Health Awareness Campaign Reaches 1,062 in Rural Ghana

Advocates Of Change
Advocates Of Change

A concerted effort led by Sahara Advocates of Change in partnership with Gilead Sciences has successfully brought crucial health awareness and testing to remote communities and high schools in Ghana’s Upper West Region.

The initiative, supported by Gilead Sciences, utilized innovative approaches such as puppet shows and radio plays to educate and screen individuals for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

The campaign commenced in Naakateng and Ba-o-jon communities of the Wa West District, extending to Gbankonyiri and Baabayiri in Bussie-Daffiam-Issah District, and concluded in Dodoma, Donye, Dompie, Dugbalipare, Tankara, Tambigye No. 1 and 2 communities of Wa West District. Additionally, senior high schools including Takpo Senior High, Sombo Senior High, Tibani Vocational Institute, and Loggu Senior High were integral to the outreach efforts.

Over the course of April to May 2024, a total of 613 rural community members and 449 senior high school students were sensitized about the diseases, their implications, and prevention measures. Remarkably, 336 individuals underwent voluntary screening, testing, and counseling, leading to 10 positive cases of Hepatitis B who were promptly referred for further medical attention.

In tandem with community and school interventions, the project utilized the region’s top radio stations—Radio Mak, Info Radio, Home Radio, Radio Progress, and Tunsong Radio—to broadcast a compelling radio play and host discussions, reaching a combined listenership of over 780,000 people. This broader outreach aimed to enhance understanding and foster proactive health-seeking behaviors among the wider population.

Feedback from participants and stakeholders underscores the program’s impact and the demand for continued initiatives. Salifu Majeed from Naakateng community expressed gratitude for the program’s outreach, highlighting the challenges faced by those unable to participate due to agricultural commitments. Similarly, Dagbol Thomas of Dodoma communities commended the unprecedented advocacy and health services brought directly to their doorstep.

Looking forward, Mr. Tengenaang Ernest, Principal of Tibani Vocational Institute, emphasized the significance of such initiatives in bolstering student health and overcoming barriers to testing. Radio stations also expressed interest in further collaborations to extend health awareness efforts beyond HIV/HBV/HCV.

This initiative stands as a testament to effective community engagement and partnership in promoting health education and disease prevention in underserved regions of Ghana.

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