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Health News of Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Healthline helps more obtain medical care

Vodafone Ghana’s Healthline programme has since its inception in 2011 helped about 100 Ghanaians to obtain medical care.

An evaluation of the programme, which has saved the lives of many people in parts of the country through the provision sponsorship for the treatment of a number of patients who could not afford treatment, has revealed that the transformation of lives of beneficiaries and their entire community is not just physical but touching.

The programme, which began airing on television networks three years ago, seeks to correct the myths and deal with challenges associated with some diseases in the Ghana’s health sector, and has since received eight awards locally and internationally. For the second time, the programme has won the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) TV Programme of the Year 2012.

The Head of Brands and Corporate Communications at Vodafone, Ms Carmen Bruce Annan, said her organisation saw it as a challenge to pioneer a corporate social responsibility (CSR) that would greatly impact the lives of the citizenry, adding that “We at Vodafone thought it necessary to redefine CSR in Ghana and in Africa generally. So we looked at how best to bridge the gap using television as a communication channel for easy understanding and engaging.”

“Today, Healthline has become part of the fabric of the Ghanaian society and I think that it is something we are immensely proud of,” she said in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra.

Ms Annan recalled that at the commencement of the novelty programme, they had no idea how it was going to work and had a bit of a struggle even trying to find doctors or resource persons.

“It is about breaking barriers and challenging norms and so we brought on board those young and easily approachable doctors. We have people in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Qatar, who have expressed interest in the programme,” she said.

According to Ms Annan, the biggest achievement of the programme is promoting the power of the mind to conceive ideas that can truly change things.

She said the challenge for Vodafone now was what it could do to continue to pioneer distinctive CSR programmes.

“From here we are looking at what we can do to use the power of the mobile phone to continue to let people take control of their health,” she said.