TCOP Students Run Ghana Health Mission
P4 Nana Asante Spearheaded Effort
Almost 4,000 Ghanaians received treatment at a health fair organized by TCOP P4 Nana Asante over two days in March.
“I always try to give back,” said Asante, who moved to the US from Ghana when she was ten. “Before I started pharmacy school I was trying to help the population of Ghana and when I began pharmacy school I realized I could use my medical knowledge as a means to help others. It was a combination of both my worlds.”
Asante organized the fair over a six-month period and ran it together with three other TCOP students Kristie Clark, Reshma Lakhram and Adrea Yang along with TCOP preceptor Dr. Kimberly Becker who traveled with them to Ghana. Asante and her colleagues raised funds through GoFundMe as well as churches in the tri-state area for the fair.
Asante said that everyone in the group all shared the same mission.
“We wanted to do something to give back like we learn about in school,” she said.
The fair was held on March 12-13 in the city of Accra. Asante and her TCOP peers recruited 30 other volunteers including physicians and nurses to treat the population during the fair. The group also worked with local clinics to offer discounted treatment procedures to fair participants. One clinic CEO was so impressed with the effort that he offered the fair the use of the clinic’s ambulance.
While the fair was initially intended for 2,000, as patients kept on arriving they quickly scaled up.
The fair offered screening, counseling and free medication for anyone who attended.
“It was unbelievable,” stated Dr. Kimberly Becker. “The people of Ghana have poor access to health care, and we were able to provide medical consultation and drug therapy to a large number of patients in a short period of time. Patients who had been suffering from worms, yeast infections, upper respiratory infections for months; were able to finally receive treatment.
The most common conditions were hypertension and diabetes, Asante said.
The TCOP students even ran a radio-call in show to offer counseling to individuals who couldn’t make it to the fair.
Asante said she hopes to run the fair again next year.