18 Feb Patient Monitoring Project with Ghana Medical Help
This blog is one of this year’s Alumni Project Fund proposals. Throughout the next few weeks, we will be rolling out the project proposals on our blog. If it’s an idea that strongly resonates with you and that you support, hit the ‘like’ button on the Facebook post we share about it or leave a comment at the bottom of each blog entry. Whichever project receives the most votes and comments will automatically advance to the final round of grant selection.
One of the motivating factors for starting Ghana Medical Help (GMH) was how mortality rates are unnecessarily high in hospital patient wards. This is due to the inability to monitor critically ill patients and respond quickly to worsening conditions, which makes the difference between life and death. To this day, there is not a single district hospital in northern Ghana that has an electronic patient monitoring device to monitor the vital signs of vulnerable patients. This year, GMH now has the volunteer framework and administrative infrastructure to specifically focus on this issue.
WHAT IS GHANA MEDICAL HELP?
Ghana Medical Help emerged in July 2010 as an acute solution to alleviate the significant basic medical equipment needs in the Builsa District Hospital. GMH is committed to providing medical aid to hospitals in the most northern regions of Ghana to save lives and increase the quality and access of healthcare services available.
The goal of this project is to expand the increased efficiency we see in the Out-Patient Department (OPD) to other sectors of the hospital, and to increase the adaptive capacity of each ward to monitor critically ill patients. To accomplish this goal, GMH wants to put one Spot Vital Signs device with temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure monitoring capabilities in the Out-Patient Department, pediatric, female, male, and maternity wards of every district hospital in the Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana. The funds from the OG Alumni Project Fund will be applied for meeting this goal in all five Upper East Region district hospitals.
CONNECTION TO OPERATION GROUNDSWELL
Ghana Medical Help was born during the 2010 West Africa Global Health program when alumni Kelly Hadfield, founder of GMH, witnessed firsthand the extreme consequences that directly result from a lack of equipment and human resources. Throughout the years, OG program participants have become involved in and around the community of Sandema in the Upper East Region of Ghana conducting youth education workshops (science, music, girls’ leadership), supporting the Horizons Children’s Centre, assisting the Sandema Disabilities Center, interacting with and supporting local farmers through G-Roots, and, more recently, improving local healthcare delivery through GMH.
This past summer, the OG West Africa Global Health program made valuable contributions to GMH operations by conducting on-site research to assess the immediate impact generated by 2013 GMH equipment donations one month after they had been received. This activity involved mobilizing the OG team to each district hospital of the Upper East Region and completing comprehensive research surveys. The results of this research enabled GMH stakeholders to understand the progress the organization has made in meeting its short-term annual goals, and evaluate the success of this year’s equipment training seminars and the role of GMH Coordinator. More than that, program participants learned about the challenges facing the healthcare system in rural Ghana.