An estimated five hundred residents in the Northern Regional capital town of Tamale have been given free medical screening and medication by Vodafone Ghana Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Ghana’s second biggest telecommunication company, Vodafone Ghana.
The one-day outreach forms part of the telecom company’s desire to extend further, more support in the area of medical diagnostics and treatment to its clients and the Ghanaian public in general in order to create a healthy society.
“Vodafone people have come at the right time. They came at a time few government hospitals in Tamale are choked with patients who are being turned away by other hospitals, because they no longer accept health insurance”, Sulemana Abdulai, an elated resident of Tamale told Savannahews shortly after being treated for cough and chest pain by medical personnel.
Saddled with challenges in the area of sanitation, majority of residents of Tamale visit the hospital frequently with medical conditions such as worm infection, rashes, malaria and other ailments especially during the rainy season.
Despite the existence of national health insurance some public health facilities which residents to access free medical care, cost of transportation and long queues sometimes discourage a lot of people from going to the hospital when they are sick.
“But for Vodafone I would have gone to join the long queues in any of the government hospitals. I wish Vodafone will come from time-to-time to give us this kind of support especially those of us who are growing older” Ibrahim Nurudeen, a middle-age man also told this reporter in a chat after being attended to by health personnel.
In March this year, Vodafone Ghana Foundation launched a new initiative dubbed “Healthfest” with the ultimate objective to roll out medical outreach to Ghanaians. According to Corporate Communications Manager of Vodafone Ghana Daniel Kissi Asiedu, people who come to the outreach are screened for diabetes, hepatitis B, hypertension, glaucoma and other medical conditions that are common in the area.
Meanwhile, at the end of the screening in Tamale, medical personnel hired from the Tamale Teaching Hospital to render services screened a lot of people with glaucoma, a disease of the eye which can cause a person to gradually lose their sight. The condition accounts for about 15 to 20 percent of blindness in Ghana every year.