The staff from the Atorkor Community Medical Centre and volunteers have begun the mass health screening exercise. The exercise involves health workers visiting the residents in their homes, asking them specific health related questions and performing blood pressure checks. The screening is part of the Primary Health Care Program under the Atorkor Community Health Care Program (ACHCP).
Health problems most likely to be encountered include Malaria, (especially in Children under 5 years old), Heart disease-High blood pressure/hypertension, Diabetes, Asthma, Malnutrition, under-immunised children, pregnant mothers not receiving antenatal care and suspected cases of HIV/AIDS.
In addition to health issues, data such as the number of children in the household and whether they are attending school or not will also be collated. This should help set up a Demographic Health Surveillance System. The screening program has already started from Atorkor and will then be extended to the residents in the other villages of Dakordzi, Akplorwotorkor, Srogboe and Whuti. A dedicated software has been developed for this program.
The results/data from the screening should enable:
- Those people identified with acute illnesses to be treated at the Medical Centre. The urgent cases will be referred to the hospital. The nearest hospital is the District hospital in Keta, 27 km from Atorkor.
- Establishment of specialist clinics –Hypertension, Diabetes etc. to manage and monitor those affected by the disease.
- Child health clinics to deal with immunisation, malnutrition
- Maternity clinics
- The children identified not to be attending school to be referred to the local Education committee or the school head in the village.
UPDATE: During the first week of the program, 5 residents with dangerously high blood pressure were identified and sent to the clinic for further assessment, treatment and referral to Keta as needed. Also, two possible cases of Kwashikor (malnutrition) were identified and Nurse Sabadu was made aware for followup.