Brigaders from Birmingham University recently participated in a Medical Brigade in the community of Ekotsi, Ghana where they were able to do a day of Public Health projects on the last day of the Brigade. Based on what the group had seen in the community on the previous 4 days of Medical Brigades, the group decided to focus on 4 issues: clean water, malaria, the proper intake of medicine (specifically antibiotics & malaria medication), and physical therapy
Focusing on clean water, the Brigade promoted the Life Straw (a filtration unit device that can be used for the whole family). After the Brigade presented the product, many families decided to buy the Life Straws for a price of 12 Ghana CD (Global Brigades sold the Life Straws for a cheaper price than purchased. The idea of the members buying the straws is so that they are personally invested in the use and up-keep of the straws). At the end of the day the Brigade decided to go door to door and makes sure that the families that bought Life Straws knew how to install them and use them properly. The Brigade also went door to door in Ekotsi to make sure that people seen on Medical Brigades still had their medicine and that they were taking them properly.
Brigaders gave Charlas (educational talks) to the community, and the students put on skits about malaria prevention and taking medicine properly. The group also used community members to show physical therapy exercises, and they personally drank dirty river water with the Life Straws to demonstrate to the community how effective the straws are at making contaminated water safe to consume. The community responded very well and the students got to bond with the people of Ekotsi. The day was a huge success and Global Brigades Ghana is looking to incorporate a day of Public Health on future Medical Brigades.