The AfriKids Medical Centre

Primary health hospital in poverty-stricken northern Ghana needs investment during a period of instability in the national health service.

Project aim

Primary health hospital in poverty-stricken northern Ghana needs investment to continue serving northern Ghana’s most vulnerable children and their families during a period of instability in the national health service.

Where we need you

Healthcare in developing countries is a complex and costly business. Factors like political stability, resource limitations and inadequate infrastructure are huge challenges and healthcare provision is often disrupted or compromised in these circumstances. The Ghanaian government is hailed for its commitment to welfare and development – it spends more of its GDP on healthcare and education than the UK – but recent economic challenges have put huge strain on its public health service, which provides care free of charge to patients registered on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Big changes are being made to save the national health service with a manageable budget, but in the meantime cuts are being made to the tariffs paid to private facilities and there is a backlog in paying them.

Also underdoing budget reviews and an efficiency drive, the AfriKids Medical Centre aims to be self-funding again within 12 months, covering its own costs with no need for further donations. However the centre currently needs your support during this difficult time to continue providing vital healthcare services to thousands of people, including emergency surgery, X-ray, maternal and reproductive health, a pharmacy, blood bank and cervical screening.

Please help to raise £20,000 in order to continue offering the highest levels of patient care and treatment to those in the area that rely on its services.

Your donations will support the centre in a number of ways, including providing fuel for an AfriKids ambulance, nappies for the maternal unit, cleaning supplies for the lab, oxygen cylinders, midwife care, supplies for the paediatric ward, food for patients, X-ray facilities and doctor's salaries.

 

 

The background

In 2007 AfriKids, a non-profit child rights organisation, bought a small clinic in Bolgatanga, northern Ghana, an area with almost no healthcare facilities at the time. The charity’s objective was to scale up the quality and range of services the clinic provided to serve more people and better. As one of the poorest places on earth, northern Ghana has just one doctor to every 35,010 people (in the UK this is 369) and preventable conditions take the lives of young and old every year. The AfriKids Medical Centre now treats nearly 70,000 cases a year and sits at the heart of a pioneering health link between AfriKids, Ghana Health Service and Southampton University Hospital in the UK working to improve the quality of care at this centre and hospitals across the region. It has become a truly valuable facility that thousands of people now rely on and benefit from a higher quality of life for.

How it works

Similarly to the UK, Ghana now operates a national health service making primary healthcare accessible to all. Ghanaians register on the NHIS at a cost of around £10 per year for a family, and can access services at facilities like the AfriKids Medical Centre (AfMC) at no extra cost, including vital treatment for common and deadly diseases like malaria and typhoid. The NHIS reimburses privately owned facilities like AfMC for the treatments they provide, a model which enables the private sector to supplement the breadth of healthcare available. A small margin on fees paid by the NHIS to centres like AfMC make them financially viable and for the AfriKids Medical Centre, 100% of this "profit" is reinvested in the centre or AfriKids child rights projects in the local community.

The Past

10 years ago, before the existence of the AfriKids Medical Centre and the introduction of the NHIS, local people regularly went without healthcare, with neither the facilities nor the funding to access it. Before the expansion of the AfMC many lives were lost to preventable diseases such as malaria, whilst mothers and babies were at a far greater risk during birth and pregnancy, and conditions, such as hernias, which are easily treated with routine surgery, commonly resulted in death.

Now

AfriKids and the introduction of the government’s NHIS scheme in 2007 have transformed healthcare provision in the Upper East Region. In the last 10 years, child mortality has reduced to 1 death in every 13, maternal mortality has dropped by two thirds and the number of under-five fatal malaria cases has reduced to less than 1%.

 

To find out more about AfriKids and our work in the Upper East Region please visit:

Our website – www.afrikids.org

Facebook – www.facebook.com/afrikids

Twitter – www.twitter.com/afrikids

 

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