Community Health Outreach with HEPENS

HEPENS Health Clinic

Community Health Outreach with HEPENS

Written by Sarindi Aryasinghe and Kali Burnell, 2014 West Africa: Global Health Program Leaders.

Health Clinic2As we were finally getting accustomed to the city life and finding our groove, it was time to make moves. We tro-troed to Cape Coast on Sunday to begin our time with our partner HEPENS, where we would quickly adapt to the laid back atmosphere and environment of Cape Coast.

HEPENS is a non profit organization focused on promoting health practices and prevention in the surrounding local communities. We met with Nicholas the founder of HEPENS for orientation. His commitment, ambitions, and drive toward his projects were most certainly inspiring and we found it to be a great motivation to get our week started.

Our time was kicked off with discussions with Ghana health services and the national health insurance scheme. We gained valuable insight into the health system from a government stand point where health equality across the nation was emphasized. Kwamano was the first community in which we would work, we split into two groups. One group conducted a small clinic/outreach program taking blood pressure, weight for records, and consulting for positive, simple, and healthy lifestyle changes. Meanwhile, the other half of our team conducted surveys with the women involved in the Palm Oil Project.

Once we wrapped up our day in the field we went to town and got to soak up the scenes of the coastal front, and what a view it had in store for us!

Sunrise
The following day, we headed out on our next adventure with HEPENS only to be greeted and welcomed into the school by the students singing, drumming, and dancing. A surreal experience to say the least! Once again we split up into two groups; while one group conducted school outreach on health promotion and sanitation, the other group kicked off another outreach program to the local community on hypertension and diabetes. The community’s response was more than expected and their desire to learn was evident.

Health Classroom
HEPENS Presentation2
HEPENS Presentation
We then set up a small but productive clinic similar to the past, but this time we included malaria testing along with blood glucose testing. Having a few local nurses alongside our team definitely increased the success of our day.

We’ve learned a lot from the program, but also from team discussions. It has given us insight to developing and broadening our perspective on a healthier lifestyle.

HEPENS team
Shout outs to family and friends!
Mad love from the Global Health crew.

P.S. Birthday wishes going out to Tanvi’s pal, Joanna, and Lindsay’s sis, Laura!

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