to the compound for a late lunch before heading to the market. I personally was totally exhausted and not feeling like I could weather the midday heat so I opted to stay back at the compound and rest. Janeas did the same which I discovered a few hours later when she showed up at my room. By then the sun would soon be setting so we walked back into the village for a cold drink. We also got to see the local weaver in action as he was set up behind the bar. Using a hand made loom with hand spun thread between his fingers and toes he majestically had weaved yards of beautiful fabric with intrinsic designs! When we came back the rest of the gang had arrived and were full of market tales. What I heard loudest was how fishy it smelled and how crowded it was! But they had beautiful beaded necklaces and bracelets, and hand woven material that was exquisite. We made our plans for the next day and gathered up all leftover supplies to take and leave at the clinic for Philimon to distribute.