As part of the efforts to create more awareness on breast cancer and also educate young girls on the need to stay healthy, Elijeko Foundation conducted its 10th Community Health Promotion event at Kumasi Wesley Girls Senior High School and St. Michael Educational Complex both in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.
The event was in commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness month celebration.
The team led by Mr. Samuel Oduro Mensah provided hands-on training on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Self-Breast Examination.
Students were also educated on how to detect and prevent Urinary Tract Infections, Upper Respiratory Infection, and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
The lead Medical Advisor, Mrs. Priscilla Amma Pokuaah, a Physician Assistant at Kama (Mikaddo) Clinic in Kumasi entreated students to abstain from unprotected sex, and maintain proper hygiene.
“Many of the young patients we receive at our health facilities suffer from conditions that can easily be prevented through proper hygiene”, she said “I admonish all female students to stay away from patronizing illegal medications, especially body enhancing drugs which has the potential to inflict negative impact on them in the future”.
Speaking in an interview the founder of Elijeko Foundation, Mr. Andrews Nyantakyi who services as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy said the focus of the foundation’s Community Health Promotion events is to promote preventive and safe health practices in Ghana as well as other sub-Saharan African countries.
“Our model is simple: we go to schools, churches as well as community gatherings with our team to provide basic preventive health education, and detection techniques for illnesses that are prevalent in our societies. We are working to support the United Nations 3rd Sustainable Development Goal which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, he added.
The Chaplain of the school, Reverend Peter Nimo, commended the organization for its contribution towards health promotion in Ghana and pleaded with the team to work with the school in setting up a sickbay to provide timely health interventions to students when needed.
Mr. Samuel Oduro Mensah, the Country Director for Elijeko Foundation urged the government and other relevant bodies to support the promotion of preventive health education in Ghana.
4. Widespread use of breast enhancing creams among SHS students
There are reports of widespread use of breast enhancing creams and injectibles among Senior High School students and other teenagers.
The substances are also said to change the complexion the breast region of users.
In the course of the investigations, a young female in Senior High School revealed she once used the product after a friend introduced it to her.
Josephine, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, is a seventeen-year-old Senior High School student.
She appears to wear an A-cup bra and she says her friends laugh at her for having smaller breasts.
“I feel embarrassed when my friends laughed at me for having small breasts. I have always had this perception that certain clothes will not look good on me. So I decided to use it but I stopped that’s why I am still flat,” she added.
Other young women have also used similar cosmetics, they claim, make the breasts fairer.
Josephine says the cosmetics and other body enhancement products are sold on the open market but only to their target customers.
Checks at the Food and Drugs Authority shows no product has been duly registered for the purpose.
Dr. Priscilla Amma Pokuaa says teenagers need to be aware of the danger they are exposed to.
“We have hormones in the breast that regulate and if those hormones exceed the amount of hormonal regulation it can also increase your risk factor. So there is the need to halt this practice which is increasing”, she said.
Local NGO, Elijeko Foundation, is on a mission to educate students to stay clear of such substances.
President for the foundation, Andrews Kwabena Nyantakyi says already some young women in some Senior High Schools in Kumasi are being trained on how to prevent some of these diseases.
“With the necessary knowledge, the disease like cervical and breast cancers can be prevented and this will help the country,” he added.