The Atorkor Community Medical Centre was built as joint project between the Atorkor Development Foundation, ADF and the Central Baptist Church in Chelmsford, UK. The 81.000 Ghana Cedis (GBP 45,000 UK pound sterling) centre will benefit Atorkor and the surrounding villages of Dakordzi, Akplorwotorkor, Srogboe and Whuti, a population of about 16,000.
The Centre has two general consulting rooms and a room for dental surgery, an office and an emergency/recovery ward, toilets and a shower. The Centre has a standby generator.
The dental unit will be equipped in the second phase of the project to provide a comprehensive oral Health Education in these communities. In addition to their enormous financial contribution, a team of 18 volunteers from the Church spent three weeks in Atorkor to help complete the project.
Check out the pictures of the Medical Center.
The project forms part of the Atorkor Community Healthcare Program (ACHCP).The (ACHCP) is a community based healthcare initiative set up by the Atorkor Development Foundation (ADF) to bring cost effective and affordable healthcare services to the doorstep of the people of Atorkor and these villages.
The ACHCP has as its bedrock Primary Health Care with emphasis on prevention of diseases. The program will involve organising and ensuring effective, sustained and comprehensive health education campaign in the community.
As part of the primary health care program people living in Atorkor and these villages will be registered at the health centre and be required to visit the centre at least once a year to enable their health to be monitored. Health professionals as well as trained volunteers will also visit the various homes and schools to educate them about how to prevent diseases and live healthy lives. The program will cover among others Malaria , Heart disease, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Child health-immunisation and malnutrition, Maternal health – provision of antenatal and postnatal services and Dental health.
The new facility will serve as the nerve centre to co-ordinate this program. Apart from the Primary Healthcare Program, the Centre will also provide treatment, manage acute emergencies as well as carry out relevant research in these communities.
The ADF is very grateful to the Trustees, the members, all the Organisations and individuals who contributed immensely towards the project.
Medical Centre Receives Supplies
Ms. Susan LaSpina, RN from New York presented a large quantity of donated medical supplies worth $2,000 (US dollars) to the Atorkor Community Medical Centre.
The items included an autoclave, stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers, thermometres, a baby weighing scale, Diabetic supplies – insulin syringes and glucometre strips, Strep-A testing kits, various sterile dressing supplies and wound care agents, scissors, sutures etc, a Johnson & Johnson Medical Mission Pack full of over the counter medicines and several nursing textbooks. This donation was made possible through the generosity of Ms. LaSpina’s co-workers at Jacobi Medical Centre in the Bronx, NY and the various medical supply companies which she had solicited for help, including 3M/Littmann Stethoscopes, 3M Health Care, Bayer, Medical Indicators Inc. and Jacobi Medical Centre. The items were received on behalf of the Centre by Miss Suzzy Sabadu, head of the Centre.
Ms. LaSpina spent three weeks in Atorkor volunteering at the Medical Centre and participating in the initial phases of the mass house to house health screening exercise.
Medical Centre Begins Mass Health Screening Program
The staff from the Atorkor Community Medical Centre and volunteers carried out a mass health screening exercise. The exercise involves health workers visiting the residents in their homes, asking them specific health related questions and performing blood pressure checks. The screening is part of the Primary Health Care Program under the Atorkor Community Health Care Program (ACHCP).
Health problems most likely to be encountered include Malaria, (especially in Children under 5 years old), Heart disease-High blood pressure/hypertension, Diabetes, Asthma, Malnutrition, under-immunised children, pregnant mothers not receiving antenatal care and suspected cases of HIV/AIDS.
n addition to health issues, data such as the number of children in the household and whether they are attending school or not will also be collated. This should help set up a Demographic Health Surveillance System. The screening program has already started from Atorkor and will then be extended to the residents in the other villages of Dakordzi, Akplorwotorkor, Srogboe and Whuti. A dedicated software has been developed for this program.
The results/data from the screening should enable:
- Those people identified with acute illnesses to be treated at the Medical Centre. The urgent cases will be referred to the hospital. The nearest hospital is the District hospital in Keta, 27 km from Atorkor.
- Establishment of specialist clinics –Hypertension, Diabetes etc. to manage and monitor those affected by the disease.
- Child health clinics to deal with immunisation, malnutrition
- Maternity clinics
- The children identified not to be attending school to be referred to the local Education committee or the school head in the village.
UPDATE: During the first week of the program, 5 residents with dangerously high blood pressure were identified and sent to the clinic for further assessment, treatment and referral to Keta as needed. Also, two possible cases of Kwashikor (malnutrition) were identified and Nurse Sabadu was made aware for followup.