Areas of Cooperation and Impact
Yonkofa works in cooperation with the District Hospital, where Dr. Frank serves as the medical superintendent of this hospital and 23 clinics. He is the only physician/surgeon for the entire hospital district. Working with a network of charities, hospitals, and private foundations, we have been able to provide supplies and equipment for the District Hospital and through these efforts, we have helped Enchi Government Hospital to be named Number 1 District Hospital in the Western Region two years in a row. By supporting District Hospital, we know that if one of our patients needs an appendectomy or a cesarean section, for example, there will be a place to find such care.
Electronic Medical Records
We teamed up with Noguchi Memorial Research Institute and the Government of Canada to launch the only biometric-based electronic medical record in Ghana. Although the system was first developed as a vaccine registry for mobile health vans and temporary clinics in rural village, PhaaseID has proved valuable in every clinical setting. In the next year, we will add an intra-net, allowing medical facilities to access records even when the internet is not available.
In Western Africa, many deaths attributed to malaria are actually caused by typhoid fever. The burden of typhoid in Africa has largely been overlooked because it kills school-age children, while most studies target deaths in “children under five.” The Yonkofa Project, an advocated for research on this disease, has succeeded in having Ghana, and specifically the communities we serve, included in a multinational surveillance study. This will determine the burden of typhoid and other salmonella infections in our area, the first step in getting one of several available typhoid vaccines approved in Ghana.
Regional Blood Bank
Maternal anemia is a significant problem in Western Ghana, causing needless loss of life. Establishing a reliable blood supply and transfusion services has been a high priority. Now, thanks to a donation of blood bank supplies and equipment, a sizable blood bank has been set up at the District Hospital. Using a combination of super-insulated and solar technologies, the laboratory will be able to operate and store blood safely for long periods without electrical power.
Distribution of Supplies:
Yonkofa ships several containers of medical supplies and equipment to Ghana each year. Our volunteers travel to Ghana installing the donated equipment, instructing the staff on use, and training local technicians to handle maintenance and repair. In the Western District, these shipments are a life-line to the medical community.
When the village elders first dedicated the land to The Yonkofa Project, we felt as if we had been handed the keys to the community. The elders trusted that we were there for the reasons we said, that we would complete the project, and that the villages would benefit from our healthcare. What we realize now, is that we were not given the keys to the community, we were the community’s key to a larger community– the global health community. Our purpose has expanded, and a larger number of people have benefited from our presence, because we have been able to advocate for our children and the community to the world. Yonkofa means “a coming together in friendship” –I think we have done exactly that. Thank you for being part of this coming together.
Do you remember a doctor or nurse who made a difference in your life? A dedicated contribution to Yonkofa thanks them and recognizes their work.