THE NATIONAL HEALTH WEEK
Annually, the University of Ghana Medical School sets aside a week to observe the national health week and this year’s health week took place from the 9th to 13th of September.
This was preceded by the launch on the 31st of August, 2019 which took place at the University of Ghana Great Hall. The launch was organized by the Office of the Health Officer of the University of Cape Coast Medical Students’ Association and hosted by the University of Ghana Medical School. It was attended by the various medical schools in Ghana as well as their Deans, the College of Health Sciences Provost, popular personalities such as Oheneyere Gifty Anti and a representative from The Office of the First Lady of Ghana. The theme for the health week was Enhancement of Basic Rules and Commitments to eliminate Maternal mortality and Neonatal mortality, and the launch was successful.
Then came the District Health Tours. Medical students from the UGMS and UGDS were registered and assigned to districts all over the country for this course. This was spearheaded by the school’s Health Officer, Patricia Ampofo. An example of such a district was Mpohor District in the Western Region. Students were received warmly in the districts and did give back to the community what they had learnt in school pertaining to the subject at hand. Some of objectives for the week included; defining maternal mortality and discussing its epidemiology, addressing major delays and medical conditions that increase risk of maternal mortality, emphasize on the danger signs of pregnancy and lastly, recommend good nutrition and healthy lifestyles to reduce mortality.
Students reached out to individuals in the district by visiting schools, hospitals, Community Based Health Planning and Services, local information centres as well as health centres to speak to students and pregnant women .The people of the community interacted well with students and showed sincere interest in the topic by asking very intelligent questions.
Students had the opportunity to meet people in authority such as District Public Health Officer, District Nutrition Officer and last but not least the District Health Officer with whom they worked hand in hand with so as to accomplish the set objectives. Students were also taken round the District and giving information on the health status of the district by these persons.
At the end of the day, students came out with recommendations and commendations in each district intended to help the various Districts assess and improve their health systems so as to reduce maternal mortality.
In conclusion, the week was a memorable and fruitful one which presented medical students with the golden opportunity to give back to society so as to help build Mother Ghana.
Written and Compiled by: Adwoa Oppong-Kyekyeku, Class of 2022