Outreach seminar with GFD

On Tuesday 10th February we held an outreach seminar on autoimmune diseases and diseases of the central nervous system with the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) and its member associations.

At the Delegates’ Assembly of the GFD in December last year, it became clear that in spite of Sharecare Ghana’s membership, other members of the federation were largely uninformed about the conditions classified as autoimmune.

Speakers at the seminar, sponsored by Globalfund for Women and ABANTU for Development, were Drs. Ida Kuwornoo and Osei Poku, both of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

Dr. Kuwornoo gave an overview of ADs and said they tend to affect women more than men (75%), but when they do affect men, they are more critical.

Dr. Osei Poku concentrated on Multiple Sclerosis, which attacks the central nervous system – the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves. He said it is the second leading cause of disability in the developed world, the first being trauma (accidents).

Both doctors said these diseases are on the rise in Ghana perhaps because of environmental triggers. They said there is the need for more research and stressed that anyone who gets symptoms such as numbness of the limbs, blurred vision, fatigue among other symptoms should report immediately to the doctor.

They said groups such as Sharecare Ghana are important in creating awareness because knowledgeable patients can point doctors in the right direction.

Questions from the participants ranged from the difference between HIV Aids and ADs, how physiotherapy could correct sexual dysfunction, to whether medical science had failed in not finding a cure for autoimmune diseases, and many more.

Participants at the end said they had benefitted from what they had heard, the idea being that they would carry what they learned to their members, so that everyone becomes more informed.

Sharecare Ghana sincerely thanks Globalfund for Women and ABANTU for Development for making this event possible.