Partner Blog Post: Reflections from Ghana

December 30, 2015

In November 2015, members from LDS Charities and Kiwanis International visited Ghana to observe UNICEF's work in sustaining elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus. Jamie Glenn, Manager of the Immunizations Major Initiative for LDS Charities, reflects upon what she saw during her visit.

I don’t know what I really expected from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF field visit to Ghana, but whatever those expectations were, they were exceeded!  For me, the visit was all about the people – people whose lives are very different than mine, but who feel like brothers and sisters to me. 

Here are the things I will remember about my brothers and sisters in Ghana –

·         No matter where you go or what country you are in, whether here in the U.S. or in Ghana, mothers love their children and want to do whatever it takes to ensure they are healthy and thriving.

Jamie of LDS Charities in Ghana

·         The Ghana Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Initiative we visited with their associated community health volunteer committees showed me that the people care for each other and are helping each other – Helping people help themselves is alive and well!

·         Children are children in Northern Ghana – They love, they need love, they are happy, they play, they are grateful, they teach grown-ups about what matters most, and they deserve a good future.

·         Medically trained people in Northern Ghana take pride in what they do (as they should) and are all about helping their brothers and sisters have a healthy and good life.

Margaret Pesewu gives expecting mother Hamdia (age 22) her TD vaccine at Savelugu Municipal Hospital

·         The people involved with UNICEF and the Ghana Health Services coordinate beautifully to empower people to help themselves.

·         The Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination program works! That effort and the follow-up effort to ensure tetanus vaccines are part of routine immunizations for mothers has saved millions of lives, and will continue to do so!

·         The U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Kiwanis International are organizations that focus on improving the lives of children and their families!  It is a pleasure to be associated with both! 

 

--Jamie Glenn, Manager of the Immunizations Major Initiative for LDS Charities