After the COVID-19 pandemic forced their activities into an extensive coma, the Agbozume Health Support Network (AHSN) was on Saturday, brought back to life at the Anglican school premises in Agbozume.
At exactly 9 am, the team of medical experts were ready. Their faces were lit up with excitement. Why wouldn’t they, seeing their dreams coming back to life once again. But it was as though the people of Agbozume and its adjoining communities were unaware of the rare opportunity that has just dawned on them, howbeit, the publicity that was done. They initially avoided the event ground as though it was a plague but rushed there before the dusk hours as though it was a treasure trove.
The few legs that managed to enter the Anglican school premises during the early hours, lacked any sense of urgency and enthusiasm – this was a total deviation from the previous editions’. Their countenance was full of uncertainties as they reluctantly approached the team of health professionals to register. However, after going through the processes and seeing that their fears were unfounded, they beamed with much delight and gratitude as they departed, most of them, swinging their well packaged free medications.
The free medical outreach which attracted close to 100 people (excluding children who were given dewormers) began with the registration of participants, taking of their medical history and checking of vitals such as height, weight, BP, pulse, BMI. The final processes included consultation with doctors, laboratory testing (for Malaria, Hepatitis B, Blood Sugar, and Sickle Cell), counselling and administration of prescribed drugs by pharmacists.
It was a complete feeling of fulfilment for the AHSN team at the end of it all. The expression of gratitude and relief by the beneficiaries was a feeling nothing could take from them.
Talking about this year’s outreach, the cofounder of the group, Mr. Darwin Nyonyo Gbewordo-Mensah conceded that the participation was not as encouraging as they had anticipated. “Our challenge with the turn-out was due to the skepticism of the town-folks as well as the stigma and conspiracy theories around COVID-19.” The Medical Laboratory Scientist, who also doubles as Quality Control Officer at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital further revealed, “Some of the late comers said they thought we came to lure them to take the COVID vaccines. It was until some family members who managed to come had gone back to inform them, that, we were rather giving free medications before a handful of them started trouping in.”
“2018 was our first medical outreach,” Mr. Gbewordo-Mensah recounted with an unassuming smile, “which involved medical education on selected silent killer disease among a number of Ghanaian rural communities.” The team has since been involved in several educational and free medical outreaches.
AHSN is a group of vibrant health professionals–mostly, indigenes of Agbozume, whose collective goal is to “promote health among the townsfolk of Somé (Agbozume) through advocacy, free medical outreaches and the use of the mass media.” Mr. Gbewordo-Mensah founded the group together with Dr James Agbeshie Kulevome, a Medical Officer at the Ho Teaching Hospital, and has a practicing General Nurse at the Mafi-Kumasi Health Centre, Bridget Kamassah-Amedoda, serving as its secretary.
The “Agbozume Health Support Network” expresses their desire to extend their outreach programmes to other communities in the Ketu-South Municipality and beyond. “Today marks a new beginning for us. Our doors are therefore opened to partner with any corporate organisation, institution, companies, community, or individuals to create and maintain optimum health among the people of Ghana,” the cofounder assured. He urged the government not to relent efforts in educating the public on the Covid vaccination.
Where would the AHSN train stop next? Well, get ready! Your community might just get lucky. The activities of the group are largely funded by the executives and supported by group members. To partner or support AHSN in their quest to help in achieving universal health coverage and well-being in Ghana, contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org or +233246055892.