The Rohde Foundation- Saving Lives. Enough said .

August 24, 2010

The Rohde Foundation sees a future for rural Africa in which it produces, invests, and mobilizes the intellectual capital and human resources required to provide medical care to all its peoples; the Rohde Foundation is a movement for social justice, health care, and hope in rural Africa working long term for the creation of a self-sustaining and self-directed rural health system which can be produced continent wide…

I spent four days with the Rohde Foundation in the mountain area of Kwahu Tafo, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Two of these days were devoted to visiting their clinic in Oworobong, which is a remote village two hours from Kwahu Tafo. To get there you must travel on a long windy narrow dirt road with no electricity or running water (before the Rohde Foundation, no health facility either). The clinic they have set up is the only one of its kind in the area and people from local and some far away villages travel to Oworobong to have the opportunity to get medical attention. They are also responsible for the two borehole wells in the village. While we were there something happened that really upset and shocked me- when we returned to the village for the second day we learned that in the night a young boy who had been sick with malaria got very ill and needed to go to a hospital. The closest hospital was over two hours away and they had no way to get there. There is no ambulance and the roads are extremely dangerous at night, with no lights and practically one lane for two directions of traffic. I hear about malaria in the news and in conversation here, but it wasn’t until I met the mother of that boy who was wailing in pain and sadness hours after his death did the reality of the situation really hit me. To insure that the lives of these mothers and children are cared for, they desperately need an emergency vehicle.

On my final full day with Kofi Boafo, The Foundation’s National Director for Ghana, and my guide during my stay with them, he took me to a village called Bumpata. It is an  island on Lake Volta, where not only is there no electricity, there is no clean water and no clinic. The Rohde Foundation set up clean latrines there and are planning to return to work on a couple of projects there, but Kofi felt it was important for me to see it so we made the journey. It was actually a very beautiful and lush island, with the homes made of mud and thatched roofs, and goats and pigs running around all over the place. There were the ever curious children who saw me with my camera and refused to leave my side. As we waited for our boat back to the mainland, we watched the villagers return from the markets with food and water and other items, as everything has to be imported onto to the island. Along side the boats children wading into the lake to collect water for cooking and cleaning. All I could think about was how that water was full of bacteria and boat fuel and many other harmful substances. To learn more about the Rohde Foundation, please visit www.jesserohdefoundation.org .

Oworobong

Bumpata

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