Patient dignity comes first at healthcare facility in Ghana

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Sr. Mary Frimpong visits with a mother and her premature baby, who was born at 7 months. The mother was at the hospital's Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre, which helps educate families how to cook nutritious and balanced meals. Photo Credit: Global Sisters Report

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Optometry Nurse and Catholic Nun Sr. Mary Frimpong follows in Jesus' footsteps with a special emphasis on patient dignity in her healthcare ministry in Ghana.

One of the greatest gifts is the gift of sight. To see the love of your life the day of your wedding. To watch your child being born. To view a spectacular sunset. A person’s sight is not only a sense but a way to experience all the beauty life has to offer.

In countries across Africa, even the smallest issues such as cataracts and conjunctivitis could cause a person to be in danger of losing their vision. However, one religious Nun is working to help people across Ghana envision a brighter future.

Sr. Mary Owusu Frimpong, Sisters of St. Louis (SSL), spent the early days of her career working as an optometry nurse. Through this experience she learned the importance of proper eye care.She also learned that this proper care is scarce in Ghana.

She kept these issues in mind while attending ASEC's Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program. Through the program she was able to develop grant writing, managerial skills and more. She is always looking for ways to use her education to improve her service to the poor and the sick.

"The sick were very dear to the heart of Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we follow in his footsteps to continue this healing ministry. We also put a special emphasis on treating people with dignity. We want to give that respect to each patient," said Sr. Mary.

Sr. Mary spearheaded multiple projects across Ghana, including the building of midwife and administrative facilities. These facilities have greatly improved patient care. They also stand as a symbol of hope to people across the nation.

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Sr. Mary Frimpong oversees 1,000 medical staff as the director of the diocesan health services. All of the St. Louis Sisters in the diocese work in hospitals or clinics. Photo Credit: Global Sisters Report

Sr. Mary Frimpong oversees 1,000 medical staff as the director of the diocesan health services. All of the St. Louis Sisters in the diocese work in hospitals or clinics. Photo Credit: Global Sisters Report

In Ghana, well equipped medical facilities are hard to come by. When patients walk through the doors of a facility and are treated with dignity by educated physicians in a facility with up-to-date equipment, it give them hope that they will get the care they need.

Sr. Mary now supervises over 1,000 staff members at health facilities in the southwest region of Ghana. Her days are filled with meetings, consultations and recruitment efforts to acquire more doctors and pharmacists for their facilities.

She also travels between four hospitals and clinics run by the St. Louis Sisters in the Obuasi diocese. With a specialization in optometry, she occasionally seizes the opportunity to work directly with hospital and clinic patients.

"Once in a while, I still go to the clinic to work as an optometry nurse, because I miss working directly with patients," said Sr. Mary.

However, Sr. Mary is not alone in her endeavors. Across Africa there are so many religious sisters who envision a healthier and more hopeful Africa. An Africa where treating patients with dignity and respect comes first. When you give a religious sister the opportunity of education you are also bringing hope to people across Africa.

Improving Healthcare in Africa

Many Catholic Nuns in Africa are studying in the medical field to be nurses, midwives and more. By donating to a Nun's education you'll be saving the lives of hundreds of people through her healing hands. Even small donations make a big impact through the ripple effect of education.

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Sr. Mary Owusu Frimpong, SSL

Profiled in article
SLDI Alumna - Ghana  

Briana Ryan

ASEC Web Content Intern - USA  

Amy Fedele

Media and Communications Manager  

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