Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Chanshegu Health Screening

Our last day in the city of Tamale was March 28th, which we spent in the small village of Chanshegu just outside of Tamale. Here, with the help of our friends: Mr. Amin, Kassim, and a team of nurses and midwives volunteering their time, we were able to set up a health screening day at their local clinic. UBCO has been working with the people of Chanshegu for the past ten years trying to set up a self sustaining health clinic within their village. This clinic has been funded almost entirely by our School of Nursing students, faculty and friends.  They have named it the Unity Community Health Centre
Unity Health Centre - Chanshegu
This year we received the amazing news that the clinic is now open Monday - Friday and being run by a team of fantastic local health care volunteers including nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives. The people of the community are now able to receive recurring health care on a daily basis. 

Cultural Dancers
To start our day off we first went to the Chief’s Palace (which is a round mud hut) to be greeted and welcomed by the village Chief. His welcome was warm and the horse in the corner of the Palace seemed friendly enough. We then headed to the clinic to get in touch with some Ghanaian culture by watching and participating in cultural dancing (don’t worry there’s video evidence). The simplicity of it all was pretty cool to see. No microphones or big speakers...just some drums, bells on the dancers feet and a little bit of passion made for an amazing performance that we all enjoyed. 

After the dancers had taught us some new moves and the sun was high up in the sky, we started setting up our health screening and consults. The process included registering each person to name, gender, approximate age and whether or not they had health insurance. We then sent them to our next stations to receive a height/weight and a blood pressure. Depending on their blood pressure and any health related complaints they had, we would decide whether or not to send them in for a consultation with Mr. Amin or another nurse. They would start treatment, medication prescriptions or specialist recommendations. Alongside this, we were also able to provide wound care and dressing changes for a variety of patients. There was also a station set up by midwives for antenatal care, and a station with a community health nurse who was taking care of routine child vaccinations. 
Registration Table

As the clinic is now open 5 days a week, clients are able to receive follow up care for frequent monitoring.   This is a major step in the evolution of the clinic.  Throughout the span of four hours we saw 103 community members of varying ages, gender, and health conditions. Thankfully we had Mr. Admin and his lovely team, Clifford and Kassim to work alongside us to help with translating, care, assessments and documentation for us. We couldn’t have done it without them! 

It was a great day filled with a lot of fun, collaboration, laughter and friendly faces.  I am always surprised to see the level of resilience in each of the individuals who live with so little but will always greet you with a smile. The appreciation for what they have or for what they receive is astonishing and something I’m sure we’ll never forget. 

The evening was capped off with a beautiful dinner for all of our volunteers at our favourite restaurant in Tamale called SWAD.   Dr. Marie Tarrant, the Director of our School of Nursing graciously covered the costs for all of us!   We were all very grateful.  

Thank you to the community of Chanshegu for welcoming us with such warm hearts and allowing us to aide in the small way that we could. Thanks again to Kassim, Mr. Amin and his team for making this all possible. 
Our Team!

Luke Dietz
4th year BSN student 
University of British Columbia Okanagan


  1. Yahhhh! How wonderful to see the villagers getting health care! How wonderful that their hopes are being realized! Love to you all! Muriel

    1. Yes! Those seeds you planted in the community so many years ago are now bearing fruit! I feel your presence there every time we go.

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