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Health News of Friday, 18 January 2019

Source: Cecil Mensah

Rotary E-Club members support Zongo medical outreach program

The Aliu Mahama Foundation (AMF), in collaboration with some government agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations working to improve the lives of people living in deprived areas has launched a community health and wellbeing outreach programme to provide free medical screening and treatments to residents of some selected Zongo communities across the country.

The programme, dubbed "Zongo Laafia," meaning "Healthy Zongo," in the Hausa language was launched by the Minister of Inner-City and Zongo Development and the Minister of Health, at a ceremony held at the forecourt of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu’s residence in Accra last Saturday January 12, 2019.

The programme has a target of reaching out to over 10,000 people across the various Zongo communities in Ghana this year among others.

The ceremony was attended by the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central, Patrick Yaw Boamah, the Imam of Fadama Zongo, Mallam Maigyayya, who represented the National Chief Imam, children of the late former Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama in the ex- John Agyekum Kufour’’s led New Patriotic Party administration in 2001 to 2008 and a host of other dignitaries in whose honour the foundation has been formed.

A screening exercise was organized in partnership with the Ghana Medical Association to mark the launch of the programme, during which about 100 people were screened for various ailments, including malaria, hypertension and dental diseases and some form of treatment given as well as referrals made to nearby hospitals for more complicated cases.

In a brief remark, the President of the Rotary E- Club of One World, Mrs. Amina Sammo said the importance of the “Zongo Laafia” health and wellbeing outreach programme for Zongo communities was necessitated by the lack of resource availability for Zongo residents to undertake regular medical check-ups, hence the need to bring the medical services to the residents in the communities.

On learning about the program, herself and another member of the club Mr. Abdul Basit Abdul-Rahman decided to volunteer man-hours at the program since Rotary is all about "Service Above Self". She recalls that the program was a success and they were excited to offer the much-needed support to the program.

She pledged to collaborate with the foundation to provide more support for the programme to create adequate access to health care services in these deprived communities across the country.

The President of the Rotary E-Club of One World concluded that as an online club with membership across the world and five member resident in Ghana, they are always on the lookout for opportunities to collaborate and partner with local organisations such as AMF to offer the much- needed support for humanity especially the less- privileged to make the world a better place for all

The Executive Director of AMF, Dr Samuel K. Frimpong, explained that the objective of the initiative was to impact the lives of Zongo residents.

He explained further that although the initiative was to be replicated nationwide, up-to-date needs assessment would have to be conducted to identify the Zongo communities in dire need of the medical outreach services to ensure greater impact in the lives of Zongo residents.

"Initially, we wanted to do not less than five Zongos per region, but we realised that some of the regions do not have that many Zongo communities and so we want to prioritise,” he added.

The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, also in an address, eulogised the late Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, as someone who was passionate about the development of the Zongo communities and recounted the role he played in ensuring that the Tamale Sports Stadium was built during the 2008 African Cup of Nations, despite a strong opposition from the CAF inspection team to buttress his point.

Mr Manu said the health ministry was supporting the programme to ensure the fulfilment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s promise that the Zongo communities would not be left out in the President's developmental agenda and vision for the country.

The first son of former Vice-President, Aliu Mahama, Farouk Aliu Mahama, expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for honouring his promise of supporting the Zongo communities.

The Aliu Mahama Foundation is a non-profit organisation formed in memory of the late Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama to provide social intervention initiatives in the area of health, sanitation and education for deprived communities, particularly the Zongos.

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