The Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has partnered the Aide à la Vulnèrabillitè, a charity-based health organization to screen inmates of the Navrongo Central prison in the Kassena Nankana Municipality.

The charity-based organization, which operates in the Upper East Region, has over the years organized medical screening services and donated gift items to the less privileged in the Region including the Mother of Mercy Babies Home at Sirigu and the Gbeogo School for the Deaf in the Talensi District.

Dr. Patrick Ansah, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the GMA in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the exercise, said the initiative to partner the organization was in line with the GMA’s annual national theme which seeks to help prisoners and other vulnerable groups.

He said the GMA medically consulted the inmates and added that “fortunately, the charity group put together some monies and were able to procure drugs, and by the grace of God we were able to treat everybody and even left some surplus drugs for their infirmary.”

Dr Ansah said skin diseases, general body aches and nutritional deficiencies were common among their findings after the exercise, and said “we dewormed most of them and gave antimalarial drugs as well.”

The GMA Chairman called for building of modern prisons, reduction of custodian sentences to free the prisons of congestion, and urged Non-Governmental Organizations to support prisoners, because the conditions at the prison were not good.

Mr Charles Lwanga Moandiyiem Tabase, the Chairman of the charity-based group told the GNA that about 172 inmates were examined for infections in their ears, noses and throats, Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for malaria and Random Blood Sugar (RBS) were done.

He said officials of the group who were health professional drawn from various health facilities across the region, further assessed the body temperatures, pulse rates, weight and Blood Pressures of the inmates.

Mr Tabase said it was a great collaboration with the Regional GMA to have the inmates screened, “what is more important to us is the love we showed. To us, it is the greatest of all, and we are hoping that in our future collaborations with other organizations and groups, they margin between the higher class and the vulnerable will be narrowed.”

Mr James Tobiga Naabil, the Builsa South District Director of Health Services and Lead member of Aide à la Vulnèrabillitè, prior to the exercise stressed that the group was made up of “selfless professionals who want to share with you their professional skills and knowledge free of charge,” and entreated the inmates to freely discuss their help needs with the team.

On the sidelines of the medical screening, the charity-based group with support from generous donors presented three bags of maize, assorted soft drinks, fruits, sanitary items, lunch packs and medicines to the inmates, and also took time to engage them in games including valley ball.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Navrongo Central Prison, Deputy Superintendent of Prison (DSP), Nyankpani Alhassan said the gesture by the group was helpful to the service and inmates.

He said the screening would significantly minimize the rate at which Officers of the service transported inmates to health facilities for treatment of minor medical conditions, and called on other organizations to come to the aid of the inmates.

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