A team of Volunteer Health Personnel led by the acting in-charge of Staff of Hope Clinic Mr. Sidiki Mumuni, a physician assistant and other resource persons held their first ever health education tour at St Clare Vocational Institute in Tumu,the District capital of Sissala East. Health issues discussed included ;Rhesus incompatibility (maternal health challenges), sickle cell disease, unsafe abortion, use of contraception and sexually transmitted infections and candidiasis. This event,being part of an organized sensitization tour by a team of volunteers coming from different departments in the health sector,Started at the St Clare Vocational Institute since they were the first school to have responded to amongst the many applications written to the intended beneficiary schools. The first phase of the tour will cover all second cycle institutions whiles the second phase to cover junior high schools in the Sissala East District.
St Clares Vocational Institute is girls dominated vocational training school found and owned by the Catholic parish. Courses such as dress making, ICT, Catering, Weaving and Electricals are taught. The school currently boost of a student population of 193, with 190 being females and 3 males.
‘’Staff of Hope Clinic’’ is private health care facility commissioned somewhere in middle of this year to augment government’s quest to enable universal access to quality health across the country. Accompanied with Mr.Sidiki Mumuni were two other resource persons from the health service namely,Mr Goriya Musah Dramani an anesthetist at the district hospital, madam Eugenia Bakuli and madam Naomi Baah both students of Tumu midwifery training school.
The health education tour is occasioned by the mass ignorance on the part of the youth on health issues named but not limited to. The team took the students through the causes, prevention, and effects and possible treatment on health issues such as Rhesus incompatibility (maternal health challenges), sickle cell disease, unsafe abortion, use of contraception and sexually transmitted infections and candidiasis.
Mr.Mumuni in the cause of his talk got dismayed when it was revealed that about 99% of the student population doesn’t know their blood group and hence do only visit the health facility when ill. With this, he admonished on the student body to as a matter of routine exercise do visit health facilities for checkup and not wait when ill. Questions were asked after his sessions and clarity sought of which comprehensive response with given.
A nurse -anesthetist Mr.Goriya Musah Dramani from the District hospital took the participants through sickle cell, the causes, prevention, effects and treatment. He also entreated participants to as a matter of urgency go for testing and also sought for genetic counseling when going into marriage to avoid the dreaded effects of the disease especially on children in marriage. He advised participants to avoid stigmatizing people with living with sickle cell and rather treat them humanly.
Participants seem to be more involving when madam Eugenia Bakuli introduced the topic’ ’unsafe abortion’ ’presumably many have felt victims to the canker and are yearning for information on the topic. When questions of knowing what actually trigger their desire to resort to unsafe means of terminating pregnancy? Many fascinating and harrowing answers were given ranging from the inability to continue education, poverty (expensive to have done at health facility), unsustainable relationship, and denial by guys responsible for pregnancy, social stigma attached to the act in society etc.
Madam Eugenia admonished on them to abstain from sex since is for only married people they being students. She also added they should have their pregnancy terminated by qualified doctors to avoid the consequences of over bleeding, life threating pains, infertility in the near future and even death at worst.
More hilarious and participatory was when Madam Naomi Baah introduced the topic ‘’use of contraception and sexually transmitted infections and candidiasis’’. Many of the participants seemingly were very ignorant of the various family planning methods especially on the injections, pills and the use of the female condoms. She during the talk did demystify the notion that family planning does not mean an individual cannot plan her life unless when married .She took them through the methods and admonished each to go in for if only they cannot abstain from sex but was in a haste to caution is only condom use that can as the same time prevent STI’s and that the other methods cannot.
All concerns from participants were duly addressed amidst students still vouching for more of the talk and therefore compelling the team to pledge of organizing a next visit.