Akwabba! As many are aware, in 2012 I spent 5 months volunteering as a nurse intern throughout Ghana. Not only did this experience allow me to emerge myself into a new culture, but it also gave me an international perpective of healthcare and a greater appreciation for the meaning of 'life'. Although I have several stories to share, the purpose of this posting is to discuss my final weeks with UNiTED Projects, in which I assisted in implementing a wound care outreach project for community members of the Kpando municipality who suffer from chronic ulcers (some reported having an open sore for upwards of 50 years)!
With inadequate education, medical supplies, and a lack of financial resources, these patients are at a high risk for infection and/or amputation due to poorly managed wounds. Additionally, they require attention and screening for uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and education on proper nutrition to promote wound healing. All are in need of psychological and social support as any of the above may pose a burden to their family and disrupt individual productivity in society.
Over the last three years, I have been involved in helping UNiTED Projects obtain non-profit status in the U.S. and have served as the board member president. My volunteer experience inspired me to pursue my Master's in Public Health with a graduate certificate in international healthcare so I can continue building a foundation of knowledge that will benefit me in serving impoverished populations in developing countries. I have arranged for the opportunity to return to Kpando, Ghana in order to fulfill my practicum requirements and continue living out my dream!
Although the recent Ebola epidemic has not directly affected the country, UNiTED has suffered from a drop in program participants, translating to a lack of support and resources to continue with their various projects. The wound care outreach program is an essential need for locals with chronic ulcers in order to positively influence their outcomes. My wish is to raise funds over the next two months (until my May 13th departure), which will go toward purchasing wound care supplies, medications, screening equipment, and printing of educational brochures in the local language for community distribution. For more information on the organization, please visit www.unitedprojects.org .
To read my personal blog about my adventures in Ghana in 2012 (which will soon be updated with my future project- Evaluation of the maternal and newborn health services offered through Kpando Health Department), please visit www.seedsofasecretdream.blogspot.com
"Medaase paaaa" (Thank you very much) and
"Nyame sho" (God bless you) !!!
- Shadee Gerayesh
- Mark and Kim hicks