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The heavy downpour on Monday afternoon in parts of the country did not deter hundreds of Ghanaians from trooping to the West Hills Mall on the Accra-Kasoa road to participate in the maiden edition of the “HOW WELL ARE YOU” free health screening campaign by the Philipa Baafi Foundation.
The event begun by 12noon but by 10am, several people who were aged and young were seated awaiting the officials from the Ministry of Health and the Ga South Municipal Hospital to embark on the screening exercise.
By 12noon, doctors and nurses from the Health Ministry and the Ga South Municipal Hospital started the screening exercise with health talk on Malaria, Diabetes, Obesity, Personal hygiene among others with the aim to concientize the participants on the need to take good care of their health.
The ace sensational Ghanaian Musician and Occupational Therapist, Philipa Baafi also entertained the participants with several renditions of her hit songs and the participants had no option than to stand on their toes to dance to the tune while being screened.
The people were screened on Blood Pressure, Glucose or Sugar level, Malaria and Body Mass Index (BMI) which are noted to be common ailments among Ghanaians.
The Minister of State in charge of Procurements at the Presidency, Sarah Adwoa Safo who is also the Member of Parliament for Dome/Kwabenya and Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament launching the programme “entreat us all to patronize these screening programmes at our markets and shopping malls. We should also take time of our busy schedules to go for regular check-ups because it is a known fact that Non-Communicable Diseases are rapidly taking over as major causes of ill-health and death in Ghana”.
She said “I believe that we all know the benefits of improved health for our people such as a more productive workforce, reduction in man-hours lost due to ill health and reduced burden on the finances of the country including the National Health Insurance Scheme”.
Honourable Adwoa Safo said “in order to achieve the desired health outcomes, substantial investment is needed in the health sector, including screening for pre-existing health conditions”.
The Minister noted that “Ghanaian women, who form 70% of the informal sector, have the penchant of only working either in markets or on the streets to put food on the tables for their family”.
The Dome-Kwabenya MP noted that these women who contribute a lot to the economy can be found in open markets across the country but they eat every food and consume every medicine.
“They do not exercise regularly and hardly visit the health facility for a checkup unless they fall sick and the situation is already chronic so such outreach free health screening and health talk programme will help the nation”, she added.
The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament also praised MTN Ghana, GOIL Ghana Limited and TOBINCO Pharmaceuticals for supporting such a noble cause and appealed to Corporate Ghana to partner the Foundation.
The Executive Director of Philipa Baafi Foundation, Kwame Karikari explained that Philipa Baafi is not shifting from music to health. She is combining Music with Occupational Therapy.
He said “the average Ghanaian does not make time to go for health check up. We are busy running all over the place. We make time for everything and anything except what is very basic to life, our health. Our women are the worst offenders. They mostly wake up early, storm the markets and return home late, all with the aim of ensuring that their families are well fed. Even those of us who are in the formal sector finds little time to visit hospitals for regular check-up and let alone our mothers and sisters whose daily lives depend on what someone will buy from her in the market”.
Mr. Karikari explained that it is in line with these and many that the Philipa Baafi Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health are bringing the health screening to the door steps of these vulnerable in our markets across the country and to also create the awareness on the need for the average Ghanaian to embark on regular check-ups to stay healthy.
He appealed to the government institutions, corporate bodies, individuals and institutions to come on board to ensure that we deliver health care in the country.
The maiden edition was sponsored by the MTN Foundation, GOIL Ghana Limited, Tobinco Pharmaceuticals.