Roof for Mama Alice Health Clinic in Nyitawuta Completed by February 20 Deadline
February 20, 2022 is the first anniversary of the death of Rev. Alice Kyei-Anti – widely known as Mama Alice – and the deadline set by the Home of Care and Protection (HOCAP) for completion of roofing of the health clinic for the people of Nyitawuta, an isolated village located in the eastern Volta Region of Ghana. Barbara Asempa, the dynamic Executive Director of HOCAP and other leaders of this Christian not-for-profit, were inspired to name the health clinic after Mama Alice in honor of her advocacy for rural health care, as well as her long service on the HOCAP Board and consistent fundraising for its programs. Mama Alice had been a certified mid-wife and was a passionate advocate at the national level for improved maternal health care – a major request residents of Nyitawuta made when they urged HOCAP to build a health care facility. An earlier blog on the work of HOCAP and the groundbreaking of the clinic project can be viewed here: Ghana partner breaks ground on new medical clinic.
Construction of the Mama Alice Clinic began in May 2021 and has involved four phases before work begins on the interior of the building: the foundation, erection of the building, wood work, and roofing. Phase 4 – roofing the building – was completed just before the February 20th deadline. Enthusiasm for a clinic within the community can be seen in the October 2021 Westminster fundraising video: 2021 African Family Night in Your Own Home Throughout construction, the building contractor has worked closely with the community which has strongly supported the project with communal labor.
Barbara Asempa has described how the community has been galvanized
“The youth of the community were very helpful; they carried materials to the actual site of the clinic from where they were dropped off. Drivers were unwilling to take materials to the actual site to avoid their vehicles getting into problems due to the nature of the road. …Immediately after materials arrived in the community, men were recruited to start molding the blocks. Local workers from around the community who knew how to mold blocks were engaged and together with support from the community over 2,000 blocks were molded. The contractor had on board four permanent workers who began the mason works of laying of the blocks once molding was completed.” Carpenters were also hired from the local communities. “The leader of the carpentry team was a member of the community whom we had supported financially to have an eye surgery and he was happy he could be able to work to support the project.”
A nurse is added to manage the clinic
In late 2021, a decision was made to add an apartment to provide housing for a nurse who will stay in this isolated community and manage the clinic. The one-bedroom apartment addition increased the overall cost of the clinic by $13,000 to an estimated $33,000. Barbara mentioned her surprise when farmers raised money for the health clinic through the sale of maize and brought the money to her to help offset the higher costs. “The community members are very happy and are looking forward to having this clinic completed to help the entire community and its environs with a medical facility. We are grateful to WPC for all your support.” As of late January 2022, donations to WPC for African Mission have been used to send $7,850 to HOCAP for the construction of the Mama Alice Clinic.
HOCAP is working with a consultant to document the work in Nyitawuta to introduce sustainable programs to promote development, and will make the completed descriptions available to those who are interested. Barbara Asempa predicts that HOCAP will be working in Nyitawuta another year or two before it moves to another community, but will return for special projects. The Government of Ghana will help to hire a nurse-manager for the Mama Alice Clinic, and fund the operation of the clinic as well as provide rotating specialists. The Government provides similar services to health clinics in other small communities.
Donations are gratefully accepted
For those who wish to make donations to support the work of this and other African Mission programs in Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, please make checks payable to: Westminster Church, 85 Chestnut St, Albany, NY 12210 and note in the Memo Line “African Mission.” You may also give online by going to our website (wpcalbany.org/give) and selecting “African Mission” in the pull-down menu.
Author: African Mission Committee, Westminster Presbyterian Church