The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated a 25-seater medical boat to the Ghana Health Service to increase access to health facilities by island communities on the Volta Lake.
The boat will serve 141 hard to reach island communities in Kpando, Krachi West and Biakoye Districts, with life saving services, including transportation to referral centres.
The facility, funded by the United States Government, will also deliver essential health commodities, support immunization campaigns, and provide disaster relief on the islands.
Madam Sharon Cromer, USAID Ghana Mission Director, in a press release copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), urged beneficiary communities to be active participants in health services by helping maintain the boat and other facilities at the Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds.
“Ultimately, the success of CHPS is rooted in community ownership and self-reliance. It is the responsibility of every citizen to be engaged in CHPS services. This includes the upkeep of the boat and the maintenance of the CHPS compound where you access care," the statement said.
The donation was received by senior staff of the GHS, Chiefs and community members from districts along the lake.
The boat, designed by the USAID and the GHS, was locally manufactured with a structural design that made it highly adaptable to conditions on the lake.
The pontoon boat is the first of its kind in Ghana, equipped with comfortable seating, two washrooms, medical supplies, communication equipment as well as safety features such as navigation lights and life jackets.
It is expected to serve as a blueprint for the manufacture of future medical boats in the country.
USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty, and enable resilient democratic societies to realize their potential.
USAID has supported Ghana in increasing food security, improving basic health care, enhancing access to quality basic education, and strengthening local governance.
It supports primary health care service delivery in the country, including maternal and child health services through the Community-based Health and Planning Services.