The Apostle Joseph Ayim Prempeh, Founder of Joseph Ayim Prempeh and Partners (JAPP) Foundation, has advised Ghanaians to help improve the lives of the vulnerable and not leave everything on the shoulders of government.
“We have the mandate as children of God to reflect the love of our Creator whose love transcends every region, religion, ethnicity and race. All of us will be accountable for what we do,” he said.
Apostle Prempeh said this at the launch of a holistic free health screening and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) registration and renewal for head potters (Kayayei) at the Agbogbloshie Market, organised by the Foundation, to mark the Universal Health Coverage Day.
He said the Foundation was a vision that was born out of the passion of seeing the changes in every life; therefore, it had the mandate to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ by supporting others.
Apostle Prempeh assured the Kayayei that the Foundation would come up with a comprehensive programme such as schooling and skills training opportunities to enhance their living conditions.
Mr Eric Kwabena Agbozo, the Executive Secretary of the Foundation, said the UN High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) had instituted a resolution where world leaders, including Ghana’s, endorsed the most ambitious and comprehensive political declaration on health, especially in the support of HIV/AIDS, reproductive, adolescent and maternal health.
He said the UHC was reinforced by a healthcare system that was resilient and robust and provided access to all health services; promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation, and was effective and affordable.
Mr Agbozo described Agbogbloshie as arguably the largest slum in West Africa with over 4,000 residents with 70 per cent being women and youth, overburdened with health and social challenges, especially in the era of COVID-19.
Enrollment and renewal on the NHIS annually costs GHC 27.00, which is said to be expensive for the Kayayei, who were already struggling to take care of accommodation and feeding challenges.
The Foundation’s intervention of providing access to affordable health care services through screening, referrals, treatment, rehabilitation, care and support, and the renewal of NHIS cards for 300 female head potters was described by the porters as ‘God sent.’
Mr Benjamin Tsikata, a Clinical Psychologist and Board Member of the Coalition of Ghana NGOs in Health, said he observed through the screening that most of the Kayayei had high blood pressure, attributable to the bad eating habits and lifestyle.
‘‘About 75 per cent of them had never visited any health facility,’’ he added, saying those with extremely high blood pressure were referred to a nearby clinic.
Mr Mohammed I. Salifu, Chairman of the National Head Potters Association of Ghana, thanked the Foundation for the kind gesture.
‘‘This screening is special because it was not limited to a specific disease,’’ he said.
The screening was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Defence Against Aids Poverty and Underdevelopment, Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, Global Alliance for Vaccination, and Stop TB Partnership.
The rest are Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, Africa Civil Society on the Information Society, Kayayei Youth Association, and Opportunity International Savings and Loans.