A free medical screening held in Yendi in the Northern Region of Ghana has shown that malaria and dental problems are two of the major health challenges among school children in the Yendi Municipality and its surrounding communities.
Summer Mission Team
During the recent “Summer Team Campaign”, GWAM partnered with Tamale Teaching Hospital, Yendi Municipal Hospital, Rural Water Development Program – Church of Christ (RWDP-COC), Harding University’s Global Outreach Program, Traverse City church of Christ (Michigan), West Side church of Christ (Arkansas) and Fairfield church of Christ (Alabama) to help give a free health screening for those suffering in extreme poverty in northern Ghana.
Malaria and Dental Issues
Out of a total of 1,200 students from 24 public basic schools screened, 98% (1,176) were found to have malaria and were given pharmaceutical treatment. The second most common problem was dental issues. Some of the students were diagnosed with cavity problems; however, dental care is not available in the municipality. Currently, the Yendi Government Hospital, which serves as the only referral facility in the geographic area, has no dental clinic. It was noted that the hospital management is planning efforts to establish a clinic to meet the dental health needs of the people.
Good Health and Good Learning
In this harsh region, obtaining routine and non-emergency health care is a challenge. Over the past years, strides have been made to improve healthcare facilities and the quality of care; however, the daily challenges of life in northern Ghana, coupled with extreme poverty, make it difficult to make significant improvements. It is not uncommon for mothers to walk 10 miles or more with children that have become sick —seeking medical attention. Because of the heat, terrain, and lack of water, often those children die because treatment is so sparse or nonexistent.
One of GWAM’s basic core missions is to focus on providing primary needs that lead to increased opportunity – both physically and spiritually. The success of this health screening exercise provided much needed free health care for the students from the public basic schools in the municipality and surrounding areas. The overall plan is to help students excel academically – leading to an increased opportunity in the future of their communities.
It has been proven on many occasions that good health leads to good learning. The health screening has the potential to catch many illnesses in the early stages to help prevent more serious issues. Several children screened were referred to the Yendi hospital for further treatment and consultation.
Leading to Increased Opportunity for Communities
As a future strategy, GWAM is planning to implement more of this type of outreach in connection with well drilling, sanitation and hygiene. This effort serves to enhance the teaching and learning of students in the public schools in the area —while God is glorified through the work.
For a donation of $1,200, you, your congregation, company or organization can sponsor a health screening for public school students in northern Ghana. Please visit us at www.gwam.org or call us at 501-278-5887 for more information.