Mercy Flights News

Mercy Flights CEO partners to enhance healthcare in Ghana

By June 6, 2019 No Comments

Doug Stewart to serve as an advisor on ambulance operations, medical training

On Sunday, June 9, Mercy Flights CEO, Doug Stewart, will travel to Enyan Abaasa in the central region of Ghana to help establish ambulance services and improve the infrastructure of the village’s local health center. Stewart is part of a collaborative effort led by John Becknell of SafeTech Solutions, LLP, in partnership with the METI Project, Inc., the Concerned Citizens Association of Enyan Abaasa Community, Inc. and the Enyan Abaasa Health Center of the Central Region of Ghana.

“’I’m excited to participate as an ambassador of Mercy Flights, sharing our expertise and donating some of the surplus supplies, materials and equipment that we can no longer use, but would be tremendously meaningful in this part of the world,” said Stewart. “This will not only be an opportunity for us to share what we’ve learned throughout our 70-year history, it will also be a tremendous learning and growth opportunity for me both personally and  professionally.”

In addition to the donation of an ambulance gurney, ambulance medical supplies and mechanic tools for general ambulance maintenance, Stewart has facilitated support from medical supply company Life-Assist and Asante Healthcare Systems who is sending along lab equipment that is no longer in use.

Enyan Abassa is located in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District in the Central Region of Ghana. The population of the village and surrounding area is approximately 24,000 and is primarily supported by an agrarian economy. Many of the people are poor and struggle to meet basic subsistence needs. Healthcare is provided by a small rustic Ghana Ministry of Health (MOH) clinical known as the Enyan Abaasa Health Centre. The Centre is staffed by an MOH Physician Assistant and MOH nurses. The leading regional health concerns are malaria, dysentery and obstetrical problems.

In 2016, at the invitation of a local group of concerned villagers seeking assistance to improve healthcare in their village, SafeTech Solutions and the METI Project traveled to Ghana and met with village leaders, residence and clinic workers. Resources for improving healthcare in Ghana are limited and resources for improvement from the national and regional government are often limited. Currently, healthcare in Ghana faces significant challenges around funding and expenditures, especially in rural areas. The concerned villagers requested help with two important needs.

First, Enyan Abaasa has the need for an appropriate means of transporting acute and critical patients from Enyan Abaasa Health Centre and the surrounding areas to tertiary medical facilities in Cape Coast and Accra.  Today, the only means of medical transportation for acute and critical patients are small taxi vehicles in which patients cannot be supine and they receive no supportive medical care during transportation.

Second, the Enyan Abaasa Health Centre is in need of basic infrastructure improvements.  The roofs on Centre’s small buildings leak and are in a severe state of deterioration. The Centre personnel need basic laboratory equipment to conduct simple diagnostic tests.  Today there is no ability to do basic diagnostic laboratory testing.

Stewart will spend six days in Ghana with Becknell and others working to help build and strengthen the health care system’s infrastructure.

“This work is important to us because it closely aligns with Mercy Flights’ founding vision to ensure that people in rural communities have access to quality healthcare. The people of Enyan Abaasa are working to build a foundation for mobile healthcare and we have the experience to help them while also learning from their culture of caring for people,” said Stewart.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Stewart, contact Linda Quon at (541)610-4317 or lquon@quondc.com.

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