The Green Clinic – Objectives & Strategy
Jan. 2017 | A summary for the Green Clinic plan is presented below.
The project objectives in overview
- To build a CHPS-center in Atsiekpoe following the building standards set by the government in 2016.
- To develop and enroll health educational program based on the health topics expressed by the community with a private partner as soon as possible.
- To collaborate with the Ghanaian rural housing department and equip a team of laborers from Atsiekpoe with knowledge and skills on how to build with land rite ‘interlocking bricks’.
- To establish and manage the clinic in such a manner that it meet the standards set by environmental protection agency to become a ‘climate-smart’ facility.
- To deliver primary health care services through the GHS and other service providers to the inhabitants of nine communities.
The primary objective of the Green Clinic is to improve the health status of the local population of Atsiekpoe and surrounding villages through easy access to adequate primary health care services:
- Maternal and child health care including family planning.
- Immunization against major infectious diseases.
- Prevention and control of local endemic diseases.
- Appropriate treatment of common diseases and injuries.
- Provision of essential drugs.
The second objective is to provide health education for the region:
- Education concerning prevailing health problems and the method of preventing and controlling them.
- Promotion of food supply and proper nutrition.
The third objective is to diminish sanitation problems by sustainable solutions:
- Adequate supply of safe water and basic sanitation.
- Promotion of environmental friendly solutions to health and sanitation problems.
The direct beneficiaries of this project are the estimated 3200 people of Vome Electoral Area who are living in the catchment area of the clinic. The people of the village of Atsiekpoe benefit even more as they have put the effort in bringing this project to their community.
Apart from the health services delivered by the CHPS-centre (Community-Based Health Planning and Services), they partner with Stepping Stones for Africa and Jolinaiko Eco Tours to attract other partners in health to tackle other health concerns that are outside the mandate of the GHS.
Furthermore, they benefit in many other ways. The construction itself offers economic activities where skilled and unskilled laborers are needed. The interlocking brick system will bring a new construction method to the community, and this will create new economic activity for the future as it’s a perfect alternative for the conventional way of building. Other benefits are training and employment of community members as health personnel but also in the field of security and maintenance of the facility. The clinic is most likely going to be a start-off of many other projects in the future adding additional benefit to the people of Atsiekpoe and the electoral area at large.
There are different options for constructing this facility. A private constructor and a building engineer affiliated with the district will be involved to attract the required expertise to meet building standards. However, it’s an opportunity for construction workers in the community to upgrade their skills. Our strong intention is to use the innovative building method; ‘the interlocking bricks system’.
The goal is to create a small facility in Atsiekpoe where this innovative kind of environmental friendly bricks will be created. Special brick moulds and training for the local workers will come available through this separate project. This brick-creating facility will in the first place provide the Green Clinic with bricks for its walls. However, when the hospital is ready, the villagers can continue using this facility as an economic activity, at the same time contributing to sustainable building in this remote region.
The environmental friendly nature of this building method is in line with our objective to establish a ‘climate-smart’ facility. The advantages of this building method in bullet points:
- It requires less cement (for block making, laying and plastering) and other building materials (like irons rods and beams).
- These bricks regulate temperature, keeping the inside cool and thus reducing the need of energy to run a fan or AC.
- Buildings constructed of these bricks are earthquake proof.
- Implementing these bricks brings development of new skills to the community and possible job opportunities in the future.
This method is emerging in Ghana and offered by private construction companies as well as by the Department of Rural Housing. The desired strategy is collaborating with the Department of Rural Housing. They encourage this method for community development projects. Furthermore, partnering with the government also ensures that the project is well embedded and responsibilities are shared between the community and its partners, and the local governmental institutions.
The Atsiekpoe Action Group for Development visited a couple of companies in Accra to select a partner for the establishment of a toilet-facility at the compound of the Green Clinic.
Right now, we are investigating if biogas providing toilet facilities are an option. We spoke with a new company that invented lasting affordable solutions to building a hygienic toilet facility with any number of seating capacity. This toilet facility is constructed by digging a 3 foot rectangular hole and a digester built in it before the structure and toilet seater is fixed on it. A hand washing facility is fixed and connected to the toilet seater of which the water that is used to wash hands is used to flash the faecal matter. Only small quantities of water are needed to do the flushing. It is an odorless toilet facility. The digester usually processes the faecal matter and it becomes manure for crop production. The toilet seater facility is divided into three categories and prices; the modern system based on a ceramic pot is appropriate for the Clinic.
The advantages of biogas providing toilet facilities compared to a normal sanitation facility:
- Maintenance and dislodging is simple and affordable.
- Cost depends on the type of building, and it’s possible to make it as affordable as possible.
- The system is hygienic and odorless.
- The system has been developed for deprived rural areas and only a little water is needed.
On the downside, using biogas providing toilet facilities from human faecal material could be controversial. The relationship with a clinic and possible diseases people carry could make it even more disputable.
Concluding: this item to be sorted out further.
A climate-smart Clinic
The African Environmental Experts Network (AEEN) will play an advisory role on how to meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and become a true ‘climate-smart’ facility. We are in contact with Hobson Agyapong, who is an environmental expert working for the EPA and who initiated the AEEN.
Tree-planting forms a significant aspect of the entire concept, where trees will be used to shade the building, to provide revitalizing resting places and compensate the CO2 emulsion. AEEN has already promised to take responsibility of tree planting and training and monitoring of the community members who will be in charge of maintaining the garden in the long-term.
Besides the eco-friendly building method and the tree-planting, the clinic will use renewable energy sources for its operations, like solar power and compost- or biogas toilets.
The main body responsible for management and service delivery once the building is established is the GHS. They have developed the CHPS-compound management strategy to run the facility. This strategy also emphasizes ownership of the concept by the community, and community members are part of the Community Health Management Committee (CHMC). The important ‘boots on the ground’ are Community Health Workers (CHW) who are long-serving trainable volunteers recruited at community level and they will assist a professional Community Health Nurse of Midwife (CHO).
The added value of this facility is that provision has been made in the clinic for an extra consultation room for other (private) partners in health to integrate and enroll their health educational and disease prevention programs. For example, these organizations are Marie Stoop Foundation, International Health Care Centre and West Africa AIDS Foundations (WAAF+). The University of Legon and the department of physiotherapy also showed interest following the frequent mentioning of joint and muscle pains in the community health survey.
However the actual service delivery is the follow-up once this project has been completed. We have the assurance that the GHS takes responsibility of the service delivery and SSFA and partners will make sure that value is added but fueling partnerships between other health care providers, CHMC and the GHS.
A project management team is going to be installed to supervise, monitor and evaluate the project. Representatives of all the stakeholders will be part of this team, or will be involved as advisors and assisted during specific phases in the project.
The management team consist of the following representatives:
- Stepping Stones for Africa – 2 representatives
- Jolinaiko Eco Tours – 1 representative form
- Atsiekpoe Community – 3 representatives
- District Engineers from the district Assembly
- Representative of the Health Directorate – GHS
- African Environmental Experts Network (AEEN)
- SAMALEX Systems
- Naa Ashilye
The scheme below shows the steps to be undertaken and the funds needed to finance these steps. (Click to enlarge)
Please visit our fundraising pages!
The foundation of the building has been laid out, so now we need the funds to build walls and a roof! We currently have 2 fundraising pages:
Visit our fundraising page on Causevox to help us raise the funds to build the walls and roof of the clinic.
We have a second fundraising page on 1%Club (in Dutch), for raising funds for a brick making facility, to enable the villagers to make the bricks needed for the clinic and add a permanent economic activity to their community.