Jamii Health International Project: Sefwi Wiawso Health Center
Ghana is located in West Africa along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to 25 million people, divided amongst 75 ethnic groups. The national per capita GDP = $3,300 (2012 est.). The north has savannas while the south is rich in forests and fertile lands. It was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to declare independence in 1957. The country is a stable parliamentary constitutional state with a president.
Sefwi Wiawso Is located in southwestern Ghana approximately six hours from the capital, Accra. The district is a highly rural region, with an estimated population of 200,000. Agriculture is the main form of subsistence.
What is the challenge?
This is a region with insufficient medical resources for the population, which is rural and poor, and which faces many health issues. Much health care in sub-Saharan Africa is administered by foreigners, not the local population and it is often substandard. International aid traditionally brings dependency, corruption and a loss of dignity. There is a need for self-sufficient health care so that the community can learn to care for its own population and not be dependent upon others.
How will this project solve this problem?
Jamii Health International will develop a health center and health system in several stages which will train local personnel and community health workers to simultaneously give curative health services, preventive health education and economic stability through a multi-tiered approach. The foundation will be on solid basic community health care but leveraging technology to reach as many people as possible and to maximize the impact of medical care and disease prevention.
How is this project different?
This project will create a self-sustaining health care system in rural Ghana, one that the local community will ultimately own and operate. This gives them independence and dignity and avoids relying on international aid; it also will help fight corruption and lethargy by putting them in charge. We build the health center and teach them how to run it and how to make money to keep it going.
Long Term Impact
By improving the basic health of the community, people will be able to work more productively, children will grow and learn more dramatically, and the financial burden of sickness will be lessened. This will lead to a more stable and viable population with greater hopes for a better tomorrow.
Where Are We Now?
In 2013 we obtained the land for a health center. It needs to be fenced to protect it and then once funding is acquired, construction can begin. The District Health Officer has endorsed the project and the Sefwi Wiawso tribe are fully supportive.
Local posters revealing some of the disease threats to the people in the region.
Entrance to the grounds for the future health center.
View looking onto the site for the health center.