Ever heard of the indigenous Tema Newtown Township located at the southern coast of Ghana? This is a land blossoming with an overwhelming number of young and old people as many as the fishes along their coast. Well, that’s not necessarily true but it would however interest you to know that this coastal town was the most recent stop for the ever moving ISMIS train. It was an eventful day delivering health services to the old people of the town and this article captures some of the special events that occurred, the highlights of the day and a peep into the what’s gonna happen next at ISMIS. Let’s dive in.
We are all aware of the importance of being healthy and active, even so, good health and aging can be said to be inversely related especially in our part of the world. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in an analysis of more than 114 000 COVID-19 associated deaths during May-August 2020, 78% of the people who died were aged 65 and older and most had underlying health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, asthma, and chronic kidney diseases. This reveals that health in the aging population is even more crucial.
Notwithstanding, many aged people in Tema Newtown do not prioritize their health due to either the lack of proper information or funds or the physical strength to visit a medical facility to be clinically checked and given appropriate medication. This is why ISMIS decided to show up at their community to provide free medical checks and counseling to the older generation to help them live better and healthier lifestyles. We totally agree with Betty Friedan when she says that, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength”.
On the beautiful Saturday morning of 18th September, 2021, ISMIS members and volunteers alike got ready and anticipated a sensational day with the people of Tema Newtown just as we had at the recent medical health screening at Ashaiman. We got to the location, cleaned up, set up our medical equipment and supplies and got ready to execute our individual tasks. The participants had to go through the first process of getting their names and contacts taken and went ahead to have their height and weight, temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and sugar level checked before proceeding to the medical doctors to be diagnosed.
They advanced to the counselors, pharmacists and dietician after that and went out with smiles. With a staff of about 5 nurses, 4 doctors, 3 lab technicians, 3 counselors, 2 pharmacists, a dietician and not forgetting the ever hardworking ‘free floaters’ who were committed to doing just about anything to ensure the smooth running of affairs, we were able to hit most of our targets. After a truly exhaustive day of trying earnestly to deliver good health services amidst keeping the COVID-19 protocols, the real highlight came when we found out we were able to serve about 300 aging people with more people trooping in with their relatives. We could proudly beat our chests and say, Veni, Vidi, Vici, we came, we saw, we conquered.
All this wouldn’t have been possible without the collective and collaborative effort of every member and volunteer at ISMIS. Special thanks to the Founder; Mr. Joel Arthur, Executive director; Miss Lucy Asare, Partners; Jubail Specialist Hospital, Hon. Frank Otoo(Assembly man for the Tema Manhean Electoral area) Media partners; Joy Prime, Atinka TV and all Sponsors and Supporting parties who may like to remain anonymous. Giving back to society is a necessity. We at ISMIS cannot fully express our joy in presenting our fathers and mothers with a new stage of health and strength. The Bible tells us that, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’ (Luke 12:48).
I therefore recommend that more Non-profit or Non-Governmental Organizations, Politicians, Corporate businesses and Well-to-do individuals take up the daunting task to pursue health related outreaches in their yearly activities cos’ it’s only when one has life that one can pursue other things in life. With this being said, heavily anticipate where the ISMIS train will move to next. A clue; a place in the central region.
Article by J’kayla Asante Dontoh