· By True Moringa
Better Medical Care for our Farming Families: The New Longoro Health Center
Our farmers deserve quality health care
We were heartbroken to lose Vida Wasinaa, one of the dedicated farmers in our community, at the young age of 46. She was a caring mother to two sons, Kwabena and John, a dedicated farmer, and a committed member of her village savings & loan association.
Over the past 8 years, we have worked with the community to build a holistic support system for our farmers - providing income, agricultural training, and most recently childcare - but Vida’s untimely passing sparked a conversation with our farmers - how can we work together to improve health outcomes in the community?
Two major challenges came to light -
First, Ghana has a free national health insurance system, but enrollment fees and forms can be confusing and pose a barrier to entry. Vida, like many in the rural communities where we work, was not enrolled in health insurance and avoided going to the doctor for fear of the high medical costs. At the suggestion of our farmers, we established a program to enroll each one of our ingrower farmers in the national health insurance system. Today, we’re proud to say that each one of the farmers on our nucleus farm is enrolled in Ghana’s National Health Insurance system.
Second, the health center that serves our communities is underfunded and lacking essential equipment and supplies. Vida’s condition might have been treated by the capable medical staff at the local health center had the right equipment and supplies been available.
On Giving Tuesday 2021, we launched what we hope will be just the start of an enduring partnership with the New Longoro Health Center. We set a goal to raise $1100 to provide the medical equipment that the doctors and nurses identified as most vital.
With your help, we raised 5x that goal - $5500 - enough to donate all of the requested items (oxygen cylinders, nebulizer machines, wheelchairs, pulse oximeters, privacy screens, newborn cot and scale, hand sanitizer, and surgical gloves) and to complete a full renovation of the health center.
As Nurse Priscila Owusu points out "Serenity of a facility helps heal patients. However, this building was put up some 50 years ago and has since not received any major renovation work."
The staff at the New Longoro Health Center mapped out the most pressing renovation needs to ensure safer and more comfortable care for their patients: a complete overhaul of the toilet facilities which had been unusable due to disrepair, carpentry and retiling work the main patient ward, fixing faulty electrical wiring and plumbing, fabricating shelving for record keeping and a fresh coat of paint and stonework to protect the building and make it a beautiful, peaceful place to work and to receive treatment.
loading up construction materials for the renovations
construction work underway!
Before & After
Clement Amanfo who works in disease control at the health center gives his thanks for your partnership. "I thank the True Moringa community for their sense of humanity and love for the caregivers. Taking steps to provide the requisite logistics for the New Longoro health facility will help prevent unnecessary referrals that could have been managed here. We are grateful for your kindness and God bless you."
The Municipal Director of Health Services wanted to express his “profound gratitude” for the renovation of the New Longoro Health Centre, which in his words “has now become a building of attraction within the New Longoro community.
“It is a gift we will forever cherish more so that you came at a time that anxiety and resentment were very high among staff and the community members. The medical items donated are essential for safe and effective prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of illness and diseases. This certainly will help us improve upon health service delivery within the community and beyond. We thank you very much and wish that god richly bless you and keep you.”