I am a new member to the rural nursing group. I am not sure if this is the correct forum for my entry (let me know), since I am hoping to work with ICN to develop best approaches toward supporting, educating and uniting with nurses and health care workers in remote areas where there are very limited resources. I recently returned from a remote area in the Eastern region of Ghana, where families rarely seek health care. Unfortunately, they have difficulty trusting the health care they receive through the national health insurance since they realize the care they receive would be substandard. For the most part, they are correct in that quality care and availability of equipment, supplies, and resources are unequally dispersed. The families I have worked with often seek care from traditional healers. If medical care is needed, they often seek care too late. Some hire private health care providers, who may not provide the best care, since the quality provided is directly related to how much a family will pay for the services.
As a pediatric nurse practitioner, working in the Boston area (Children's Hospital and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates), the care available for families lacks so many of the basic needs within a health care setting. There is a health care center a couple miles away from the community I am working with, namely Akaa (see theakaaproject.org).
I could envision this as a model clinic whereby nursing students,faculty and any nurses and nurse practitioners interested in global health could unite to construct a well managed and community focused center where there is a focus on the health care dilemmas of those living in poverty, while also addressing everyone's right to health care. However, in doing so, there would also be a great need to improve the level and quality of care at the regional government tertiary hospital. The ministry of health and the medical director of the hospital are very interested in working with global forces. My major focus however, would be to build nursing strength and leadership, essential to advancing the health care in the region.
Although this effort is in its early stages, I would look forward to any advice, guidance, and collaboration by nurses interested in this effort.
Looking forward to participating in this forum. I have some photos by not sure if they can be posted here.
Mary Grimanis, PNP-BC, IBCLC
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Coordinator of Health Care for the Akaa Project in Ghana (working toward ways to improve health care in the region).