Volunteering for a Charity in Ghana


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Volunteering for a medical and educational Charity in Ghana

I trained at UCH, set 222 and enjoyed working in Intensive Care and Adult Surgical care wards. In 1992 I created a pre-operative assessment, and now lecture and train people worldwide in the skills required for efficient and effective assessment.

After 40 years working in the NHS, culminating as Consultant Nurse, I decided that I would like to volunteer for a charity, gaining insight into healthcare in a less affluent society. I worked alongside a Ghanaian Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon in villages and small towns to educate, train staff and improve the lives for the local people, many of whom would have to walk many, many miles to reach healthcare facilities.

Having now retired from the NHS, I regularly volunteer in Ghana for a medical and educational charity MOTEC Life-UK. We work in the sub-Saharan country where resources are few. What we would consider to be basic care in the UK is a luxury in Ghana where, other than in private care near Accra, facilities are very limited. Lack of basic equipment is commonplace, no sphygmomanometers, ECG machine and the only oxygen cylinder is in the operating room. There is no running wa- ter. Mosquitos are plentiful; malaria and meningitis are the key causes of mortality in babies and children under 5 yrs. The average life expectancy is 65 yrs.

A few years ago, I appealed to my friends to donate any unwanted but working sewing machines. These were shipped to Ghana and are now in use and allow people to earn a living by making clothing.

Whilst working in the villages, we find that children with physical challenges and their mothers are abandoned by the father and the other villagers. A high number of these children are born with spinal defects such as spina bifida. We are able to seal the spinal leak and the children learn to walk.  For some children however, there are severe abnormalities and for them life  is very difficult. Unable to walk, talk, often blind their life is very dark and isolated. We have been able to support the mothers and children with a facility with a trained teacher specialising in children with special needs.

A typical school is one of four poles, thatch roof and bench seating. A single black- board serves to record the education of the day. Children as young as 5yrs of age, walk several miles every day to reach the school, returning home in the afternoon. Our plan is to build a school building which will protect children from the elements, provide seating and desks and to provide several classrooms so that the students can study according to their ability and age.

Thank you for your generosity in the past, and if anyone is looking for a charity to support, I can highly recommend MOTEC Life-UK. One hundred percent of do- nations goes to providing the facilities required to give the children and people of villages in Ghana hospital care when needed, education and training. If you would like to know more about the charity, then the website is: www.moteclife.co.uk UK Registered Charity 1118994. If anyone would like to make a donation, I have set up a Just Giving page

Jane Jackson Set 222

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