About Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic
Since November 2007, the Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic has delivered professional psychiatric services and surgical treatments to over 32,000 children and adults in the Ashanti region of Ghana, with indirect beneficiaries about 3,000 annually in addition.
Welcome To The Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic
Ghana is a rapidly developing country with more than 30 million inhabitants. Yet people who live in rural areas – over half the population – have limited if any access to medical care.
Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic (GNMC) was the brainchild – and remains the passion – of two medical doctors, Dr. Ori Shwarzman and Dr. Britta Budde-Schwartzman. Since its inception, they have volunteered their time and expertise through ongoing visits to Ghana.
Through these visits, the relationships they have built, and especially with the establishment of a talented local staff, GNMC has a record of extraordinary achievement.
The Mobile Clinic initially focused on taking specialist medical services to the doorstop of people living in Ghana’s periphery. Based on the Mobile Clinic’s success, additional equally life-changing medical projects evolved. Each is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for Ghana’s people. As a democratic and politically stable country, this international collaboration has been welcomed and pursued by local authorities and agencies.
Currently, Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic provides the following services
- The actual Mobile Clinic makes its daily trips to one of the ten health outposts, serving as a key medical service in an otherwise underserved region of over 830,000 people. It treats almost 4,000 people yearly, including 350 pediatric operations in a typical year.
- Manages the GNMC Pediatric Surgery and Psychiatry Teaching Unit in St. Patrick’s missionary hospital.
- Supports the operations and trains the staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Patrick’s Hospital.
- Supports the operations and trains the staff of the Pediatric Surgery Referral Center at the HopeXchange Missionary Hospital near Kumasi.
- Maintains the Family Support Fund so that children of families without means can still access necessary pediatric surgery.
By 2025, GNMC intends to train every doctor and nurse in the Ashanti region to treat and operate on babies and children with surgical conditions, and to manage psychiatric patients
- We envisage a society where no child or infant will suffer and die from curable surgical conditions, and where no child or adult with a mental disorder is left untreated or stigmatized and isolated from society.
- We start from the premise that healthcare is a basic human right in any community. Our work is based on the belief that medical services in Ghana need to be mobile and flexible so they can reach the entire population and serve the rich variety of cultures. Every activity should be maximally integrated with the established medical infrastructure.
- We want a future, where pediatric surgery and psychiatry – among the most undeveloped medical practices in Ghana – are brought up to a high-level, effective standard.
- We foresee a healthcare service, staffed by professionally trained care providers, where the ‘diseases of poverty’, including malnutrition and stigmatization, are eradicated.
‘Gye Nyame’ means ‘I don’t fear anybody but God’. We stand with and for the most vulnerable in the community, strengthening local agencies to help these people gain the respect and healthy lives they deserve. In the areas where we work, we help people to help themselves. We strive to:
- Give sick children the chance to realize their potential by restoring them to balanced health.
- Ensure that every psychiatric patient has the most fitting treatment for his/her condition so s/he can lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.
- Significantly reduce mortality and morbidity from treatable diseases in the under-five age range.
- Allow our patients to escape their isolation by involving family and community members in their treatment and aftercare.
- Close the gap between the vulnerable and the poor in the community and the rest of society.
The Key Developments of Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic Through The Years Include
Ori and Britta worked voluntarily for two years as general practitioners in the Ghanaian rain forests from 1999-2001. Those experiences gave birth to the idea and drive for GNMC
Ori and Britta arrived again in Ghana in 2007, this time with three young children. They all lived in a small village in the forest without running water or electricity till 2012. In every way, these pioneering medics became part of their local community in Ghana
Landing in mid-August 2007, Ori and Britta immediately met with staff of St Patrick’s Hospital in Maase-Offinso. By November 2007, having bought medication and instruments and borrowed a jeep, they went for the first time on an outreach trip with a local team of four. GNMC was born, as was the partnership with St Patrick’s Hospital
From that very first trip in 2007 till today, Ori and Britta have taken every single field trip together with their – growing – local team. Since then, they have completed approximately 1,300 field visits to communities in villages and forest areas
The scope of GNMC activity has grown tremendously as more and more health posts partnered with GNMC and the staff grew. In 2008 GNMC treated 2,041 patients, and by 2019 that number was 3,645. In 2008, GNMC undertook field visits twice a week, and by 2019 that number was four to five field visits a week during which home visits are also undertaken
In 2011, the GNMC Pediatric Surgery and Psychiatry Teaching Unit started to provide Mobile Clinic staff with Continuous Medical Education (CME).The Unit has trained over 250 medical personnel over the years
In 2012 when Ori and Britta relocated back to Israel, GNMC was stable and resilient – and transitioned successfully to be a two-continent operation. Ori and Britta have both returned to Ghana every two months since then to supervise the Mobile Clinic, perform surgical operations, run seminars and workshops, and to renew medicines and equipment
In 2011, GNMC founded a Family Support Fund so that families without means can still access medical care for their loved ones. In addition to operating on the children without charge, GNMC uses this fund to the hospital for admission fee, daily hospital stays and medications
By 2012, the Mobile Clinic had evolved into its current form whereby a diverse team of trained medical staff make day-long visits to one of health posts with a fully supplied vehicle. They directly serve a population of over 830,000 people. The Mobile Clinic goes on outreach 4-5 times a week, scheduled but adapted to the health post’s needs
In 2014, GNMC provided supervision and technical assistance for the opening of a neonatal unit at Saint Patrick’s Missionary Hospital. Such units are normally only found at a university or large district hospital, not at rural hospitals. When GNMC later assisted St Patrick’s to turn this into a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), it was the first such unit in a missionary hospital in all of West Africa. This unit cares for newborns with problems after delivery as well as for babies born prematurely. To date it has provided care for 1,200 such babies
In 2016, a new Missionary Hospital – HopeXchange – opened near Kumasi. With the active support of Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic it has become the second biggest Pediatric Surgery Referral Center in the Ashanti Region (after the University Hospital Komfo Anokye). The Hospital enables complicated baby and children’s operations and is aiming to become a Teaching Center that trains doctors and nurses in diagnosis and treatment of pediatric surgery conditions
In 2017, a Global Advisory Network was established to provide virtual access to medical resources and global professionals in a range of medical disciplines. The network provides exceptional assistance when the GNMC team is treating children with complicated malformations, adults with multiple diseases or seemingly intractable situations. The network typically assists with about 10 cases a year, ones that otherwise would go completely untreated
In 2019, the local staff of our Mobile Clinic reached its full complement of 26 staff members