Queen of Sheba Health Services focuses on four areas:
- Medical care
- Medical training
Here you can find out more about our activities in each of these areas.
At the moment, we are working hard to prepare the build of the Queen of Sheba Medical Center. It will be located just outside of Gushegu city. In this center we will provide midwifery and obstetric care to pregnant women and offer basic medical care to the local community. This includes performing ultrasound scans during pregnancy and essential laboratory tests.
We believe it is important to offer good quality healthcare, while at the same time ensuring that our services are accessible and affordable to the people of Gushegu. We also value respectful interaction with our patients, with an eye on the local culture and customs.
A key principle for the design of our clinic is to offer pregnant women privacy, and provide an allocated space for husbands and family members. To be able to guarantee privacy, Queen of Sheba Medical Center will have one-person delivery rooms where women can stay all the way through childbirth together with the person supporting them – a sister (in-law), a traditional midwife, or the husband. In Northern Ghana it is not generally accepted for men to attend childbirth so there will be a family room where the spouse and other family members can congregate.
Last year, we acquired a plot of land to house the clinic. Currently, we are finalizing the architectural details for the building and have also begun a fundraising campaign. Hopefully, we can soon start the on-site building works.
To improve the health of mother and child, it is important that people learn about normal and abnormal symptoms with regard to pregnancy and childbirth. What is the use of check-ups during pregnancy? How to prepare for childbirth? When should pregnant women see a doctor or go to hospital? How to recognize warning signs in newborn babies?
Over the past years, we have earned that it is not only important to educate women about pregnancy and childbirth. In Northern Ghana women need their husband’s permission to go to hospital, so it is of paramount importance to educate both parents, mother and father.
Our education program will also include the leaders of the community: village chiefs, traditional midwifes and medicine men, religious leaders, the elderly men and women heading families. They have a strong influence on the choices (expectant) parents make. Maintaining good relationships with community leaders is important to understand the local culture and customs, and their cooperation is key to ensure our education program will be accepted within the community and bear fruit.
In order to provide quality care, we need to train our medical personnel. Midwifery and obstetric care require both knowledge and practical skills. You simply cannot learn from books how to assist a woman in labor, how to suture a wound, or how to resuscitate a newborn baby.
Well-trained medical staff will improve the quality of care by training and instructing their colleagues. Hence why one of the Queen of Sheba’s focus areas is the practical training of midwifes, nurses and other medical staff – both in our own clinic and further afield.
Our vision is that skilled medical staff from abroad come to Gushegu to train our personnel. We are convinced that the benefits work both ways – working in Ghana allows them to get to know the local healthcare situation and culture. Coming from different backgrounds, there is always so much we can learn from each other!
Queen of Sheba Health Services was founded in response to the outcomes of medical-anthropological research performed by Gerben Boon over the past years. In order to decide on the best course of action, he realised the importance of getting a sound understanding of the local situation and customs regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
It is our aim to continue this research in collaboration with Ghanese healthcare professionals and international medical students. We would like to monitor the health of mother and child in and around Gushegu, identify traditions and practices that pose a threat to their health, and work out solutions in close communication with local leaders. We sincerely hope that such solutions will eventually be adopted more widely within the Ghanese healthcare system.