Over a hundred residents of Darkuman and Odorko in the Greater Accra Region have benefitted from a free health screening exercise organised by Evelyn Arthur Health Foundation.
The exercise formed part of the Foundation’s plans to ensure that residents of the beneficiary areas are abreast of their health conditions, and seek recommended medical treatment based on the results of the screening.
Some beneficiaries of the exercise in an interview commended the management of the Evelyn Arthur Health Foundation for the exercise, and called on other organisations and corporate institutions to follow suit.
According to them, many citizens, especially the poor, do not go for regular health check-ups because they are afraid of the cost involved.
They said organising free health screening exercise regularly, targeting the poor, would help save many lives from premature deaths.
More screening exercises
The Founder of the Foundation, Miss Evelyn Arthur, told the media that her organisation will be organising a series of health screening exercises across the country especially in remote and hard-to-reach communities who have no access to quality health care delivery.
She noted health screenings are an important part of maintaining good health, especially as you get older, adding that many deaths could be prevented if people get simple, regular health screenings as recommended by their doctor, they can detect problems early, when chances for successful treatment are greatest.
Mis Arthur mentioned funding as one the major challenges facing the Foundation, and appealed to corporate institutions and philanthropists to support the Foundation’s health screening exercise.
She observed that although Ghana had shown steady progress in malaria prevention and control over the years, malaria remains a major cause of illness and death in Ghana, particularly among children and pregnant women.
According to her, malaria accounts for 41% of outpatient cases due to suspected malaria, 21% due to confirmed malaria cases and 18% inpatient cases due to malaria in 2020.
She said although Ghana’s entire population is at risk of malaria infection, children under five years of age and pregnant women are at higher risk of severe illness due to lowered immunity.
Ms. Arthur mentioned key barriers such as poor knowledge, local beliefs, and payment for testing and treatment compounded by negative attitudes of health staff leads to patients staying away from health facilities.
She therefore stressed the need to increase awareness and knowledge of the entire population on malaria prevention and control so as to improve uptake and correct use of all interventions.
She said although timely care seeking in Ghana has improved by 22 percent from 2011 to 2016 due to improved access to services resulting from the continuing expansion of CHPS compounds throughout the country, as well as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which has reduced financial barriers, there is still more to be done.
The more accessible a health center and CHPS are to a community, the more likely people will seek care t from the facilities.
Ms Arthur expressed the importance in increasing access to underserved and hard-to-reach communities where there is no Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound through the integrated community case management.
She further called for the strengthening of the systems for surveillance and M&E in order to ensure timely availability of quality, consistent, and relevant malaria data at all levels.
Evelyn Arthur Health Foundation was established in July 2021, by a professional nurse, Miss Evelyn Arthur aimed at improving access to quality maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services, intensifying prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases and promoting healthy lifestyles.