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Boca Raton doctor bringing health care, education to children in Ghana

<i></i><br/>Boca Raton
Lawrence, Nakia

Boca Raton

By Ari Hait

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    BOCA RATON, Florida (WPBF) — It was supposed to be just a two-week trip to a small village in the African country of Ghana.

It’s turned into a life-changing mission for a pediatrician in Boca Raton and her husband.

“It’s a wonderful, unforgettable experience for anyone who comes with us,” said Dr. Celina Moore.

Moore first went to Ghana in 2018 with 100 premed students from Florida Atlantic University.

“We did these outdoor medical outreach projects,” Moore said. “We were embedded in these villages.”

And though she was there to provide medical help, a local kindergarten teacher approached asking for another kind of help.

“Her school is just made out of packed mud and wood and thatched roof and no windows and no doors and whenever it rained, it flooded,” Moore said. “And the kids couldn’t learn.”

Over the next year, Moore and her husband, Steven Simpson, used their own money to build a new school.

In 2019, they went back to the same Ghanaian villages with supplies, some for school, most for medical purposes.

The villagers started lining up the night before they arrived.

“They do advertisement actually from megaphones throughout the area letting them know that we’re in the community, and we’re going to be here for the next few days,” Simpson said.

Since then, Moore and Simpson have started a foundation in Ghana called Akoma Ntoso, which means “linked hearts.”

Every year, they go back to Ghana.

And every year, they are welcomed with open arms.

“We’ve finally got it to where it’s a comfortable feeling, and you feel at home there,” Simpson said.

“I’m always driven to make the next outreach even better and bring more and do more,” Moore said.

“It’s amazing to watch, and to know that’s what we have done, and what we continue to do,” Simpson said.

“Because it’s the right thing to do,” Moore said. “It’s a good thing to do. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Moore and Simpson have also now built a second school in the nearby country of Togo.

For the first time, they will be making a trip to Ghana more than once a year when they return to the villages in January.

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