• Overview
  • Medical
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health


Ekotsi is located near the coast in the Central Region of Ghana. A typical home in Ekotsi is made of mud, concrete blocks, or wood. People in Ekotsi are primarily dedicated to farming, day labor, and trading. The nearest health clinic is several kilometers away in the community of Essuehyia. There are two standpipes that provide access to safe drinking water for around 10% of homes in Ekotsi. Otherwise, the average round trip walking time to a water source is 24 minutes. Approximately 20% of homes have their own toilet facilities. There is an existing rural bank in Ekotsi that offers savings and loans services. The community expressed that their top needs are a health clinic, teachers’ quarters for the school, and a community center.

District: Ekumfi

Region: Central

Homes : 196
Population : 1015
Water System : Yes (limited)
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Midwife : No
Homes with toilet facility : 20%
Education : Up to 9th grade
Distance from nearest GB Lodging Facility : 43 km


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


There are two types of public health clinics available to rural Ghanaians: Health Centers and Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds. Health Centers serve large geographic areas within a district and are staffed by physicians. CHPS compounds serve small clusters of communities and are staffed by live-in nurses. The nurses provide basic services and, if capacity allows, they conduct home visits to families in the communities. 

Even with this coverage, it is important to note that medications, equipment, and essential infrastructure are often not available in these clinics and the physician density in Ghana remains around 0.2 physicians per 1,000 people. According to the World Health Organization, there should be a minimum of 2.3 physicians per 1,000 people to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention.

Another key factor for health care access in Ghana is insurance. Ghana’s National Health Insurance plan offers universal coverage, but few rural community members are actively enrolled. During Medical Brigades, community members are educated about the benefits of health insurance, and are encouraged to enroll (or re-enroll) in the National Health Insurance Plan.

Ekotsi does not have its own CHPS compound, but community members are served by the nearby Essuehyia Health Center. The most common illnesses in Ekotsi are malaria, chest infections, and anemia.

*These statistics reflect data from historical Medical Brigades in Ekotsi. Medical Brigades are now held in the community of Essuehyia, where community members from Ekotsi attend mobile clinics.





Patient Consultations


Vision Screenings Provided


Health Education Workshops


Essuehyia Health Center

Community members in Ekotsi attend Medical Brigade clinics hosted in Essuehyia’s Health Center. Volunteers assist local doctors and community nurses to serve patients at each station of the clinic. More information is available on the Essuehyia profile.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
San Jose State University Medical Brigade January 2013 15
Jesuit Medical School Consortium Medical Brigade June 2013 12
University of New Hampshire Medical Brigade January 2014 28
Dublin City University Medical Brigade May 2014 N/A


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


The two main water challenges in the Ekumfi district are: water access and water quality. Where piped water is not available, rainwater is the most culturally accepted form of drinking water. When rainwater is not available, community members will often go to rivers or small dug out ponds for water. One other water option for community members is purchasing water sachets but this is an unsustainable practice and expensive option for drinking water.

When Global Brigades first conducted a needs assessment of Ekotsi, there were only 2 public standpipes to provide water for the entire community. This meant community members- mainly women and children- had to spend many hours a day collecting water in open containers and carrying it back home.




Rainwater Harvesters constructed


In June 2012, London School of Economics Water Brigades constructed a School Rainwater Harvester in Ekotsi to improve student health and studies. They also presented educational workshops to students about how to use and maintain the rainwater harvester. Now students do not need to miss class walking and waiting in line to one of the community’s standpipes to fetch water.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
London School of Economics Water June 2012 16


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


Rural communities in Ghana face a number of structural obstacles when it comes to economic growth. Access to credit is limited by physical barriers in transportation and exclusion from formal financial institutions. If community members aren’t able to access these institutions, their only option is to solicit credit from loan sharks, who charge exorbitant interest rates. Additionally, maintaining savings is not a common practice in rural communities in Ghana.The main source of income in Ekotsi is farming and petty trading.




Loans Disbursed


Savings Accounts Opened


Capital Invested


GB Ghana Business Program Manager, Shiella, consults with an MHope Group in Ekumpoano

The GB Business Program works with Microfin Rural Bank to stimulate the local economy by organizing community volunteers around a community bank which is entirely owned and operated by its members. Focusing on providing access to credit and savings for their fellow community members, its volunteers are tasked with socializing the community bank and managing the funds. Microfin and the GB Business Program provides training and support to help strengthen these community banks and stimulate the flow of capital within the community. These financial services are especially beneficial for subsistence farmers and entrepreneurs, who can invest more heavily in their production with a loan, pay back the loan after sales, and generate an income with any excess.

Ekotsi has not yet established a Microfin “MHope group,” but will begin as soon as feasible. The shareholders of the MHope group will weekly to deposit savings and manage loans which are approved by all the bank’s members.


In addition to working with the community banks, the Business Program provides support and technical skills in establishing anchor businesses that generate additional capital. The goal is to better integrate isolated communities into the local economy and allow for growth. During this process, interested community members receive training to increase their familiarity with business terminology, develop their business administration skills, and promote innovation and diversification in the types of business ventures they pursue.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of California Los Angeles Business Brigade 2013 32
University of Texas Microfinance Brigade 2013 19
University College London Business Brigade 2013 6
London School of Economics Microfinance Brigade 2013 22
University of Southern California Microfinance Brigade 2013 31
School of Oriental and African Studies Microfinance Brigade 2013 14

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Ekotsi but has not yet begun with the Public Health Brigades program. Now in the planning phase, implementation of a public health solution will start as soon as feasible.


Homes with toilet facility : 20%
Common house materials : mud bricks, wood, concrete

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

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