By Abdul-Latif Issahaku, Class of 2005
"A sound mind lives in a healthy body." The Ashesi's community firmly believes in this age-old maxim. When it has to do with the health of a member of our community, there is no feet-dragging. The university is equipped with a modern infirmary staffed by a highly-trained nurse and fitted with air-conditioners that are kept running every day of the week. The infirmary offers services from counseling on HIV/AIDS to care for minor bumps and bruises. When students come to talk about health-related problems, they are addressed instantly with a high sense of professionalism.
Though it is often thought that it is only HIV/AIDS that is ravaging the human resource of Africa, Tuberculosis (TB for short) is fast spreading in Ghana. It is to curb this trend that the Ghana Health Service embarked on a program to teach the general citizenry how TB is spread in order to aid in its prevention. Ashesi has decided to actively participate in the program.
The Ashesi health officer, Emelia Dela Kpodo, launched an educational campaign at Ashesi with technical and financial support from the Kpeshie Sub-Metro Directorate of Health Services. The Sub-Metro Director of Health Services, Dr. Felicia Bart-Plange, led a team of health officials and pressmen to Ashesi to witness the ceremony. Mrs. Kpodo instructed students and staff that people in close contact with persons suffering from TB, alcoholics, smokers and people living in over crowded environments are among those most vulnerable to infection by the disease. Consequently, she advised students to desist from smoking and alcoholism. Mrs. Kpodo took participants through a number of preventive measures that can be adopted to reduce the risk of infection. Participants were encouraged to ensure that they allowed for good ventilation in their homes, classrooms and offices, as unmoving air can be a breeding ground for the disease.
Treatment of TB under the program is free on reporting to the nearest health centre. If the program is sustained, there is hope Ghana will be spared the spread of another disease.