Sister Rose writes about the challenges and blessings during the Covid 19 as it affected Ghana Posted November 18th 2020
At Holy Rosary Health Centre in Ghana when we suspect Covid and the patient is not acutely ill, he/she is managed at home. This gives us the opportunity to visit them regularly, meet their families and try to be that comforting presence.
“One of our patients with suspected Covid infection was being treated at home. As he came to the end of his treatment, I decided to visit him. We spent some time talking about his goat and other things. Suddenly he said to me…with tears in his eyes …and so humbly, “I was dying and you saved me”. I hesitated for a moment and replied, ”Yes I helped to treat you but God healed you”. He went on to share about the goodness of his God and finally said to me “God bless you”! At that moment, I felt a sense that this quiet gentle man was evangelizing me! Was I not coming to know and love his Jesus and my Jesus more in that moment. I left saying to myself, this man is precious.”
During the lockdown in Ghana, the elderly were not receiving the care they needed, as many of their family members were not visiting from the larger urban areas where Covid was very prevalent. In fact many of the elderly were hungry. Through a feeding program initiated by the clinic and funded by Misean Cara, all the elderly over 75 years of age received a high protein diet in the morning five days a week. Some visibly gained weight.
Also through the feeding program for the elderly we were able to screen them for diabetes, hypertension and anemia. The result was the beginning of a diabetic clinic.
Education forms one of the pillars of Covid 19 prevention and control. Through Misean Cara funding, handwashing equipment was distributed to 13 outreach communities in Amankwakrom Subdistrict. Here proper handwashing is demonstrated by Srs. Rose and Nkechi along with a Nutrition Officer give Nutrition education to the elderly.
In all Holy Rosary clinics, in Ghana, Ngonyek, Kenya, and in Ethipoia, the members of staff rose to the challenge.
Triage of all clients presenting to our facilities include wearing of masks, handwashing, applying sanitizer, temperature recording and questioning re. travel history, contact with any one with Covid 19, fever, cough and loss of smell. Testing is readily available in Cameroon. Those suspected of having Covid but not acutely ill are managed at home. Follow-up of clients living a distance from the facility are contacted daily by phone for two weeks.
During times of Covid 19, care may be diverted from essential services; reasons being that donors redirect funding to Covid activities, and already overwhelmed health systems are forced to spend resources on Covid prevention and treatment. Here in three of our Holy Rosary facilities essential services continue: Sr. Ifeyinwa, Childcare in Ngonyek, Kenya; Sr Seraphine, Maternity Services in Ankpa, Benue and Sr. Evangeline, Natural Family Planning, Grimard Hospital, Benue.
“How great was Our Lord’s love for those who suffer. He loved to meet them and restore them to health. In you the people meet our good Lord continuing his work of healing.” Bishop Shanahan.