The first primary hurdle of ELAB (Enriching Lives Across Borders) was a Community Health and Wellness Expo which took place on Saturday October 13, 2018, at the Presbyterian Church of Ghana- Redemption Congregation premises, 741 E. 84th Street, Chicago IL. The program was more than mere words can describe as a great success! Just imagine having been told for the first time that you are walking with a blood pressure high enough to lead to stroke anytime? It doesn’t end there, you get a free treatment and prescription to fill! Besides 200 members of the Ghanaian community were screened, treated and counselled at the exposition. One watched with nostalgia as medical officers and other healthcare professionals, most from Ghana, took time to explain medical conditions, diet and other important health information in Ga, Twi, Dagbani, Ewe etc. You cannot get that familial Ghanaian approach and touch at any medical facility in Chicago! I ask myself, how many healthcare facilities in Chicago can give diet education on kenkey and shitor, jollof rice, waatse and stew, banku and stew and other traditional Ghanaian foods than a Ghanaian professional?
The Presbyterian church halls dedicated for the program were turned into a clinic literally, as one can see a registration center, medical consultation and screening rooms, waiting areas and importantly dining area! The program was educational and interactive, designed for preventive medicine and wellness screening. The effects and side effects of Medications, Nutrition, Counseling, Fitness, Women’s Health, Depression and much more were undertaken by the professional and experienced medical volunteer staff. Health screenings such as Cholesterol, Diabetes, and Blood pressure were provided free of charges. Social medical workers were also at hand to inform participants of free healthcare resources available to them.
Participants in the program were overly satisfied and urged the organizers to put up such programs frequently. Madam Christiana Nyarko summarized the feelings of the participants when she stated that she was very happy because many important health information she didn’t know before attending the program were thoroughly and patiently explained to her in her own Akan dialect. The vice president of ELAB, Eunice Cromwell, promised that more of such programs are in the offing for the community.
Message from the president of the Ghanaian community, Paa Kwasi Sam:
We thank the medical professionals who dedicated their time in providing all the necessary medical equipment to sustain the program. We appreciate our generous sponsors, these are Gold Coast Home Health, The Jemimah Noonoo Foundation, DHO, and The Council of Ghanaian Churches. We also thank our media outlets, video, and photography services for the publicity of this very important event. With this,Sankofaonline.com, The African LIFE, Ako Radio and NYLA productions comes to mind. We thank the ladies of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, redemption congregation, for providing authentic and delicious food to everyone. We were just overwhelmed by the generosity and hospitality displayed. We thank you for your continued support and selflessness to the community. We look forward to the 2019 Health & Wellness Expo.
“The health and wellness exposition partnership of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana- Redemption Congregation, The Ghana National Council and ELAB has been one of the most tangible and significant achievements by the organizers ” ….www.sankofaonline.com
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