Ophelia is a nurse helping to extended the epicentre’s health outreach
Ophelia lives in Asenema, Ghana, where she works at the health centre. The work can be challenging but Ophelia enjoys her job as a nurse, especially as it allows her to create a a connection with members of her community.
The number of clinic attendees has grown steadily over that last three years from when Ophelia first started at the clinic. Initially, they were seeing about 50 people a month where as now Ophelia and her three colleagues have about 250 people coming to the centre a month. Moreover, there weren’t any midwives when Ophelia started, so women in the community were giving birth at home…
“Now we do the antenatal care and the deliveries here at the clinic. And we do postnatal checkups too” Ophelia explains.
The centre itself has also seen a lot of changes too: “When we started the delivery bed was old, our refrigerator was not working and so on, but with the help of the epicentre management we’ve got all these things in place” Ophelia says. This enables Ophelia and her colleagues to focus on delivering the best possible patient care that they can.
However, the health centre is still facing its fair share of challenges; transportation in particular is an issue they are keen to resolve. “Sometimes when the women are in labor and they want to come to the clinic they don’t have any means of transportation. They have to call me, and sometimes I borrow a car from here to the village. If we would have a motorbike it would be easy to go and pick them up and take them to the facilities” says Ophelia. Transportation also becomes a challenge when it comes to transporting a patient to hospital.
“We have a local taxi driver so when we have such emergencies, we call him. But it’s not convenient. When we call him, he is usually somewhere else, so you have to wait, or you have to go the roadside and find a car.” Ophelia goes on to describe another challenge: “It’s about 45 minutes drive. But when the driver is working it will take about one hour to get to the hospital.”
Despite the challenges of working in a rural community setting, Ophelia likes working at the health centre.
“Because we are in the community, they can come here anytime to access health care and if someone is refusing to come to the facility, we go to their house to provide the service in person. When we are able to educate the people in the community, they get to understand you and they put their trust in you” says Ophelia.
And, of course, it makes her happy when she is able to treat someone and then see an improvement in their health.
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