Objectives

It is obvious that the Governments in the sub-region will be unable to meet the health care needs of the rapidly expanding populations until economic conditions improve. The competing demands of the other sectors of the economy mean that only a fraction of the GDP can be utilized to improve health services. The Government of Ghana spent approximately 3.5% and 4.2% of its GDP on health in 1990 and 2001 respectively .The United States Government in comparison spent approximately 12.7% and 13.0% of its GDP on health in 1990 and 2001 respectively.

The above facts, the demographic profile of the sub-region, and the morbidity/mortality statistics speak to the need for action and intervention to redress the health problems the Governments alone are unable to solve. WAHF as a private, non-governmental organization aspires to play a part in this overall effort to optimize the health and well being of the people of the West African sub-region.

The Hadassah Foundation and the Apollo Hospitals are two examples of private, not for profit organizations in Israel and India respectively that were established by well meaning individuals with the sole purpose of improving health services in those two countries. These two organizations have established clinics in rural areas and first-rate hospitals in the urban areas. These two models need to be studied carefully and modified and adapted to apply to the health needs of the 250 million people of West Africa.

It is proposed then that the West African Health Foundation, a private, non-governmental, not for profit organization be established with the general purpose of promoting and improving the health and welfare of the women and children of the sub-region.

It is further proposed that the West African Health Foundation, be established with the following short and long term objectives:

Long Term

  1. It is the stated intention of WAHF to adopt and support an existing health facility in a rural area in Ghana initially.
  2. This rural health facility so adopted shall serve as a pilot project and if successful, a springboard for the creation of similar health facilities in Ghana and other West African Countries.
  3. The Foundation shall collaborate with the rural health facility in their existing programs and where feasible expand and improve on them.
  4. The Foundation shall recruit volunteer faculty, procure medical equipment and supplies for the adopted health facility. Some infra-structural improvements of the health facility shall also be made at the expense of the Foundation when deemed necessary, after consultation with the appropriate governing authorities.
  5. The Foundation shall elect to recruit and pay local staff for specific projects that it may conduct.
  6. The Foundation shall create electronic databases of all patients at the health Facility.
  7. The Foundation shall sponsor and conduct forums, workshops and other educational programs in collaboration with existing educational and healthcare institutions. It shall also participate in the post-graduate programs of medical and other health related professional schools and teaching hospitals locally.
  8. The Foundation shall engage in local and public community outreach programs to disseminate information about health (health education), environment, nutrition, personal hygiene and sanitation.
  9. The Foundation shall participate in research such as epidemiological studies and disease prevention.
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Short Term

  1. Support and improve on the quality of care rendered at clinics and primary care systems in the rural areas of Ghana and other West African Countries.
  2. Support at least one Specialist, Tertiary Medical Center of Excellence to serve the 250 million people in the West African sub-region. The proposed Specialist Medical Center shall be constructed in phases. The initial phase shall see to the establishment of a Women's and Children's Hospital. The other Specialist Hospitals shall be phased in with time. It is anticipated that in the not too distant future a wave of retiree physician/dental Specialists in Europe, North America, Africa and other parts of the world shall be returning to the sub-region and hopefully could be prevailed upon, recruited or volunteer to give a helping hand in patient care and teaching. The younger Specialist not ready to relocate could take working/vacation assignments at the proposed Medical Center.
  3. The Foundation shall collaborate with and assist existing healthcare institutions and hospitals in West Africa.
  4. Dedicated HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and other Infectious Disease treatment and prevention programs shall be established.
  5. Care at the affiliated facilities shall be rendered with great sensitivity, and compassion. Great emphasis shall be placed on a collaborative and family-centered approach in all patient encounters.
  6. The Foundation shall sponsor and conduct forums, workshops and other Educational programs in collaboration with existing educational and healthcareinstitutions. It shall also participate in the provision of post-graduate education to health providers at all levels. A teleconference center and distant learning centers shall be established to facilitate the telecast and transmission of overseas health related conferences directly to the center for the benefit of physicians/dentists and other health-care facilitators.
  7. The Foundation shall engage in local and public community outreach programs. The major focus for the outreach program shall be the dissemination of information about health (health education), environment, nutrition, sanitation and personal hygiene.
  8. The Foundation shall participate in research such as epidemiological studies, disease prevention, medicinal plants and food/nutrition.
  9. The Foundation shall actively seek to raise funds and solicit donations and equipment from interested individuals, charitable organizations, corporations, agencies, and institutions.