health
A medical technician draws a blood sample to screen for glucose and cholesterol at a free health screening as part of the National Urban League's Economic Empowerment Tour in Dallas, Texas June 13, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

The Thelma Odonkor Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation with focus on supporting the needy, has organised a free health screening and donation exercise for residents of the La Bawaleshie Community.

Hundreds of community members were screened for malaria, blood pressure, and sugar level, and received drugs, clothing, shoes, food and drinks from the Foundation.

Hypertensive, diabetic, anti-malarial, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory drugs were given to the beneficiaries as well as antacids and ointments for skin infections.

Some participants were prayed for, especially those who were addicted to drugs, as well as those who had chronic diseases.

Reverend Thelma Odonkor, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the exercise was to support the people in need who suffered from different kinds of illnesses but unable to access healthcare due to financial constraints.

She said the Bible admonishes Christians to do good unto all men and that was the reason for the exercise.

Among the activities by the Foundation, she said, were to provide young people with vocational skills and empower them to identify and achieve their dreams.

She expressed gratitude to donor companies including M & G Pharmaceuticals, Samah and Oson’s Chemist, Fan Milk Ghana Limited and EazyStreet Multimedia for their contribution towards the successful organisation of the exercise.

Dr Ama Essel, a Community Health Physician Specialist, and the Head of the medical team, said many of those screened were identified to be alcohol addicts and hypertensive.

She expressed worry over how people were aware of their hypertensive status but refused to visit health facilities for regular checkup, adding that some of the cases were of emergency, who were immediately referred to the hospital.

Dr Essel advised institutions to organise health talks and screening programmes, at least once a month or quarterly, for their staff to enlighten them on health issues.

Mr Quarshie Mensah, a 55-year old beneficiary, told the GNA that he was counselled, prayed for, and given medication to enable him to overcome his addiction to alcohol.

He said he knew he needed to stop drinking, however, influence from friends made it difficult for him to quit.

“Due to this, my wife wanted to divorce me because I have become an irresponsible father and husband and trouble maker in the society. You know, this is because when I take the alcohol, I become quick tempered and I even lost my driving job as a result,” he said.

Madam Cynthia Ohene Amponsah, a 45-year old woman, expressed gratitude to the Foundation for the exercise, especially for those of them who got to know their poor health status after being screened.

“We are grateful to the Foundation. Some of us didn’t have money to go for checkup and we believe by their support and the grace of God, we would get better,” she said.

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