We finally made it to Ho! We met the rest of our team (Sarah and Colleen) at the airport, and Joseph picked us up from there like planned. We didn't get to Joseph's (our host and director of the HOPE Center) house until pretty late, close to 1:00 am. We were all very exhausted.
We got up this morning and visited the HOPE Center for the first time. Its even more impressive than I thought! We met all of the staff of the Center, including Margaret Asante, the head nurse at the clinic. She is easily one of the most impressive people I have ever met and she is a powerful advocate for the community and for the HOPE Center. I know that she is going to be essential force for the success of the HOPE Center.
We talked briefly about our project plans, what each of us will be working on, and how the daily flow of the clinic works. It sounds like the EMR software will actually be a big help to the Center, as one of their biggest problems right now is data management for patients and local community members. I think that the EMR software could be a really great way for the staff to simply and easily keep track of the patients that they see. Also, the computer that runs at the clinic uses Microsoft XP, so that should make the install much easier.
After meeting with all of the Center staff, Margaret drove us to meet briefly with Dr. Eliza, the Regional Director of the Ghana Health Services (GHS). The GHS has partnered with us by providing all of the nurses for the Center. Dr. Eliza is another very important and impressive person, and his support and partnership will be essential for the success of the Center. We talked briefly to Dr. Eliza, made introductions, and made plans to meet a bit later in our trip.
The rest of the day has been spent with our friend Rachel Berkowitz who has been doing research in Ho for most of the summer. She showed us where we could buy a couple of things that we needed, we went to the bank, got some food, and finally made our way to this internet cafe.
Its been a blast so far, unlike anything I have ever experienced. I am blown away by the HOPE Center and I am very excited about its future. The people supporting the Center are so qualified and dedicated to its mission. It will continue to grow and improve the health of the community for a long time to come.