04/03/2023 Travel Report 10, Ghana Trip

That was a really hard day today. At 3:30 a.m. the alarm clock rang. At 4:00 a.m. the driver came to take us first to Accra and then on to Ho. We were very happy that the driver actually arrived almost on time. What a drive, we needed for the outward journey more than 9 hours, but now we raced with up to 150km/h in less than 6 hours by the initially pitch-dark night to Accra. It's incredible how the driver knew almost all the potholes or artificially created obstacles on the entire route and was able to drive with such great foresight. He seemed to enjoy driving at night very much, because we drove through the first few hours without stopping. Much earlier than planned, we therefore arrived in the north of Accra for our first appointment, a visit to a hospital construction site. From the road, we informed the responsible site manager Kingsford Paa, for whom bringing the deadline forward was no problem. After a very warm welcome, Kingsford first gave us a detailed tour of the building. Our main focus was on possible IT cabling. We were asked if we would like to support Dr. Samuel Okae, the founder and driving force behind this hospital, in equipping this showcase project with state-of-the-art IT technology. As Samuel had already announced, it quickly became apparent that no conduits or even penetrations were provided for additional network cables. Kingsford assured us that this was not a problem and that breakthroughs or channels were still possible at almost every location. Suspended grid ceilings on all floors and designated server or IT rooms on each floor make this retrofit work actually seem realistic. The new hospital construction started 10 years ago. Today there is a partially completed house with 2 upper floors for almost 140 beds. It's obvious that this can become a very special house. It is spacious and flooded with light. Large double-glazed windows let plenty of light into the thoughtfully planned rooms. The operating area is also generously planned and meets all current German standards in terms of size. The concept of the facility aims to accommodate private patients and even VIP patients, in addition to Ghanaian patients who receive basic coverage through their insurance. Through this patient mix, the operator around Dr. Samuel Okae hopes to be able to offer the needy people in Ghana the best possible care in solidarity.

Interior view

Exterior view warehouse

The project is financed almost exclusively by donations. It is unbelievable what has been shipped to Ghana in countless containers in recent years. There are still at least 10 containers with furnishings from Germany on the site. Temporary storage facilities were set up in the premises, some of which had already been completed. Beds, mattresses, furnishings, medical equipment, the furnishing of an entire operating room - everything is already available. Striking is the high quality of the hospital's equipment. In addition to the large and bright rooms, the continuous design stands out, which seemed strangely familiar to us Germans. No wonder, even tiles, doors, windows, washbasins, etc. were brought from Germany and installed.

Beds / mattresses / warehouse interior

We got an interesting insight into the Ghanaian handicraft by the present craftsmen. It is unbelievable how and with what modest means, these experts work. Some come from more distant places - are on assembly, so to speak - and therefore spend the night at the construction site. Some of the rooms and offices intended for private patients were "requisitioned" for this purpose and equipped with the most necessary items. A mattress and a makeshift cabinet or table are enough.

Working and living on a Ghanaian construction site

Our enthusiasm for the craftsmanship of the workers present is great. However, a German occupational safety officer would have his hair stand on end at this construction site. One imagines painters, plasterers, drywallers or other tradesmen in shorts and T-shirts on meter-high, partly self-made scaffolding. Unthinkable for us - for Ghana this construction site is something very special, as Kingsford assured us again and again. You can find an interview with Kingsford about the hospital on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1zWW3JrtH5z93YMK3CybSw soon.

Worker on scaffold

Before we left the hospital construction site again, we treated Kingsford to lunch. During the meal we were able to learn more information about the construction, which is urgently needed for further activities on our part. Kingsford will also send us digital plans for the hospital so we can make an initial rough assessment. The important thing now is to find out from Samuel and his crew the exact requirements they have for this hospital's IT. After this enlightening visit, we continued our journey towards Ho at around 1:00 pm, where we finally arrived at around 5:00 pm. As soon as we arrived there, we went to our warehouse to give the driver equipment for the IT department of the Catholic University of Ghana in Sunyani. After we cleaned the stored servers, monitors, printers and other equipment from dust, we loaded the things together into the pickup truck. Now we were happy about the size of the vehicle because we could take so much equipment to Sunyani. It was not yet closing time. Jacob, our friend from our partner organization Grow Your Dream Foundation, came to discuss the program for Wednesday with us. We are excited to see what is in store for us. More about this in the next travel report 11.

Farewell with Kingsford