In January 2007, Private General Practice Services sponsored three people from the practice including Dr Julia Piper, Joanne Rhodes and David Piper to attend Ghana with the aim of setting up some charity work.

Julia and Jo with some loca lvillagers in Ghana
Julia and Jo with some local villagers in Ghana

The visit came at a time of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Ghana.  The practice visited a company called Blue Skies which was set up 10 years ago by Anthony Pile who had a great vision of building a factory in the bush in Ghana which would provide jobs for African people.  Whilst everybody said that this could not be done, in reality, one man’s vision is now a great success.  Blue Skies works with 135 farmers who grow fresh fruit which is purchased by the company and processed for export.  The company employees 1100 people and probably supplies provision for 10 Africans for every one body that is employed.  Many villagers are helped.

Local school
Local school children

During the trip, Dr Piper taught the nurses to do acupuncture, she and Jo helped to assess the issues with regard to infection control and she and David toured the factory to advise concerning musculoskeletal issues.  The practice will be supplying equipment for a new clinic which is being built and Dr Piper advised about the design of the clinic.  The aim of the company is to open the clinic out to villagers and family members of employees so that eventually this may supply 16,000 family members from nearby Nsawan rather than just the company employees.

The main health issues in Ghana relate to infection control.  People still die young of malaria, TB and AIDS.  The charity hopes to raise money to provide better sanitation and water supply and may help fund nursing provision for the expanded clinic.  More malaria, AIDS and other infection control issues need to be addressed.

Water from the well
Water from the well!

The charity has the aim of listening to communities to hear what their needs and requirements are.  It will work closely with African Indian Chiefs and with the Blue Skies organism which is so heavily impacted into the Ghanaian culture.  It is anticipated that the villagers will also contribute a proportion of funds towards their needs, in order to show motivation and to maintain their pride.

All donations should be made to the Foundation for Community Inspiration.  This is a charity which wants to see, feel, and touch the local people and apply its aid with intelligence.

Julia and friends!
Julia and friends!

Whilst the practice were in Ghana, the Carbon Footprint Soil Association’s issues with regard to organic produce raised its head to threaten the livelihoods of 75 villages in the bush.  Dr Piper subsequently wrote to Prince Charles and also to David Cameron to lobby for intelligent interpretation of Carbon Footprint issues in order to protect jobs for African people.

HRH the Duke of Kent meets Isaac