A letter from Nathaniel East, Yonkofa Intern
Imagine a place in which countless children die every year of preventable and treatable diseases. Now imagine trying to treat your patients with absolutely no information on health history or lab results? There are no vaccine records or list of prescriptions–you might not even be sure of their name or age. I couldn’t imagine it either– until I saw it first-hand.
Healthcare is only as good as a person's ability to access it
Our all-volunteer organization, The Yonkofa Project, was started by a group of doctors following a medical mission to Ghana. They saw that short-term (one-off) missions were not enough. If we want to lift communities from the cycle of perpetual illness and disease, if we want to assure quality healthcare that is both local and sustainable, we must start by attacking problems at the root.The Yonkofa Project does just that through our work in three key areas:
- permanent clinic construction
- enhanced training for Ghana’s medical professionals
- and the development of a durable, appropriate patient record technology
I spent much of the summer near Enchi, in Western Ghana, and saw Yonkofa team members working with local medical personnel. The collaboration is mutually beneficial and the results are impressive: the villages served now have better maternal health services and improved obstetrics capacity, thanks to the Yonkofa clinic at Yiwabra. It is a PLACE for care to be given and basic supplies, such as bandages and antibiotics, to be delivered. I saw a health care system, once devoid of critical resources, begin to build a sustainable and local answers to community healthcare needs.
The need is great and together we can provide the resources and training.
This is what medicine is all about; this is why I want to be a doctor. I am giving my time, my blood, and my heart to Yonkofa. Won't you to join me?
The Yonkofa Project was founded on the principle that access basic healthcare is a human right. Our mission is to help the people of Western Ghana achieve this: sustainable healthcare, locally available, lovingly delivered. It is an essential part of any society.
Nate East, 2017