Edmund is a trained Registered Community Nurse in Ghana. Here he describes his experience working to provide access to health for the most hard to reach communities.
In Ghana, the Community Based Health Planning Services (CHPS) ensure access to healthcare for the most hard to reach communities. Trained Community Health Nurses carry out regular visits to communities to ensure that children are vaccinated, pregnant women are monitored and those suffering with ill-health are cared for. I became a Registered Community Health Nurse because I wanted to help people and prevent problems before they start, instead of waiting to treat people once they’re already sick.
As a trained registered community nurse and a district CHPS Coordinator, I provide and support health activities in over 200 communities (a population area of around 140,000 people), including hard to reach communities where accessibility is a major problem. Some communities can only be reached by motorbikes because there are no proper roads. I often have to walk long distances and cross rivers to ensure that everyone living in my population area receives the best possible health care services. The Kwahu Afram Plains South, one of the districts I am responsible for, is located at the basin of the Volta Lake where there are island communities which can only be reached by boats.
Sometimes it is very scary especially when I hear news of people drowning due to storms on the river but despite these challenges, my love for the communities, the smiles on their faces make it all worthwhile. I am passionate about saving lives, contributing to better health seeking behaviour and outcomes, and ultimately contributing to the achievement of universal health coverage.
Edmund Atweri Duodu is a trained Registered Community Nurse in Ghana, a World Health Organization Primary Health Care Young Leader, a District Community Based Health Planning Services Coordinator at Kwahu Afram Plains South of the Ghana Health Service, and the Executive Director of Divine Mother and Child Foundation.