The Rotaract Club of Accra-East held a free prostate cancer screening, mental health awareness and personal hygiene education for 80 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Accra. The public outreach was held in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Accra Legon East, Men’s Health Foundation, and Psychaid Love and Outreach. Mr. Afriyie Ofori-Koree, President of Rotary Club of Accra Legon East led the outreach partners to donate hand-washing soap, sanitizers, face masks, and groceries.
A needs assessment conducted by Rotaract Club of Accra-East in May 2021 found that students, staff, and members of the Ghana Federation of Persons with Disabilities were in need of health support. The outreach was in line with the three-year strategic plan of Rotaract Club of Accra-East and addressed the one of the focal areas of Rotary International – ‘Disease Prevention and Treatment.’ Ms. Ohenewaa Brown, President of the Rotaract Club of Accra-East, explained that the outreach reflected the club’s continuous determination to dedicate resources and time to improve the quality of life and healthcare of the marginalized in society.
“Several research reports reveal that Persons with Disabilities face discrimination and stigma when they access healthcare and such situations have the potential of affecting their mental health…Again, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting undue mental pressure on everyone around the world and its time we all put out mental health first.”Ms. Ohenewaa Brown | President, Rotaract Club of Accra-East
Ms. Brown justified the theme of the outreach by pointing to evidence on prostate cancer research conducted by Men’s Health Foundation that showed that Ghana had a high mortality rate from the disease. She added that people living with disabilities also faced significant challenges in accessing healthcare, which then impacted their mental health.
Ms. Lucky Bittor, Founder of Psychaid Love and Outreach observed the tendency for most people to prioritize their physical health over and above their mental health. Ms. Bittor explained that while stakeholders in the health sector were working hard to encourage mental health awareness education, the associated social stigma and lack of knowledge about mental health was threatening the gains made.
Mr. William Ohene-Ayeh, House Master at Accra Rehabilitation Centre received donated supplies and commended the outreach partners for the care and love shown through the project. Mr. Ohene-Ayeh assured the outreach team that the donated supplies would be applied diligently for their intended purposes.