ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Nana Konadu-Asare was a senior at Marymount University when her uncle, living in a town outside of Accra, Ghana, slipped and fell. He was diagnosed with a concussion and sent home. He died a few days later at just 43-years-old.
“It really hit our family really hard,” Konadu-Asare said. “My mom and him were very close as well so my mom’s the baby and he’s like her protector.”
Konadu-Asare graduated in 2015 with a degree in health promotion. At the same time, she was learning about Ghana’s healthcare system. She learned that many deaths — like her uncle’s — were preventable and in 2016 her nonprofit was born.
“Although Ghana is far this is something personal to me. It’s something that’s a passion for me and I believe that when you have passion and you’re consistent you will find people who support you,” Konadu-Asare said.
Nana’s Project has supported 13 hospitals with supplies and equipment. It’s also helped students and orphans. Now, it’s raising $40,000 to renovate a hospital that serves thousands of people from rural communities. “There are rooms completely filled with mold. There are rooms completely inhabited by bats. There’s no location for medication,” Konadu-Asare said.
Many don’t bother with a trip to the hospital and stay home. Others have to walk two to three hours — while sick — to seek treatment elsewhere if the hospital can’t accommodate them.
“In rural areas a lot of people don’t have money to do that so having that piece of mind to be able to go to the hospital and to know that, ‘I’m taken care of regardless of my financial status,’ I think will definitely prevent a lot of the issues that are going on right now.”
Nana’s Project is about $8,000 away from its goal. The hospital was supposed to be finished by now, but COVID-19 had other plans. If the country’s borders are open, Konadu-Asare hopes for a ribbon cutting this fall.
To learn more about Nana’s Project visit www.nanasproject.org.
Written by: Rebecca Burnett