The Osu Bethel Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church youth wing, as part of activities to commemorate the church’s Global Youth Day (GYD), organised a free medical care screening for kayayei within the Osu vicinity.
Aside from the free health screening for blood pressure, sugar level, body mass index (BMI), dental, and eye services, several hundreds of participants were also presented with goodies and other assorted gifts.
The benevolence exercise – organised on the theme: ‘Loving the Forgotten’, with a call to action to ‘be the sermon’ in their various communities – witnessed several youth members of the church contributing their quota to ensuring the marginalised kayayei group and market women got a memorable experience.
Youth President, Bethel SDA Osu – Kweku Acheampong Aning, said this initiative which began in 2018 was to go out and demonstrate what has been learned in the church to the world; and since then, the activity is executed every year to impact lives.
“We the youth of the church once every year go out to demonstrate the things that we learn in church to the outside world. So we basically go out to be the sermons that we hear; and this year, we are with the market women and kayayei of Osu market.
Today, as part of Global Youth Day celebration, we are screening for eye, BP, BMI, blood sugar level, and dental services. We are also donating some items such as sanitary pads, diapers, toiletries, and assorted food items to the women,” he said.
Adding to that, he stated that the initial target was to impact a little below 1,000 people but the turnout was so overwhelming. However, the church was prepared to attend to everyone that showed up.
Touching on the call to action ‘Be the Sermon,’ he quoted the scripture in the Bible – John 21: 17 when Jesus said: “if you love me care for the poor…” and indicated that they are committed to living a life that demonstrates that sermon in works, but not only in words.
Dr. Boateng Wiafe, an Ophthalmologist – speaking to the media, indicated that more than 50 people were diagnosed with eye issues ranging from cataracts, glaucoma, and refractive error (myopia and hyperopia).
With regards to possible causes of the high number of eye defects among such marginalised groups, he explained that causes of the condition can be attributed to continuous stay under the hot sun for long hours without drinking enough water.
He therefore emphasised the need to develop programmes that will target educating and sensitising market women, kayayei and other groups that work in the sun for long hours to take precautionary measures that protect their eyes.
“There can be multiple factors to this situation; but I think exposure to sunlight because most of them work hard under the sun all the time, but do not drink enough water, and this water imbalance can cause this situation. Secondly, the environment is too dusty and when the dust continuously settles on the eye it leads to itching and then causes other eye problems,” he said.