Having access to clean water is a catalyst for opportunity and freedom. We in the US often take this blessing for granted. It is just always there. When we get up in the morning, we turn on the faucet and water flows. When we cook, we again turn on the faucet and water flows. The access we have to clean water provides us a means to be healthier so we can attend school, go to work, and provide for our families.
Growing up, many children ask ‘why?’ It’s a phrase that can wear out any parent, but it’s a question we often ask here at Ghana West Africa Missions (GWAM), too. Why do almost one in three schools in Ghana not have clean water? Why do even fewer have decent toilets? Why are millions of children and teachers around the world exposed to deadly diseases caused by drinking dirty water and going to the toilet in the open? One of the ways we help answer why is by partnering with Ghana Health Service (GHS) to conduct Mobile Village Community Health Clinics.
The focus of the clinics is to assess weight, blood pressure, temperature, blood glucose testing, rapid malaria testing, visual acuity, ophthalmology assessment, general practitioner assessment, medication prescription, and medication dispensing. Malaria testing was completed for those who met the criteria. Of those tested 12% were positive and were treated for malaria. Clean water in these communities coupled with medical clinics provides a more rounded approach to community impact.
With clean water close to home and at school, children have more time to study. They can stay healthy and hydrated, able to focus in class. With decent toilets, girls have a private place to go, keeping them in school. And with good hygiene, like handwashing with soap, children can help their families and friends avoid diseases too. Change is needed, and we all, by working together, can make it happen. Let’s keep asking ‘why?’ so that students everywhere, and teachers across the globe, can reach their full potential.