• Overview
  • Medical
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health


Ekumpoano is located near the coast in the Central Region of Ghana. The typical house is made of bricks/blocks. People in Ekumpoano are primarily dedicated to farming and fishing. Children in the community have access to kindergarten, primary school, and junior high school. People in Ekumpoano obtain their drinking water from public standpipes, and the average round trip walking time to a standpipe is 15 minutes. Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival, many people in Ekumpoano lacked access to sanitation infrastructure. Only 3% of homes had their own toilet facility, so most households made use of the few community toilets or practiced open defecation. Ekumpoano has a Community Health Compound and a private pharmacy. The most common illnesses among children are malaria, cough, and diarrhea; and most common illnesses for adults are malaria, elephantiasis, and hernias. The top needs expressed by Ekumpoano’s inhabitants during their initial communications with Global Brigades are additional standpipes, toilets, and improvements to the junior high school building.

District: Ekumfi

Region: Central

Homes : 505
Population : 3543
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Midwives : No
% of Homes with Latrines : 3
Education : Up to Junior High
Distance from GB Lodging Facility : 1 hr


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


A nurse from Ekumpoano’s CHPS compound dispenses medications at a Medical Brigade.

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.

Ekumpoano has a CHPS Compound within their community. During their initial communications with Global Brigades, community members expressed that the top three illnesses in children were: malaria, cough, and diarrhea. For adults, common illnesses were: malaria, elephantiasis, and hernias.




Patient Consultations


Vision Screenings Provided


Health Education Workshops


Contractors building the maternity ward for the Ekumpoano CHPS Compound

When Ekumpoano first began their partnership with Global Brigades, the conditions of the CHPS Compound were preventing the nurses from providing adequate services to their patients. The nurses expressed that their top needs were: a maternity ward, a place to store medication,  and a flush toilet for patients. Global Brigades worked with local contractors in 2019 to improve the infrastructure and equipment of the CHPS Compound.

The completed maternity ward (left)

Global Brigades achieved an agreement with the Ghana Ministry of Health to ensure that a midwife is assigned at the CHPS compound now that the construction of a maternity ward is complete. This additional staff and equipment will allow the nurses to perform more community outreach and provide higher-quality care to patients.


GB Ghana donating a motorcycle to the Ekumfi National Health Insurance office, 2019.

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. A 2019 study conducted by the Ghana GB Monitoring & Evaluation team revealed that, of all the inhabitants in Ekumpoano, only 24% were actively enrolled in the National Health Insurance plan and 14% were enrolled but had expired or missing cards. The remaining 62% of the community was not enrolled and thus had no health insurance at all.

A common reason community members cited for not enrolling was the inconvenience and cost of traveling to the district insurance office. So GB Ghana supported the Ekumfi District National Health Insurance office with a motorcycle so that agents can travel directly to the communities and conduct mobile enrollments. 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 when the agents visit.

A nurse from the Ekumpoano CHPS Compound provides a patient consultation during a Medical Brigade, 2019


Medical Brigade clinics are hosted in Ekumpoano‘s CHPS Compound. Volunteers assist local doctors and community nurses to serve patients at each station of the clinic. Each day of the brigade, an average of 4 educational charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES SERVED: Arkra, Ebiram, Narkwa


Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
St John’s University Medical Brigade May 2017 25 University of Southern California Dec 2017 21
State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook Medical Brigade May 2018 29 University of Colorado Colorado Springs January 2019 38
Western Virginia University May 2019 24 Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicina Georgia Medical TeleBrigade March 2021 17
Dana Hills High School Medical January 2022 56


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


Community liaison, Peter Abiw, with one of the newly constructed standpipes

Prior to their partnership with Global Brigades, Ekumpoano had a borehole and standpipe water system. The system did not have a distribution network to individual houses. In order to retrieve water for household use, people – most often women and children – would make multiple trips each day to one of the 4 public standpipes carrying heavy containers. The average round trip walking time to a standpipe was 15 minutes, not including the time spent waiting in line.





Project Beneficiaries


Household Connections


Standpipes constructed- #


SDI Munich Water Brigade in Ekumpoano, 2019

One of the top needs expressed by Ekumpoano in their initial meetings with Global Brigades was the construction of more standpipes to facilitate community members’ access to clean drinking water. Global Brigades, in partnership with the Ghana Water Company, have since increased the total number of standpipes in Ekumpoano to 9.

Water Brigaders installing a household water connection for a home in Ekumpoano

In addition to public standpipes, Water Brigades have also supported the installation of household water connections for interested families. Having a household connection means these families no longer have to make the trip to a standpipe every time they need to fetch water.

In the interest of sustainability, after the project is complete, a community Water Council will be selected and trained on water treatment and system maintenance, administration, and operation, so they can continue managing the water system.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
SDI Munich Public Health Brigade November 2019 11


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 Ekumpoano is farming, fishmongering, and petty trading. The average monthly income per household is $5-8.




Loans Disbursed


Savings Accounts Opened


Capital Invested


A meeting of Dofo 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.

GB Ghana Business Program Manager, Shiella, consults the Dofo Group members

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.

Ekumpoano has three Microfin groups: Dofo Group (est. May 2019), Nyame Abasa (est. Sept 2019), and Nyame Aye (est. Sept 2019). The shareholders of these banks meet weekly to deposit savings and manage loans which are approved by all the bank’s members.


A seamstress with her small business in Ekumpoano

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.

The Business Program will start hosting Business Brigades in Ekumpoano to study the local market in hopes of identifying and developing potential business opportunities for the community as soon as feasible.

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


Public Health Brigaders from Governors State University construct a biodigester tank in Ekumpoano

Many community members in Ekumpoano lack the resources to make improvements to their household infrastructure. Prior to their partnership with Global Brigades, only there were only 3 public toilets to serve over 500 households. With many households situated near the beach, community members frequently practiced open defecation, putting them at risk for fecally transmitted disease and water borne illnesses. Household toilets are necessary to improve hygiene practices, prevent contamination and disease, and offer privacy.





Sanitation Units Installed


People Benefitted with PH Infrastructure


Hours of Public Health Educational Workshops

WaSH Program Manager, Emmanuel, showing off a new toilet!


Global Brigades began working with the Public Health program in Ekumpoano in January 2019 to construct pour-flush toilets with biodigester tanks in the houses of  community members. In the interest of sustainability, family members are responsible for contributing some materials, such as sand and bricks, as well as contributing food and drink for the masons.

Public Health Brigaders present an educational workshop to community members in Ekumpoano

These projects allow community members to avoid preventable disease and foster improved hygiene and sanitation practices. During their time in Ekumpoano, Public Health volunteers conduct educational workshops with community members on toilet maintenance and various public health topics.


Chapter Date Number of Volunteers Chapter Date Number of Volunteers
University of Connecticut Public Health Brigade March 2017 20 Marquette University Public Health Brigade Jan 2019 23
Southern Connecticut State University Public Health Brigade Jan 2019 22 University of Colorado- Colorado Springs Medical Brigade Jan 2019 38
University of Portland Public Health Brigade March 2019 15 Carnegie Mellon University Public Health Brigade March 2019 16
University of Maryland Baltimore County Public Health Brigade March 2019 14 Wright State University Public Health Brigade May 2019 18
University of Miami Public Health Brigade May 2019 11 West Virginia University Medical Brigade May 2019 24
University of Texas San Antonio Public Health Brigade May 2019 11 Governors State University Public Health Brigade May 2019 17
University of Edinburgh Public Health Brigade May 2019 14 San Francisco State University Medical Brigade June 2019 31
California State University Los Angeles, Queen Mary University of London, Southern Methodist University, St. George’s University of London Medical Brigade August 2019 24 University of Central Florida & Wayne State University Medical Brigade August 2019 29
King’s College Londo Public Health Brigade September 2021 8 University of Colorado Springs Medical Brigade January 2021 23
Bayreuth University Public Health March 2022 7 Governors State University Public Health May 2022 18

Local Reference Points

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

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