The First Lady, Lordina Mahama, has made a passionate appeal to traditional authorities, elders and opinion leaders to advise the youth to be circumspect and not to engage in violent acts that would mar the peace in the country before, during and after the general elections.
She said as a mother “I am very concerned and would not want to see any woman or child suffer because whenever there was violence anywhere in the world they are the ones who suffer the most”.
Mrs. Mahama, made the appeal at a grand durbar of chiefs, queen mothers, youth leaders and members of the community at Navrongo in the Upper East Region where the Lordina foundation organized a free medical screening and donated medical equipment and supplies to the WAR Memorial Hospital.
The equipment presented with the support of MedShare of USA include plastic adhesives, syringes, theater masks, gloves, electrical orthopedic beds,
plastic bandages and urological products.
She said the occasion marks the climax of the Lordina Foundation’s Nationwide Medical Outreach Programme aimed at supporting health facilities in mainly deprived communities of the country.
The First Lady said already similar donations have been made in nine regions of the country and the Upper East Region was the tenth and last region of the country to have benefitted from the intervention.
She said more than 100 hospitals, clinics, medical centres and health posts in all the ten regions of the country have so far benefited from medical equipment and supplies as well as free medical screening exercise on breast cancer and Syphilis, HIV testing and counseling for residents who were mainly women and young girls.
Mrs. Mahama said the medical screening programmes were organized by the Ghana Chapter of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) and the Ghana AIDS Commission.
It was dubbed “Prevention of mother-to-child transmission-the key to an HIV free generation and keeping mothers alive campaign”.
Reiterating her call to ending child marriages, the First Lady said in February this year, her colleague First Ladies from Africa together with some eminent traditional authorities, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection joined her to launch the Ghana End Child Marriage Campaign at the Banquet Hall in Accra as a way of ending child marriage in Africa.
She noted that child marriage was an obnoxious tradition that has “no place in our enlightened 21st century World”.
She entreated all especially traditional rulers and queen mothers to help modify some traditional practices and customs that promoted child marriages and hinder the development of women and girls.
According to her it was necessary for such measures to be put in place as she observed that it would help promote “empowerment, equality, and opportunities for girls because they deserve a better future”.
“Child marriage is a violation of human rights, and it is equivalent to slavery, sexual exploitation and violence against its victims leading to
Sexually Transmitted infections like Syphilis and HIV/AIDS” she stated.
She expressed gratitude to the people of Navrongo for the warm reception accorded her although that was her first official visit to Navrongo and the region for that matter since she became a First Lady.
She commended the health personnel in the area including the staff of the WAR Memorial Hospital for their commitment to duty and providing healthcare to residents of the area.
She indicated that the health of the people was “central to the government’s transformational agenda for which reason the government has embarked on expanding infrastructural facilities in existing health facilities, building new ones as well as re-tooling district and regional hospitals with modern equipment”.
She explained that those medical supplies and outreaches by the foundation were to help complement government’s efforts at achieving its vision of improving on the health care delivery system in the country.
The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr.Kofi Issah said the WAR Memorial Hospital was one of the premier hospitals in the region hence the equipment which were mainly for surgical and anesthetic purposes would go a long way to help improve health care delivery among
residents in the catchment areas of the hospital.
The acting NavroPio, Wekem Arthur BaliniaAddah commended the government for constructing some feeder roads in Navrongo, which has significantly contributed to making it easy for transporting pregnant women from the remote parts of the area to the WAR Memorial Hospital particularly during emergencies.
The First Lady was accompanied by the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Albert Abongo, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Navrongo Central, Mr. Mark Owen Woyongo, and the National Women’s Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Hajia Joyce Zenabu.