“I have often dreamt that it would be so much nicer if there was no illness or poverty in the world and everyone was equal. However until that day arrives I will continue to spend every waking hour trying to make a difference for the wonderful people of Bansang.” (Anita Smith, MBE, MRG)
Quoted many, many years ago by our local newspaper, this is still the underlying foundation for all that has subsequently been achieved at Bansang. Through two decades of toil, Anita’s passion for the people of Bansang has helped create a new framework for healthcare delivery in Africa; one which gives genuine hope for all developing nations struggling to deliver cost-effective, sustainable healthcare.
The overriding aim of the BHA is to help Bansang Hospital achieve the Millenium Development Goals for health*. This is an incredibly ambitious objective, particularly given that this hospital is in one of the poorest regions of one of Africa’s poorest countries. Yet through Anita’s support, the hospital has made incredible progress over the last decade; one which we believe can be squarely attributed to a long-term focus on staff retention and motivation.
Anita’s experience suggests that staff motivation should be the absolute focus and priority for all Sub-Saharan healthcare interventions. Without it, healthcare delivery is sure to follow the cyclical upturns and crashes that have typified previous efforts to deliver healthcare in this most challenging of regions.
*The Millenium Development Goals (MDG’s) for health;
The MDG’s are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The eight goals are listed below:
- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieving universal primary education
- Promoting gender equality and empowering women
- Reducing child mortality rates
- Improving maternal health
- Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
- Ensuring environmental sustainability
- Developing a global partnership for development