Ndeogma is 40 years old and lives in a rural community in Northern Ghana. For the past two years, she has been raising her four children by herself after her husband left them and never returned. Being a single parent is an everyday struggle and even more challenging when her children get sick. For Ndeogma to reach the nearest health facility she must walk for over two hours.
“Last Fall, my two-year-old boy, Elvis had a high temperature and loose stools. I went with him to see Mr. Joseph (one of the community-based health workers that HPIC supports) in my community. “Mr. Joseph tested Elvis and said he was suffering from malaria. He gave Elvis medicine and trained me to administer these medications at his home before leaving,” explained Ndeogma.
Community-based health workers like Mr. Joseph play a key role in preventing, detecting and treating malaria. Through HPIC’s HOPE project, these workers are nominated by their own communities to provide health care at a household level. They are trained to provide diagnosis and treatment for common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. They are also equipped with a bike and a backpack filled with supplies and life-saving medicines so they can go about their daily rounds.
“The following day, I was relieved to see that Elvis’ temperature had reduced and he was in better spirits. Mr. Joseph continued to visit us until Elvis fully recovered,” Ndeogma expressed gratefully.
Time is of the essence in detecting and treating malaria. Rapid diagnostic tests provide quick results and are simple to perform and interpret.
Ndeogma is very thankful for the quick diagnostic test that was done by Mr. Joseph. “My son’s health insurance had expired and I didn’t have money to renew it. I could not have brought him to the health center because I didn’t have any money and the nearest health facility is more than two hours away. I wonder what would have happened to my son if I did not get this free treatment from a community-based health worker that devotes their time to help families like mine. I say thanks to HPIC and ADDRO for helping my son Elvis and all of my community.’’
HPIC works with its local partner ADDRO to bring essential health services closer to families living in rural and remote communities in the Garu district of the Upper East Region of Ghana. To do this, community-based health workers are recruited, trained and equipped to provide quality preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services to mothers, pregnant women and children under five. The persistence and commitment of these community-based health workers is saving lives and accelerating rural communities in Ghana toward a malaria-free future.
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