After almost three years of non-utilisation, the Volo Samsung Digital Village in the North Tongu District in the Volta Region has been given a new lease of life following the start of a medical outreach programme at the facility.
The over US$800,000 solar powered facility fitted with modern medical equipment, which was constructed in 2015 by Samsung and UNESCO, will now be used for periodic medical outreach programmes instituted by the office of the North Tongu Member of Parliament in collaboration with key stakeholders in the district.
The first of such outreach programme took place over the weekend to operationalise the Digital Village, which was constructed to improve healthcare delivery in Volo and its environs.
The programme attracted a 38-member medical team that comprised specialist doctors and nurses from sister health facilities in and around the North Tongu District who joined personnel of the Volo Health Centre to provide a wide range of medical care to about 1000 residents.
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Services rendered by the team included general out-patient services, antenatal, obstetrics and gynaecology, optometric, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, among others.
The MP, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, told the Daily Graphic that the monthly outreach programme was introduced to keep the Digital Village active, following the inability of the Ghana Health Service to post specialists to run it.
He stated that “we have been able to put together this improvised programme where we will carry out monthly outreaches free of charge. At least we have raised enough resources to take care of the volunteer doctors and volunteer nurses and other medical staff who have agreed to form a partnership with us.”
He also indicated that a resident doctor who had oversight functions at the facility had been engaged but would be stationed at the St Anne’s Polyclinic at Tagadzi, a community close to Volo.
The Medical Director of St Anne’s Polyclinic and leader of the medical outreach team, Dr Momodou Cham, said the team was made of up of medical professionals and technicians from other facilities such as the Battor Catholic Hospital, Adidome Government Hospital and Comboni Hospital at Sogakope.
He said there was sustainability strategy in place to keep the facility operational in order to enhance access to quality healthcare within its catchment area.
Dr Cham added that the Digital Village had valuable equipment, such as digital dental X-ray and an audiology chamber which were rare in many hospitals but would be useful for the country’s healthcare delivery system.
“There is a lot of equipment at the Samsung Digital Village that would be useful to everybody who is into health. To have a digital dental X-ray here and functioning is a big deal, so is an audiology chamber to test for hearing at the ENT [Ear, Nose and Throat] unit,” he stated.
The Paramount Chief of Volo, Togbe Kwaku Abliza VI, who was elated about the reactivation of the digital village, called on the residents to make good use of the facility to improve their health status.
He commended the Member of Parliament for his dedication to the wellbeing of the people but appealed for the provision of a pavilion at the facility for patients and also for the extension of potable water to the area, which was dependent unwholesome water from the Volta Lake.