Farmers Hope Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with focus on health and promotion of livelihood programmes for farmers in Ghana, last weekend organised a free health screening exercise for the people of Wassa Afranse and its environs in the Western Region.
About 500 people were screened for diabetes, blood pressure, anaemia, malaria and eye diseases, including checking their oral and dental health during the exercise.
The health screening exercise, which formed part of the corporate social responsibility of the Foundation, also saw the beneficiaries sensitized on heart diseases, stroke, alcoholism and drug abuse, among others.
Those whose conditions needed further clinical diagnosis and treatment were referred to bigger health facilities.
Farmers Hope Foundation assembled a team of medical practitioners from the Wassa Akropong Hospital to conduct the exercise.
Speaking with the media after the exercise, the head of the team of nurses who led the exercise said the gesture had helped to inform the people on their health status.
“Surprisingly, we found a lot of women and men with high blood pressure, and we intend to alert the District Director of Health. Based on the discovery, there’s the suspicion that most of these adults, particularly men, take in excessive alcohol, eat late in the evenings and lack physical exercise,” she said.
She therefore advised the cocoa farmers in Wassa Afranse and its adjourning communities to desist from alcoholism.
Touching on the need for regular medical checkups, the health professional advised the general public to prioritise regular medical checkups to enable early detection of diseases in their systems.
“We encourage everybody to go to the hospital because hypertension, for example, is not going to give you symptoms. Until you go to the hospital and you check, you can never know,” she explained.
She added: “So we encourage everybody to go to the hospital, have your BPs checked, have your sugar levels checked, and do a general medical examination. There are a lot of things in the body that until you are checked, you can’t tell what you have.”
The Executive Director of the Foundation, David Nana Edjah, explained that the Foundation was established to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate in communities by providing access to their basic needs including healthcare and quality education, among others.
“Farmers Hope Foundation has a clear passion to drive, directly support and promote livelihood programmes designed for farmers. We also promote programmes that promote health and wellness, especially among farmers and their dependents. To this end, Farmers Hope has been involved in a good number of projects across the length and breadth of the country to live out its mandate,” the Executive Director stated.
He said the exercise was targeted at providing an opportunity for people, especially those who could not afford frequent medical check-ups due to financial constraints, to have access to medical care.
“It is important that once in a while, once every few months, the clinic is able to offer such a screening programme,” he said, adding that it provided an avenue for early detection, management and treatment of serious and sometimes chronic diseases.
Nana David Edjah said he was excited about the successful outcome of the screening given what he called “the impressive turnout of people” to be screened.