Over the years, the people of Kyeradeso have collectively walked hundreds of miles to other villages to get basic health care, but now they can finally give their feet and seek treatment at their very own community health center.  On December 13, 2019, Kyeradeso basked in excitement as it handed over the keys to their clinic to the Nkoranza South Municipal Health Directorate.  Through a community mobilization process facilitated by Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA), they themselves chose and built this precious piece of infrastructure as part of their anti-mining vision for the future.

The decision by the people of Kyeradeso to construct the health center forms part of their vision to improve community health status by ensuring access to health facilities, decreasing infant mortality, and increasing malaria treatment for children.  This vision arose from a 3-year Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP), a community-driven development activity that directs the communities to define their own development trajectory to keep the community safe from threats by mining companies.  ACA supported this activity by facilitating regular community meetings and providing a 9,000 USD micro-grant.  By combining the skills taught by the facilitators, ACA’s investment, and the community’s own contribution, the people of Kyeradeso were able to build their own health center, waiting for external contractors, NGOs, or government actors to lavish resources on them.

Kyeradeso’s health compound has an in-patient ward, store, dispensary, delivery room, consulting room, a room for a night nurse, an out-patient department, and sanitary facilities. The facility will provide basic health care services, including malaria treatment, maternal health and delivery, family planning, and first aid for Kyeradeso and five additional communities with a total population of about 5,800.

“Now that we have built this clinic, we are thrilled that the Municipal Health Directorate has pledged to bring staff and supplies so that it is operational by February 2020,” says Michael Donkor, a Kyeradeso resident and FCAP leader.  ACA’s Community Programs Director, Nana Ama Osei Kyei-Baffour, agrees: “The government’s commitment ensures that the clinic will be sustainable and won’t be abandoned like so many other white elephant development projects.”  The community will also provide temporary accommodation to the nurses who will soon be posted to work in the health center.

In his speech during the dedication ceremony, Nkoranza South Municipal Health Director Dr. Damien Pungeyire expressed his happiness to that the community took the initiative to build its own clinic, although he also noted that it should have been the responsibility of government.  Dr. Pungeyire also reiterated that government will fully furnish the health center with all the necessary resources to keep the place working efficiently and effectively.