Source: Ebenezer Kofi Amponsah
In line with various activities to sensitise communities in parts of the country on lead poisoning, yellow fever and the COVID-19 pandemic on human health, the Light Foundation, an NGO, has held a sensitisation forum at Kokrobite in the Ga-South municipality in the Greater Accra Region.
The programme formed part of efforts by TLF to ensure Ghanaians understood how to lead, inherent in certain substances could affect human health, the effect of yellow fever, the treatment of COVID-19 and the efficacy of the vaccines produced.
The community engagement was organised in collaboration with UNICEF.
Residents of Kokrobite and surrounding communities were sensitised on the symptoms of yellow fever, how humans become infected, how to understand the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, the effect of lead poisoning among others.
A health screening session was also held to support residents while various experts from the health sector offered some education on the health implications of using old batteries, wires found in gadgets, lead which are sometimes found in paints and how those poisonous substances could affect lives.
In her interactions with residents of Kokrobite, the Ga – South health educator, Mrs. Justina Kwofie advised residents not to downplay the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine and ensured they do not allow any negative utterances to prevent them from getting vaccinated.
On the issue of yellow fever, she explained that though the disease has been in existence for several decades, it still has higher fatality rate.
“Yellow fever now comes in different shades, it can affect every part of your body. There are situations where there are droplets of blood from all parts of the body”. she observed
Mrs. Kwofie further appealed to the youths to desist from using damaged items such as TV, old computers, radio sets among others in order not to be exposed to lead poisoning.
The Former Assembly member for the area, Nii Ayi Otumfour on his part commended the Light Foundation for continuously engaging and resolving issues confronting communities over the years.
According to him, the need for community engagement is key to addressing challenges confronting any nation particularly at the community level,
He, therefore, appealed to the residents not to underrate any form of education provided by the Light Foundation but to make good use of it to be able to influence their families.
He said “We need to understand that vaccination will protect us, our children and family members. Lead poisoning is fatal as such we need to continuously educate people about it as we learn from the Light Foundation”.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Light Foundation, Sheikh Ali Abubakar Napari in an address said that considering the health implications of COVID-19, lead poisoning, and yellow fever, there is the need to encourage and sensitise Ghanaians especially peri- urban communities as these diseases have dire consequences on the health of people.
“We decided to embark on this project in over eighteen communities considering the effects of the pandemic, how it has affected communities and the need to educate them to go all out and vaccinate. We believe that sensitising communities on lead poisoning, COVID-19 and yellow fever will go a long way to impact them while the larger society also becomes the ultimate beneficiary” he added.
Meanwhile, TLF as part of its health advocacy project to address some of these health concerns engaged over a hundred stakeholders from 18 communities in Accra last year.
A similar exercise will be held in communities such as Frafraha, Nungua Zongo, Agbogbloshie, Ashaiman, Madina among others.
The Light Foundation has operated over a decade and has supported Ghana’s development efforts through peacebuilding initiatives, provision of water to deprived communities, child protection and support, delivery of school infrastructure etc.