Serigu — The Sustainable Medical Missions (SMM), an international medical training and empowering organisation, based in the United States, has supported the Serigu communities in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, to build toilet facilities.
Performing the handover ceremony at a community durbar at Serigu on Friday, the President of the SMM, Dr Mark A Snyder, stated that the essence of the support was for SMM to complement the efforts of the Ghana government to end open defecation in the country.
Dr Snyder admonished the community members to patronise the latrines, and to wash their hands after visiting the facilities.
He explained that the mission of SMM was to train and support indigenous healthcare and faith leaders in underdeveloped communities to treat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and other endemic conditions affecting the poorest community members.
Dr Snyder said that the SMM with its vision as "the Kingdom of God expansion will occur as individuals and communities are set free from the bondage of neglected yet treatable diseases through the empowerment of healthcare leaders, equipped with the resources needed to carry out this work".
Dr Snyder, who is also internationally recognised innovator orthopedic surgeon, stated that the SMM has been working in many countries over the years, including Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, and Ukraine.
He said SMM activities included, education in holistic medical techniques, using best practices, provision of resources for treatment and prevention of re-infection.
Dr Snyder said: "SMM seeks development in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national healthcare leaders and institutions, as well as a network of local pastors and churches."
He indicated that "our mission is carried out through US-based clinical curriculum development and fundraising as well as programmatic execution and refinement by community healthcare leaders in developing nations".
He mentioned that the SMM sought to eliminate trachoma, onchocerciasis, leprosy, trypanosomiasis (HA), dracunculiasis, Buruli Ulcer and hookworm among other tropical diseases.
The Paramount Chief of the Serigu traditional area, Naba Atogumdeya Roland Akwara III, commended the SMM team for the support, and pledged to ensure that the toilet facilities were put into good use.
While appealing to the team for more support, the Paramount Chief also asked other development partners to come to the aid of the community, particularly in the areas of education, agriculture and health.
The Paramount Chief also thanked the community members for displaying communal spirit, by providing labour, and impressed upon them to continue with such good works to accelerate the development of the area.
The president of SMM was accompanied by the Executive Director, David Snyder, the West Africa Director, Reverend Samuel Boateng , the Africa Director, Reverend Emmanuel Ndolimana, and his wife, Carol Snyder.