Once a year a US-based medical team will travel to the Touch A Life Care Center in Ghana to assess each child’s physical needs. This summer the medical team added a health outreach to their trip in order to help bring medical care to people in remote regions of Central Ghana.
After spending a day at the Touch A Life Care Center, Brad Gautney, founder of Global Health Innovations and member of the Touch A Life Medical Advisory Board, gave all of the TAL kids a clean bill of health. The next day, Brad and his team of four doctors and a nurse joined with a Ghanaian doctor and three Ghanaian nurses to travel to a medical clinic in Yeji, a small city near Lake Volta.
At the clinic in Yeji, the doctors and nurses spent two days treating patients for cases of malaria, respiratory illness, high fevers, and muscle pain associated with hard physical labor. Touch A Life’s Ghana Director, Bernard traveled with the team, along with Isaac Ayensu who served as translator and photographer, and several other assistants.
The second and last stop for the medical team was a remote village which is normally accessed by boat. Due to several years of drought in Central Ghana, the water had receded, leaving only a muddy path to access the area. The medical team helped each other carry supplies through two miles of mud that was too deep for vehicles to drive through. When the team arrived at the village, a crowd of over 200 people was waiting to be seen. The village chief gave the doctors and nurses a warm welcome and thanked them for traveling a long way to help his people.
Over a day and a half the team treated as many patients as possible, combing the crowd for the most severe illnesses and wounds. Everyone who was seen was tested for malaria, and over 60% of the children tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease. Other patients were treated for fevers, infections and edema, along with burns and lacerations. Two young children were diagnosed with cerebral palsy and their parents were given instructions and support on how to care for their special needs. While other patients were waiting to be seen the triage team taught everyone how to play Duck Duck Goose! Parents and children alike were laughing and were able to connect with the doctors across cultures.
Robyn Neuerburg, one of the team’s nurses, told Touch A Life that she lived her life never thinking she would need a passport, but after this experience she knows she will return to Ghana and continue helping people in whatever way she can.
(Photos by Isaac Ayensu.)