Recently, members of the WGO committee visited the Medical Clinic at Ghala. The Clinic, set up in February 2005, is organised and run by the St. Luke’s Medical Guild to provide free medical care to low paid workers in Oman.
Consultations are held in a portacabin of the Holy Spirit Church in Ghala on the last Friday of every month between 5-7 p.m. and is available to all nationalities and religious denominations.
The clinic provides non-emergency care to both male and female residents of Oman, who cannot otherwise access any medical care. Patients typically include housemaids and labour workers and numbers often reach 250-300 patients every month. On the day we visited, the queues began to form outside the portacabin as early as 1pm, which we were told was not unusual.
The clinic relies wholly on voluntary contributions and the donated funds are held and disbursed by the Al Amana Centre Ecumenical Council for Charity as and when they are needed. Until recently Muscat Pharmacy were also able to offer support by donating some of the medications required but this has recently been discontinued. This means that all donated funds are used almost entirely for the purchase of essential medications leaving no funds available for essential equipment and other supplies essential for the running of the clinic to facilitate proper patient healthcare.
How can you help?
Any donation, no matter how big or small can contribute greatly to helping patients receive adequate health care and support at Ghala Clinic.
If you are interested in volunteering to help, the clinic welcomes both trained medical and non-medical volunteers to help run the clinic as follows:
Stage 1: Registering, booking in, and collecting medical records. You do not need to be medically qualified to assist in this area.
Stage 2: Review by nursing team, to include weighing, blood pressure, pulse and blood sugar levels. Nurses and other medically qualified staff would carry out these activities, however non-medical volunteers can assist with weighing patients.
Stage 3: Review by a member of the medical team. This is carried out by qualified medical volunteers from various hospitals in Muscat.
Stage 4: Dispensing of prescribed medications. Up to three qualified Pharmacists provide dispensing services each week.
In view of the limited number of volunteers available at the clinic as well as the accessibility of medications, priority is given to existing chronic patients. New patients are only accepted if there are enough doctors available on the day, and sufficient medication available, should a prescription be required. Female patients are also afforded high priority wherever possible, for registration and nursing review, and are seen at the beginning of the clinic session, prior to male patients being accepted. Wherever possible a female doctor reviews the female patients. There is no running water at the clinic, but all volunteers follow proper infection control practices by using the provided hand sanitisers and wearing gloves when handling blood products.
Our visit to Ghala Clinic gave us a great insight into the work that St. Luke’s provide to low-paid workers in Oman. They do the best they can with the funds available but any help they can get either by donation of funds or by physical assistance is appreciated.
If you are able to give up any of your time and would like to help at the Clinic, whether you have medical experience or simply a happy demeanour and a smile to brighten their day whilst processing some
paperwork, then please email Diane ([email protected]) who will pass on your details. A phone number and email will be the best way for the Clinic to contact you. They will give you plenty of notice and if you have other plans, don’t worry as you can always volunteer for the next clinic if you can’t make this one.
If you would like to make a donation to the Clinic then please email Sharon, our Treasurer on [email protected] and she will give you the details to make a direct bank payment.
It was our great pleasure and honour to meet the wonderful volunteers who run this most worthwhile and valuable clinic.
Well done to all the team. The Clinic would particularly like us to pass on their immense gratitude for the support of the WGO ladies. Remember ladies – your membership is not just about access to discounts. Without your annual subscriptions we would not be able to help fantastic causes such as this. Thanks to all of you for your continued support.