Psalm 46 begins with the words “God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble”.
We are living in a different world than we were a few months ago. I am writing this letter to you today to ask for your careful prayer and consideration regarding the Mobile Medical Van Project in the Diocese of Ho, Ghana, of which I have been involved with.
In January 2019, The Diocese of Fredericton and with the Companion Diocese of Ho, began work to identify a project that could assist the Volta and Oti Regions of Ghana. Robbie Griffin visited the region in May 2019. As a representative for Mothers’ Union, I was asked to return with Robbie and Cheryl Jacobs in January 2020 to ascertain a required need. We met with various groups in 14 rural communities including teachers, school administrators, Mothers’ Union members as well administrators of the Ho Teaching Hospital, clergy and the local Rotary Club. Each group provided us with their feedback what they felt communities needed to assist in their everyday lives.
Unanimously, all groups stressed the need for specialized HEALTH CARE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES as travel to the city is so very difficult. A Mobile Medical Clinic was determined to be a great need and the Ho Teaching Hospital, and the local Rotary Club of Ho joined to begin the project. The Clinic will provide basic health care to approximately 2,000,000 people in rural areas of the Diocese of Ho.
The Clinic will provide some of the following basic services:
- Pre and post natal care, with properly trained midwives
- Diagnostic services for breast and cervical cancer
- Prevention for outbreaks of typhoid, cholera, and measles, malaria and HIV
- Monitoring for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
- And NOW as I write this letter there is a great need for testing and management of COVID the region. (Note, life expectancy for men is 42 years of age and for women, 65 years of age (if they make it to age 15). The government does not count anyone who dies under 15 in their statistics.
The Mobile Medical Clinic
The Clinic will:
- Be specially suited for Ghana and designed by Malley Industries in Moncton, worldwide leaders in designing medical vehicles for special needs.
- Operate much like an army hospital, with the van being the nerve center of the unit, and examination and procedures being done in field tents. Tents will be on roof racks during transport.
- Contain a diagnostic lab, pharmacy and specialized equipment (i.e. ultrasound machine).
- Be staffed by a medical team provided by the Ho Teaching Hospital who will travel in a separate vehicle alongside the medical van. The team will also include medical students.
- Be operated by the Ho Teaching Hospital which will maintain and staff the clinic; to ensure sustainability of the project.
- Register rural citizens not currently registered with the Ghana Government Health Insurance Program.
Sustainability of the Project
The host Rotary Club of Ho will oversee the project and ensure elements required can be procured in Ghana. The Ho Teaching Hospital will provide staff and supplies; as well, maintain the vehicle. The project must be able to continue to be self-sustainable once initial funding has been provided. Funding will come from the Ghanaian Health Insurance Program to cover treatments, prescriptions and costs associated with the project (as citizens are registered as noted above). Rotary International will undertake period audits to ensure all requirements are being met.
Funding for the Project
The budget for this project is $280,000 CAD. Working with the Rotary Club of Ho, and the Diocese of Ho, the aim was to apply for a Global Grant from the Rotary International Foundation. If this grant was approved, it was possible for the Rotary Foundation and the District of 7810 - the District in which the local Rotary Club resides - to match some of our fundraising.
BUT COVID-19 has now disrupted the financial world. The National and International Rotary Foundation has depleted many of their funds for COVID-19 relief. Instead of the Diocese needing to raise the initial $40,000 (which would then be matched by District, National and International Rotary grants), this has now increased to $90,000. In addition to the needs identified above for this rural area, imagine coping with COVID-19 with no medical care at all. This is the situation for most of Western Africa currently.
Appeal for the Project
The Diocese of Fredericton has offered to help with the fundraising. The local Rotary Club has committed to supporting the project financially. Fundraising initiatives are being planned on Grand Manan Island (where Robbie Griffin resides) as possible (a couple of large ones were cancelled unfortunately due to COVID-19).
My plea, as your representative of the Committee and as a Mothers’ Union member, is to consider donating whatever you might be able, every little bit will help if we can all donate something.
Donations can be made by a cheque or money order made out to the Diocese of Fredericton (indicate Ho Mobile Clinic Project on the subject line of the cheque) and can be mailed to Diocese of Fredericton, 115 Church St, Fredericton, NB E3B 4C8. E-transfers are also accepted (email finance @ diofton.ca - indicate in comments for Ho Mobile Clinic Project). Tax receipts will be issued by the Diocese.
Thank you in advance, for consideration of donating to this life saving project. If you have any questions or need any further information, please let me know.
Companion Diocese Committee Member
Diocese of Fredericton Mothers’ Union