Jema Nyameakola Hospital
Ghana, West Africa
Completed in December 2017, Jema Nyameakola Hospital is located 37 miles from the nearest hospital in Enchi and 12 miles from Boinso, the nearest town with a vehicle which could carry patients to Enchi. Lacking even a clinic, residents of Jema were carried the 12 miles to Boisno where they could get a ride the remaining 25 miles to the hospital in Enchi. Before this hospital was built, many women died in labor, men died from work accidents, and scores of children died from simple illnesses like measles, malaria, and diarrhea.
Jema is a poor village, unable to afford the high cost of planning and building a hospital. Yet, with the help of the Franciscan Friars Conventual, led by Fr. Joseph Blay, OFM Conv., the residents of Jema committed to do whatever was necessary to bring healthcare to their village. Working in rotation, citizens of Jema performed all construction work that could be done without special skills or heavy equipment, such as digging foundation trenches, excavation for septic tanks, carrying sand and gravel, and mixing concrete to name but a few tasks. In addition to their manual labor, the villagers donated $10,500, just over 10% of the hospital’s total cost.