REPORT ON HEALTH EDUCATION AND SCREENING IN THE VILLAGE OF SUBIN UPPER DENKYIRA IN THE WESTERN REGION ON OCTOBER 29TH, 2016
The inhabitants of Subin – a surface mining community in the Western Region, were put through health education and screening program on October 29, 2016 at about 12:15 pm. The screening was to aid the inhabitants realize their health status with regards to Malaria and its prevention and treatment. Since their business activity (surface mining) leaves a lot of open fleapits which later traps water making it an ideal place for mosquito to breed.
Their blood pressure was also checked and those with low pressure were given the needed advice.
In a discussion with the chief, he said he was very much happy to hear that such a group far away in Accra has thought about them, their environment, their kids and their health. He was happy about the education we gave his community and our generosity towards their children which he beliefs would encourage them to go to school and take education seriously. However his major concerns were;
- Education which has gone down in his community amongst the school going age.
- The destruction of cocoa farms for surface mining (galamsay)
- The destruction of water bodies and general farm lands.
- Increase in teenage pregnancy.
The goal of the screening was to help the inhabitants know their health status which will translate into an improved standard of living. This as a result will help the community and the nation at large.
The screening held seeks to achieve the following:
- Enlighten the individuals on the need for a healthy living.
- Make them understand the need to keep their surroundings clean.
- The various ways by which they can avoid contracting malaria.
- How the inhabitants can handle minor health issues with the use of First Aids and natural remedies.
347 people were screened out of which 160 were female and 187 were male. The rest constituted 218 children. Though the number was more than 347, time did not permit us to screen those who came in later since we had to set off early to Kumasi due to bad roads.
We had 18 cases with malaria, 8 were female and 10 male. They were directed to a clinic in the next two towns for treatment. There was also another case which was beyond our control so the patient was taken to the hospital and all his medical bills paid for. He was left in the care of one of our volunteer who lives and works in the village.
The facilitators for the health screening were Nana Kontor, Nana Oduro, Samuel Saka, Obedi Agyei Mensah, Ebenezer Emisah, Frank Obeng, Dwamena Asare, Maxwell Owusu and David Hammond. A few of these volunteers are professional health workers and the rest are in other fields of operation.
The inhabitants’ expectations at the end of the health screening are;
- To acquire knowledge about how to address minor health issues
- To learn new ideas on how to keep their environs clean to avoid diseases
- To learn about healthy living.
The following Methodologies were used during the screening process;
- Discussions and Illustrations
- Questions and answers
WHY HEALTHY LIVING
Living a healthy lifestyle may mean something different from one person to the next. For some, health is defined by living a disease-free life. For others, healthy is being able to play with grandchildren or perhaps adhering to a weekly exercise schedule. Though the definition of health may differ among people, living a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental component to achieving your optimal mental and physical well-being. Furthermore food choices affect our health each day i.e. how we feel today, tomorrow, and in the future. Good nutrition is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, our diet can help us reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce our risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and other life style diseases promote our overall health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only improves our quality of life, but promotes longevity.
WHAT IS MALARIA AND ITS CAUSES
Malaria can occur if a person is bitten by a mosquito infected with the Plasmodium parasite. An infected mother can also pass the disease to her baby at birth. This is known as congenital malaria. Malaria is transmitted by blood, so it can also be transmitted through:
- an organ transplant
- a transfusion
- use of shared needles or syringes and from person to person
The symptoms of malaria typically develop within 10 days to four weeks following the infection. In some people, symptoms may not develop for several months. Some malarial parasites can enter the body but will be dormant for long periods of time. Common symptoms of malaria include:
- shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe •high fever •profuse sweating•headache•nausea•vomiting•diarrhea•anemia•muscle pain•convulsions•coma•bloody stools.
Malaria can cause a number of life-threatening complications. The following may occur:
- swelling of the blood vessels of the brain, or cerebral malaria
- an accumulation of fluid in the lungs that causes breathing problems, or pulmonary edema
- organ failure of the kidneys, liver, or spleen
- anemia due to the destruction of red blood cells
- low blood sugar
Malaria is a life-threatening condition. Treatment for the disease is typically provided in a hospital. In some instances, the medication prescribed will not clear you of the infection. Parasites that are resistant to drugs have been reported. These parasites make many drugs ineffective. If this occurs, your doctor may need to use more than one medication or change medications altogether to treat your condition.
How to prevent Malaria:
- Weed surrounding bushes
- Distill stagnant gutters
- Avoid dumping refuse indiscriminately
- Report promptly when symptoms of malaria occurs to get treated
- Sleep in mosquito net
The lessons learnt by the people of Subin at the end of the health training/screening are as follows;
- How to handle their environs to prevent themselves from Malaria and Bilharzia.
- How to manage minor health issues at home before receiving medical attention at the nearest health center.
- How to cultivate the habit of a healthy living.
- The impact of healthy living on their future lives.
- How an individual can avoid Malaria, High Blood Pressure and other health related issues
More of such trainings/screening should be organized for the dwellers. This will help them to remain committed to healthy living.
It was a wonderful moment we had with the people. In as much as they got educated we got educated too, we learnt how they also use traditional means to solve most of their health problems.
We say a big thank you to the chief and elders of Subin for welcoming us into their village. And a big thank you to our Board sponsors and all the volunteers who made this project a success.