Eni, a global energy company, collaborated with the West African Rescue Association (WARA), an International SOS affiliated company, to set up a community health campaign in Ghana. Coordinated by WARA, the programme was designed to improve public health in ten communities within the Ellembelle district.
In partnership with the Ghana Health Services (GHS), the initiative which spanned a period of ten days, comprised of interactive health education sessions, health screenings and distribution of resources such as mosquito nets. The campaign also involved the training of health professionals to provide health education to the communities. Educational materials designed by International SOS were used in schools and other community settings. Nearly 3,000 people participated in the screenings and education sessions, with the WARA team conducting follow-ups for those who were referred for further tests or check-ups.
Eni wanted to implement a community health awareness campaign in ten communities within the Ellembelle district, in the Western region of Ghana. Based on the 2022 Annual District Health Report from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for Ellembelle, malaria is the leading cause of outpatient visits. Additionally, prevalent health challenges in the community include eye diseases, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
WARA supported Eni as a health partner capable of providing support in multiple areas including programme coordination, design of the methodology and execution plan, development of health promotional materials, procurement of health commodities, and the delivery of on-site medical consultations.
The programme aimed to empower individuals by providing them with the right knowledge and tools for them to make informed health-related decisions. To achieve this goal, WARA designed a multifaceted approach that included health education sessions and screenings/testing with a focus on malaria, STIs, eye diseases and NCDs such as diabetes and hypertension.
WARA partnered with GHS to implement this campaign, targeting children in public basic schools and the community through traditional durbars – which are gatherings convened by village chiefs or elders. Health education sessions were carried out during these durbars within each community, where participants were kept engaged through interactive sessions in their local language.
They were also encouraged to go through screening procedures including blood pressure checks, eye tests, blood glucose tests and malaria antigen tests, given the prevalent concern of malaria in Ghana. Positive malaria tests were treated and pregnant women (irrespective of their malaria test results) were educated on malaria during pregnancy. Given the incidence of hypertension diseases in the district, our consultants have also recommended health education and promotion on medication compliance and lifestyle changes for the communities.
WARA’s public health specialists – remotely supported by International SOS’ public health and consulting teams – were present on-site to review the results of screening tests and offer relevant health advice or referrals when needed.
Health educational materials, blood pressure apparatus, devices for checking blood sugar levels and antimalarial medications were donated to the health facilities within the district.
A total of 1,850 insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) were also distributed, with a minimum of 150 ITNs distributed per community. The distribution ensures that over 3,700 people are now better protected against mosquito bites, contributing to the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases.
To measure the immediate impact of the education sessions, participants were randomly selected to complete a questionnaire testing their health knowledge at the beginning and the end of each session. Preliminary assessments indicate a positive shift in knowledge and attitudes after the health talks.
WARA is committed to ongoing collaboration with Eni Ghana to support health-related projects in communities in which they are located.