Infinity Mind Foundation Ends Well Body Workshop
Infinity Mind Foundation –Sierra Leone Chapter, (IMF-SLC), a humanitarian foundation that is geared towards promoting health and education awareness, has ended its 1st Annual Health and Education Awareness campaign with the theme “Kambia well Body Day” on hygiene promotion, sex education, mental health, teenage pregnancy, epilepsy including outdoor activities on free hepatitis screening, blood pressure screening, hand washing, amongst others.
The campaign, which was held at the Kambia District Council Hall on Saturday 27th October, 2018, attracted hundreds of pupils, representatives from the Kambia Government Hospital, Citiglobe Pharmacy representative, youth groups, medical experts, religious leaders, traditional heads, civil society activists, women’s groups, Kambia District Council representatives and media practitioners.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Pharm John Smith, who also serves as Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the IMF-SLC, told participants to relax because, according to him, the team from Freetown was full of medical practitioners to grace their 1st National Health and Education workshop in Kambia Town in collaboration with the District Medical Team. He added that the head of the Foundation, Dr. Rebecca M. Tailor was there to give her best as a payback to the country after gaining a lot of experience in medical studies abroad.
Pharm Smith furthered that they established IMF-SLC to engage the idle youths and motivate them to shrug aside the habit of using drugs and alcohol, adding that the stigma of mental health and the lack of health services providing adequate information on illnesses, disorders and treatment and prevention were not available, he said.
The Chairman said IMF-SLC was formed to help the country achieve better health for all by providing support to education and empowerment for communities, noting that the organization is here to educate and encourage young Sierra Leoneans on several issues that are affecting their health, especially in hygiene promotion, teenage pregnancy, sex education, mental health, hepatitis, epilepsy, among other key educative programmes.
The Chairman assured that the workshop would have expert facilitators that would speak on hygiene promotion, sex education, mental health, epilepsy and hepatitis for the benefit of the district, adding that the Kambia District Medical Team was also in full support of the process with the presence of District Matron, Rev. S.A.I. Conteh.
In her keynote address, the CEO of IMF-SLC, Dr. Rebecca M. Taylor said the Management of IMF-SLC decided to organize the first Annual Health and Education Awareness campaign in the Kambia District because positive mindset is key in transforming a state to encourage and inspire young people.
Dr. Rebecca Taylor emphasized that the mindset of young people in Sierra Leone is still unchanged, thus the reason for the high rate of teenage pregnancy, early marriage and drugs abuse, nothing that IMF-SL is working assiduously with other partners to change things and promote youth participation through educative forums.
“One of my main visions is to fight poverty in my country through educational support on teenage pregnancy, hygiene promotion, early marriage, health facility improvements because my goal is to see Sierra Leonean young people live decently,” Dr. Taylor stressed.
On behalf of the organization, the CEO presented cartons of Medicare anti-bacterial hand sanitizers worth millions of Leones to the Kambia Government Hospital and six secondary schools in a bid to support personal hygiene. She admonished pupils to focus positively on their studies as, according to her, education is key to any national development, nothing that IMF-SLC is willing and determined to support education programmes, especially for the girl child nationwide.
Speaking on hepatitis, infirmity and vaccinations, the CEO of Citiglobe Pharmacy in Freetown, Pharm Manal Ghazzawi said hepatitis is mainly caused through sexual intercourse, mother to child transfusion, blood transfusion via sharp objects among other factors, noting that hepatitis is divided into A, B and C.
Madam Ghazzawi said everybody including pregnant women should be vaccinated with either hepatitis A or B, nothing that vaccination is the only way to eradicate hepatitis in Sierra Leone. “It is always advisable to contact the right medical expert before taking anti-biotic,” Madam Ghazzawi admonished.
She highlighted some of the symptoms of hepatitis which includes fever, tiredness, loss of weight, swollen stomach, persistent scratching, bodily pains or yellow fever. She therefore advised people to visit health facilities as early as possible if any of the symptoms is suspected.
Making presentation on hygiene promotion, a senior nurse at the Kambia Government Hospital, Madam Hawa Kamara, who is also the IPC Supervisor, expressed appreciation to IMF-SL for considering the district for the all-important event aimed at educating young people on the need to practice good hygiene in their daily activities, noting that hygiene is divided into two segments – personal and food hygiene.
Madam Kamara further noted that she could not talk about hygiene without mentioning or talking about regular hand washing practice to avoid contacting germs, adding that hand washing has been a big challenge in the district since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country in 2014 due to lack of education. She however assured that with the intervention of IMF-SL, they are well prepared and willing to sensitize communities on the dangers of unhealthy activities.
Nurse Kamara therefore admonished the gathering, especially pupils, to always wash their hands with soap after visiting hospitals, toilets or any other dangerous places.
By Alhassan Bangura
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