Foundation Human Nature (FHN) supports the rural “Huttel Health and Development Centre” in the Ashanti region in South-Western Ghana. The project was started in 1989 by the German lady Hannelore Huttel. In the beginning of 2003, the project was handed over to FHN.
Malaria, tuberculosis and typhoid fever are the most common and threatening diseases in the region around Boamadumasi. Skin diseases, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and diarrhoea are common as well. Another problem are tropical ulcers like Buruli Ulcer, which often occur among school aged children. Early diagnosis is vital to prevent long-term irreversible damage. Toddlers often suffer from diarrhoea and respiratory infections, measles, malnutrition and malaria. Most locals are not vaccinated and lack knowledge about sanitation and family planning.
In the Huttel Health and Development Centre, a medical assistant (a specially trained nurse), a midwife, a laboratory assistant as well as three assistant nurses provide the local population with primary health care services.
Every week, there are 40 to 50 patients who visit the health centre. In collaboration with the regional health authority, monthly vaccination campaigns are organized. The implementation of the project is the local population’s responsibility. Community health workers (consisting of volunteers from surrounding villages) meet weekly to discuss issues related to the villages, the health centre and potential solutions. These meetings also serve for capacity building in different health-related topics.
In collaboration with the health centre staff and voluntary doctors from Europe and the USA, the community health workers organize health education and vaccination campaigns. They organize information events and workshops in the surrounding villages on topics like malaria, hygiene and family planning. Through a combination of treatment, disease prevention and health promotion, diseases are not only treated but prevented.
The project coordination lies in the hands of the local project coordinator from FHN Ghana who is responsible for administrative tasks, coordination and supervision. The project is supervised by Dr. Edward Gold of FHN England.
In 2004, a well was built to provide the
health centre and the bordering village with drinking water. Contacts to local
schools exist to improve education in the region. Since March 2006, a
photovoltaic solar power plant provides the health centre’s electricity, e.g.
the refrigerator that stores vaccines and immune serums.