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Dr Nana NGO Gives Balungu New Maternity Centre

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A UK-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Dr Nana, has handed over to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), a new community maternity centre at Balungu, in the Upper East region.

The facility which cost GH¢240,000 happens to be the first health centre built with the Nubian Vault method―an ancestral construction technique, originating in Upper Egypt, using only raw earth bricks and earth mortars.

In a statement released by the organisation, the project would have cost more if conventional methods had been used.

“The maternity centre is designed to help women have healthy babies in safety and comfort. It contains rooms for waiting, consulting, labour, delivery, recovery and emergencies, providing comprehensive antenatal, delivery and postnatal care,” the statement revealed.

According to the NGO, the centre was built entirely of mud bricks using local materials, which is then plastered and sealed to be fully weather-proof.

Dr Nana Gruer Maternity Centre

This they said minimised the use of timber, metal and cement making it much cheaper but very durable and environmentally friendly.

“Its cool, quiet interior will make it popular with mothers and staff alike,” the statement read.

The centre took exactly six months to complete, providing employment for local masons, labourers, artisans and traders.

The masons participated in a training programme as they worked, under the supervision of the Nubian Vaults Association, an NGO based in Bolgatanga.

When fully trained artisans would be able to lead their own projects using the Nubian Vault method.

Meanwhile, CEO of Dr Nana, Prof Laurence Gruer has indicated that the NGO and the work it does is in memory of his Ghanaian wife Dr Nana Efua Mensiwa Ackom-Mensah who passed away in 2013.

“Nana was very passionate about the health of people in Ghana and always wanted to undertake activities to help improve health delivery here. I hope this will be the first of many similar projects,” he said.

The Regional Coordinating Director, Chief Alhaji Mahamoudu Asonko, said “The project has the Regional Minister’s blessing. I also strongly endorse the Nubian Vault method as suitable for constructing community health facilities and other public and private buildings in the Upper East Region.”

Dr Nana was supported by Peal Deng (a local NGO), the Nubian Vault Association and the Balungu Community, in collaboration with the GHS.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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