Djamde Village Chief Reflects on Clinic Renovations
On the 30/30 Project’s Recent Trip to Togo, West Africa, our staff met with the Djamde Village Chief, Essima Epiphane Adom. The 30/30 Project staff was able to find out more about his role in the community, as well as ask Chief Adom how Construction for Change’s clinic renovations have impacted the community.On election day in the Djamde Village, village members line up behind the candidate that they want to win. Whichever candidate has the longest line wins. After the previous village chief dies, elections for a new chief are held. Essima Epiphane Adom has been chief of his village for two years, and will remain chief until he dies.As chief, Adom wants to be remembered for helping the community evolve. He is concerned about deforestation in the country, and hopes to be remembered as “the chief who brought back the trees.”When asked how the clinic renovations have changed things, Adom listed six main changes:
Women no longer give birth at home. They are no longer taking the risk of a home birth because healthcare is FREE.
The clinic is CLEAN. If you visit a dirty house, you never want to go back. It’s the same with a health clinic. Before, people didn’t want to go because it was dirty.
The FANS are a significant addition. They are a form of treatment. If you are sick, the cool air of the fan helps you feel better.
Women can gather in the outdoor GAZEBO to do education. It’s much less hot than the inside of a building, and there is fresh air. It’s a large, comfortable space.
The renovations brought clean WATER. At the clinic, you can get clean water even in the dry season.
With the AMBULANCE, we can now transfer immobile patients from 10 kilometers away who otherwise would be unable to pay for transport to the clinic, and therefore not receive healthcare.
Chief Adom stated in summary, “Even those who are blind and deaf can feel the change in the community.”Chief Adom also noted that he is pleased with the Community Health Worker program implemented by our partner, Hope Through Health. He explained that the program treats patients who otherwise would not be treated because they don’t recognize health issues. Chief Adom recognizes the importance of the family planning program promoted by the the community health workers.Chief Adom was not the first person in his family to be chief. His dad was village chief in 1924. When asked what his father would say if he saw the new clinic, Chief Adom stated that his father would be extremely happy. He explained that no one wanted to go to a clinic that lacked electricity, water, medicine, or medical staff. After the renovations, all of that changed. His community is receiving life-saving healthcare. Chief Adom added, “In this culture, the departed don’t leave, so my father is thanking you right now.”