Following is an update article on the work of Medicine on the Move with the Zenith STOL in western Africa. We've been proud to support Jonathan Porter and his amazing team in Africa, and I hope some of you take an interest in this innovative organization that's "changing lives one flight at the time."
Their educational "bag drops" (pictured below) allow them to disseminate potentially life-saving health information to remote communities that are unreachable by other means. You can sponsor a drop starting at $50.
Ghana, Africa - Dropping articles from an aircraft is a special privilege, granted to few outside of government forces of any country. Medicine on the Move, in collaboration with WAASPS, is perhaps the latest organisation to gain such an approval and put it to work.
After two years of experimenting with innovative, low cost, repeatable and safe delivery methods, they were granted permission to commence a health education campaign by air in Ghana. Using the Rotax powered Zenith STOL CH 701 the Ghanaian team, who also build and maintain the aircraft, set out to take health education solutions to some of the more challenging locations in the West African bush.
Part of the drop program includes inviting the infra-structurally isolated communities to attend specific special training sessions on health matters... The first such meeting, completely set up by aerial supply contact methods, took place recently in Asesewa in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The community health representatives, accompanied by their Queen Mothers, gripped their community specific packages in their hands. All wanted to meet the pilot/engineer who they had waved to as they passed over the school field, dropping 'health education and encouragement' to their community, personally. Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi spoke to them, encouraging them and answering their questions... The people beamed and told all how the aircraft had inspired their people and that they now want their children to learn more so that they can be pilots like Patricia too.... such encouragement cannot be measured, it can only be felt in your heart.
Later, the Health Session, led by Michaela Hayes (who grew up in Ghana), was assisted by three student pilots from rural Ghana (Lydia, Emmanuella and Juliet) with a SODIS (SOlar DISinfection of water) demonstration. Water and Sanitation are massive issues - but without communication, training and ongoing encouragement, many of these communities are finding hard to obtain socio-economic growth and sustainability.