|Sakote Clinic Tree|
Photo credit @katienugent
This week we were welcomed with open arms to the Sakote Clinic. Our journey began at the Sakote community health meeting that is held every three months. The Chiefs, "Queen" Mother, Sub-Chiefs, Elders and other village members greeted us with singing and dancing. Once again our dancing skills were put to test as the whole village hysterically laughed at our slick moves. At these meetings the community discusses health concerns and the Sakote clinic staff addresses them. Topics include exclusive breastfeeding, proper nutrition, anemia, malaria, and encouragement of early detection and treatment for all other health needs.
For the next three days at the clinic, we screened several pregnant women and newborns for prenatal and postnatal care. Lets just say our ovaries were exploding and we all caught a case of baby fever! We worked alongside the midwife, Lamisi, where we focused on prenatal teaching, monitoring pregnant mothers, providing nutritional education, interpreting lab tests, and assessing the overall well being of the clients.
|Cooking Day with the women|
According to the Sakote Clinic statistics, anemia is present among 57% of the pregnant women in the community. In order to address this issue, the midwives and nurses provide the women with prenatal vitamins during each visit, regardless of insurance coverage. They even held a cooking class where over 70 women were taught on how to properly prepare and cook nutritious meals using strictly local and iron enriched ingredients. We embraced the Ghanaian culture by helping prepare aleefu, bitter, dawadawa, small fish and the fowl with the women.
|Mashing up dried fish|
One of the challenges that the Sakote village faces is accessibility to higher level of care that is located in Bolga (60 minute drive away). The lack of transportation and financial constraints for individuals make places like the Sakote clinic vital for the well-being of a community. The primary health care system in Ghana exceeds any thing we have in Canada.The primary health care model empowers individuals to access healthcare locally, and focuses on health services like health promotion, prenatal screening, family planning, illness and injury prevention, home visits, child welfare as well as minor emergency services, all under one roof. If there were something that we could take home and change about our Canadian health care system, it would be to strengthen our primary health care. We are in awe of how well this clinic serves their community with the little resources that they have. For example, women of the community bring water to the clinic every morning so the staff members can wash their hands. It is truly amazing to see the resilience and passion of the staff for the well-being of the community. At Sakote, the nurses live steps away in residences located on the clinic property which allows them to provide 24 hour care. They live and breathe community health care and this is shown through the love and relational practice they have with their clients. Learning from them was a privilege and we will forever cherish this time spent with them.
Posted by: Jessica Sherbinin, Jade Geddes, Emma Miller and Alishia Huston