At the time of our last update, we shared that the Ridge Hospital in Accra would be receiving the cervical cancer supplies and equipment, under the continued stewardship of Dr. Fofie. We also shared that we had just had our first GlobalGiving site visit. After this visit, we received feedback to expand the responsibility of the cervical cancer screening and treatment program beyond just Dr. Fofie- to nurses, administrators and/or other interested physicians at the Ridge Hospital. Although Dr. Fofie has been the initiator and champion of this program throughout, due to his increased role at the Ridge Hospital, he may not be able to always oversee or guide the program. By enabling others to have more ownership of the program as well, we can ensure that it will still succeed even if Dr. Fofie can't always be directly involved. We appreciate Globla Giving's valuable feedback in this area and are making steps towards carrying this out as we head towards a new year. As part of this, we will also be making some changes on our project page. We look forward to updating you on these efforts next year!
I would like to close by wishing you all Happy Holidays, on behalf of all of us at MedPLUS Connect! At this time of year, during a time of giving back and giving thanks, we want you to know how grateful we are for all of you and your support of the cervical cancer and screening treatment program throughout the past year. We look forward to continued progress with the program in 2018 and send you all our warmest wishes for a Happy New Year!
In our last update we shared with you that although the supplies and equipment you have donated would not be able to initiate the cervical cancer screening and treatment program in the Upper West Region, we had identified two potential hospitals that could still greatly benefit from the supplies. We are now excited to share with you that the supplies and equipment will be donated to the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana! This hospital currently has a cervical cancer unit, but has not previously been able to offer cryotherapy treatment for pre-cancerous lesions. With the cryotherapy set that you generously fundraised for, along with the other valuable supplies and equipment purchased, they will be able to expand their program significantly and provide better cervical cancer screening and treatment to many women in the Accra area. The Ridge Hospital serves a large population of women at risk for cervical cancer and we are glad that your efforts will help them provide services and prevent cervical cancer among more of these women.
We are also excited to share that the cervical cancer program at the Ridge Hospital is under the stewardship of Dr. Fofie! The Ghana Health Service assigned him to the Ridge Hospital as part of his placement in Accra. After realizing that there was not someone in the Upper West Region to take over the program, we began looking for hospitals in other parts of Ghana where we could trust the supplies would be used well and still provide a great benefit. Dr. Fofie initiated the entire process of starting a cervical cancer program in the Upper West Region and after learning how the supplies would still be able to reach a large population in need through the Ridge Hospital, we felt it very fitting that he supplies and equipment would still be entrusted to him. We are confident he will put them to good use improving the health of many women in Accra.
Additionally, we had our first GlobalGiving site visit last month! Alix met with Dr. Fofie and Akcom Amuquandoh, MedPLUS Connect's In-Country Director, in Accra in July. She was able to discuss the relocation of the program and provide us with some valuable feedback to help improve the implementation of the program. We are so appreciative to Alix and the entire GlobalGiving team for the site visit process and wanted to end our update with a statement Alix shared with us after the visit: ""I'm very excited to see the impact that MedPLUS will have on women in Accra!"
We look forward to providing you another update on the expansion of the cervical cancer program at the Ridge Hospital in Accra soon!
As we shared in our last update, Dr. Fofie was reassigned by the Ghana Health Service and is no longer the OBGYN at the Wa Regional Hospital in the Upper West Region. We were crestfallen to learn that Dr. Fofie couldno longer lead the initiation of the Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Program and have been working diligently to find a suitable replacement physician to lead this initiative for the Upper West Region. However, we have not been able to do so.
The reason why there is no physician available to take over the program is the same reason why we wanted to start this program in the Upper West Region; it is a very underserved region without much needed health services. The shortage of physicians is felt throughout Ghana, but especially so in more rural regions such as the Upper West. Until a new OBGYN physician is assigned to the Upper West Region, there is no one with the ability to implement a program of this scale.
Although we are deeply saddened that we will not be able to initiate the Cervical Cancer Screening in Treatment in the Upper West Region at this time, we want to reassure you that the funds raised and the supplies purchased for this purpose will not go to waste. Rates of cervical cancer are high among women in all regions of Ghana and the supplies we have purchased are highly valuable and beneficial to any hospital performing cervical cancer and treatment in Ghana. We have now identified two hospitals that serve a population of women in need in other regions of Ghana that have the capacity to lead this program. Once the selection is finalized, we look forward to sharing more information on the hospital, population and the next steps for putting the supplies and equipment purchased to good use.
We are writing to tell you that Dr. Fofie, the OB-GYN who envisioned the Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Program as the first of its kind in the Upper West Region of Ghana, has sadly been reassigned to a hospital in Accra, the capital located in the southern potion of the country. This type of reassignment is not unnusual but it is dissapointing. Dr. Fofie was employed at the Wa Regional Hospital for serveral years and was not expecting to be relocated. However, in Ghana, health care is primarily provided by the government and as employees of government hospitals, physicians and other health officials can often be reassigned to other locations based on needs identified by the Ghana Health Service. Dr. Fofie's dedication and our close working relationship with him made us confident in the success of the Cervical Cancer Program. Thus, we were very sad to hear of Dr. Fofie's reassignment. While we are excited for his new opportunity in a large hospital, we will miss his passion and dedication.
Despite his move to Accra, Dr. Fofie remains committed to aiding us in the launch the Cervical Cancer Program and underscored the continuing need for a program of this nature in the Upper West Region. As such, he is helping us identify the best possible physician to take over and lead the establishment of the program now that he can no longer do so. The In-Country Director of MedPLUS Connect, Ackom Amuquandoh, is located in Accra and has met with Dr. Fofie to transition the program and is also partnering with the Ghana Health Services to ensure the sustainability of the leadership of the program. We will keep all of you updated but are confident that we will be able to find a physician who is equally as passionate about improving women's health in the Upper West and we look forward to making that announcement to you all soon.
For those of you celebrating, we hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! This is a special time of year, a time to reflect on the past year, with both its successes and challenges, and a time to give thanks. MedPLUS Connect would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have made the Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Program a reality. With your support, the first set of supplies were purchased and delivered to the Wa Regional Hospital this year- a huge accomplishment! The dream of establishing this program began with Dr. Fofie several years ago and we are so excited and grateful to you all for helping make that dream come true this year. The purchase of the diathermy machine, cryotherapy set, tenaculums, biopsy forceps and speculums enables the women in the Upper West Region of Ghana to be systematically screened for cervical cancer and to receive treatment in their region, instead of having to travel hundreds of miles to the southern portion of the country. So again, with our sincerest appreciation, thank you for all of your support!
We also wanted to share that GlobalGiving has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for an extremely generous campaign for #GivingTuesday, which is this Tuesday, the 29th. The foundation has provided $500,000 in matching funds for #GivingTuesday and there will be an unprecedented 50% matching for #GivingTuesday donations, up to the first $1 million raised! This is the largest amount of matching funds GlobalGiving has ever had in one day! In addition, all new recurring donations made from #GivingTuesday through December 31st will be matched at 200%, up to $100, on the fourth donation!
#GivingTuesday is a special call to action to create a global day of giving that brings together diverse organizations and communities around the world together to give back. It provides people everywhere with the opportunity to give more, give smarter, and give great. The GlobalGiving #GivingTuesday campaign will begin on this Tuesday morning, November 29th and end at midnight. Following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and then Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a beautiful way to bring everything full circle to go into the holiday season with gratitude and giving.
We wish you all a happy and fulfilling holiday season!
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