Officials from NCPD at Sharecare Centre
Officials from NCPD at Sharecare Centre
Sharecare’s board member Farida Bedwei shares her story on CNN’s African Voices. More here:
GHANA FEDERATION OF THE DISABLED (GFD)
COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY
3rd December, 2014
Since 1992, United Nations set aside December 3rd of each year as the International Day of Persons with Disability (IDPWDs). The annual commemoration of the day has the following objectives among others:
This year, the commemoration is also intended to further raise awareness of disability as a cross-cutting development issue, and to usher in the sustainable development goals which will succeed the MDGs.
Every year UN gives the theme on which the worldwide observance of the day hinges. The theme for the 2014 celebration of the IDPWDs is SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: THE PROMISE OF TECHNOLOGY”. Since the cradle of mankind, technology has always impacted in the way people live, work and play. For instance, the information technology has led to increased connectivity between and among individuals, between businesses, and has even made the world a global village, where everybody is a neighbor to the other. One may therefore not be in error to conclude that the reasoning for curving this year’s theme around technology could be to harness the power of technology for the promotion of inclusion and accessibility for full and equal participation of PWDs in society and to shape the future of sustainable development for all. In spite of the enormous benefits of technology, it is regrettable that not all people, especially PWDs, the world’s largest minority, can afford or have access to benefits of the technology. This claim is sustained by the invisibility of PWDs in mainstream development framework and processes.
Ghana’s theme for the commemoration of the Day, MAKING GHANA ACCESSIBLE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY: A CONCERN FOR ALL, goes beyond the international theme centered on technology to include the breaking down of environmental, especially the built environment, communication, and attitudinal barriers, to pave way for the enjoyment of full and equal rights on equal basis by PWDs.
The Ghana Federation of the Disabled will like to use this commemorative day to make the following appeals to government:
GFD also wants to call on the various religious bodies to make the gospel available and accessible to PWDs. For instance, most church buildings, parishes, and mosques are physically not accessible to PWDs. Sermons or preaching hardly includes sign language. The pulpits are not also used to sensitize the congregation on disability.
GFD further calls on the media and Civil society organisations (CSOs) to join the crusade in promoting understanding on disability, and working towards a barrier-free country where PWDs will enjoy fully and equal rights on equal basis, at all levels, with those without disability , including participation in decision-making processes.
The Federation salutes all Persons with Disabilities as we commemorate this day and pledges its resolve to work for the recognition and promotion our rights in Ghana.
Thank you and May God Bless you All.
To protect yourself and your family from the Ebola disease:
Avoid contact with infected persons living or dead;
Do not touch dead or live animals like bats, antelopes and monkeys;
Wash hands regularly under clean running water;
Cook all foods very well;
Persons showing signs of Ebola should be taken immediately to the nearest health facility.
Thanks to “A Taste of Ghana” and volunteers from Korle Bu, we have started weekly physiotherapy sessions at our centre in Osu.
A speech therapy volunteer is also with us from Development Without Borders (DSF) for the next three months. Other volunteers are painting the centre at their own cost.
Looks like a very good beginning by God’s grace.
Diesel, US-based designer, features Jillian Mercado, Executive Editorial Director for WeTheUrban magazine on the Spring/Summer campaign. Jillian is 26 and has Muscular Dystrophy:
By Jenni Bristow.
Managing any chronic illness is a difficult path, and sickle cell anemia is no exception. The World Health Organization estimates that 2% of Ghana’s population, or nearly 18,000 people, suffer from sickle cell anemia, and 1 in 3 people are carriers of the genes that cause it. If you or a loved one suffers from sickle cell anemia, do not lose hope. While the disease can be debilitating, with proper medical treatment you can live a full and healthy life.
What is Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is a mutation of the hemoglobin cells in which they form a crescent shape. These abnormal cells clog the arteries, causing extreme pain, organ damage, and higher chances of infection. This condition is very serious in Ghana, as proper medical treatment can be difficult to come by. It’s not always practical to travel long distances for quality medical care, but treatment is essential to reduce the symptoms and complications of sickle cell anemia. The sickle shaped cells die off within weeks, and cannot be easily replaced naturally by the body’s bone marrow, which normally produces new blood cells every six months. Bone marrow transplants can ease the body’s burden of creating cells, but such treatments are not readily available in Ghana.
Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment
Seek out treatment regimens that help the body cope with the symptoms of sickle cell anemia, and ease the pain that these oddly shaped cells can cause. Children should receive their full set of immunizations, as well as twice daily doses of penicillin. Folic acid and blood transfusions may also be recommended to prevent severe anemia. A new medicine called Hydroxyurea helps prevent cells from turning into sickle shapes, but is not widespread in Ghana. Proper diet and clean water helps the body fight off the symptoms of sickle cell anemia. Extreme cold exacerbates the pain attacks and should be avoided. These excruciating bouts of pain are often treated with prescription opiates. However, opiates are addictive and this can lead to overuse, even if prescribed by a doctor. Remember to follow all sickle cell treatment guidelines as told to you by a healthcare professional, and speak up if you believe opiates are becoming a problem. While prescription opiates may seem like a good short-term solution, over time they can become as much of a problem as the sickle cell anemia.
Prevention of Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia can be prevented, through screening and education. Young people in Ghana should be tested to see if they are carriers of the sickle cell genes. Once they know of their genetic status, they can make educated family planning decisions in the future. A couple where both parents have the genes have a 1 in 4 chance of having a baby with sickle cell anemia. While young lovers and newlyweds may be uncomfortable talking about the chance of passing sickle cell anemia to their future children, the knowledge of how devastating the disease can be should be enough to prompt them to make difficult decisions.
If a woman is pregnant, there is a screening test that can determine whether the baby will be born with sickle cell anemia. This information can be difficult for the young mother. If a positive result is found, she will have time to educate herself on the baby’s future treatment options. However, some women may opt to terminate the pregnancy, if the burden would be too difficult to bear. While this is a personal decision, sickle cell anemia need not be a death sentence. The average life span of a person with sickle cell anemia is 48 years. With proper care, children can live a long life and be productive members of society.
Government Initiatives for Sickle Cell Anemia
National programs can help the citizens of Ghana manage sickle cell anemia effectively. The creation of hospitals and treatment centers in rural locations will help make treatment more accessible for families affected by the disease. The need for widespread education about the disease indicates that teachers and social workers will help provide necessary counseling and support to those at risk for passing the genes to their offspring. Scientific studies and research within Ghana are crucial for advancements in sickle cell anemia treatment, and to determine the areas in Ghana that are the most vulnerable.
Sickle cell anemia is a lifelong illness that requires a comprehensive treatment plan. Accommodations for the disease will be needed throughout your lifetime, to manage pain and ensure good health. However, with diligent care, you can live your life, knowing that you have taken advantage of every treatment option within your reach. The future holds many possible treatments for sickle cell anemia and a brighter future for generations to come.
On January 25, 2014, A Taste of Ghana, an evening curated to share the wonderful flavors of Ghana, spotlighted and created awareness of Sharecare Ghana (Sharecare4u), an organization founded to empower people suffering from autoimmune and neurological conditions in Ghana.
The event, organized by Ayesha Harruna Attah, daughter of Sharecare founder, Nana Yaa Agyeman, and her friends Efua Opoku and Nana-Ama Kyerematen and various sponsors, brought together 100 people at Bat Haus, in Brooklyn, NY. Charles Cann, creative director of Tropical Ghana, prepared the delicious food.
It was a memorable night, which included a raffle draw, a documentary, comments from the main organizer, and plenty to eat and drink. Through ticket sales, the raffle, and various donations, A Taste of Ghana raised over $4000.
Ayesha posted on Facebook the following day: “So grateful to everyone who showed up yesterday for A Taste of Ghana. Special thanks go to Charles Cann of tropical Ghana for the mouthwatering dishes he prepared.Big, big thanks to our sponsors: A Peace Treaty, afridiaspora.com, Amanda Uprichard, Bat Haus Coworking Space, Design 233, GhanaNewsMedia.com, Il Vino Torchio, Mataheko Restaurant and Lounge, Mohammed Naseehu-Ali, Powder Necklace: A Novel by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, The Sampler, and The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.Thanks for helping us raise funds for Sharecare Ghana.”
One of Sharecare Ghana’s successes is the establishment of a therapeutic center for children with neurological conditions. The center now needs to be equipped. The money raised will fund speech therapy, physiotherapy, and some of the following equipment: therapeutic mats, physio balls, toys, static cycles for kids, a treadmill, walkers, a standing frame, corner seat, wedges, gaiters, and an office desk and chair.
Sharecare has expressed gratitude to ATaste of Ghana for this remarkable fundraiser and for the funds that are continuing to come in after the event.