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  • Writer's picturePeter Demko

SHGO Trip to Sierra Leone 2018

After traveling for 16 hours, we arrived in Accra, Ghana, late in the evening. Early this morning at 6:30 am, we embarked on a three hour ride to the village of Nyetawuta in the southeastern corner the country. For the past two years, we have been working with the village of Nyetawuta—establishing both its first clean water well and a beekeeping social business. Today we are engaged in running a medical clinic for the 250 people who make this village their home. Medical care in the remote villages throughout West Africa is limited and sporadic and so this clinic serves as the first time that many in this particular community have ever accessed trained medical professionals. Initially, blood pressure screening and quick-read diabetes blood tests are taken. The nursing team interviews each villager assessing concerns or issues they may have and the collective results of all the tests revealed an inordinate number of villages whose inhabitants have high blood pressure. Additionally, their oral histories confirmed a great many deaths associated with heart disease. The challenge is now in trying to have the children include more fiber and protein into their carbohydrate-intense local diets of rice, cassava, and other starch-rich food staples. In January, 2017, SHGO installed the first clean water well in the community and so far, the results have been overwhelmingly positive—incidences of diarrheal disease and the mortality rate for children under age 5 have both decreased significantly.

Our students, Carmen and Krissy, were incredible during our very first full day in Ghana. They participated in a local dance organized for us by the village children. Ashley, as always, provides a calm and steady hand managing our scheduled programs with our partner in Ghana, Barbara Asempa, and her organization, HOCAP.

It’s been a tiring past 36 hours but well worth the efforts as we were more than rewarded in seeing the joyful smiles of our friends in Nyetawuta. Tomorrow we travel from Tema to the farming community of Okishibri, furthering our past 4 years of work supporting over 400 local farming families (nearly 4000 people) through our SHGO Microcredit program. Our aim is to enhance economic stability in Okishibri by introducing a ‘cold storage’ social business. Be sure to come back for tomorrow’s update.

You can also view full-size images from today here.

Dr J -

Dr. David A. Jordan

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