Ghana Health Service Receives 270 wheelchairs from LDS Charities 

Upwards of four thousand people benefits

News Release

LDS Charities, the Humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has handed over 270 wheelchairs to the Ghana Health Service for distribution to people with physical disabilities.

The ceremony comes after the successful completion of a three-day training program to train selected health-care professionals to properly prescribe and assemble wheelchairs for patients. to date more than four thousand wheelchairs have been donated to the Ghana Health Service by LDS Charities.

 

In 2003, the Church partnered with the Ghana Federation for Disability Organizations to roll-out the program. In 2008 a partnership agreement was signed with the Ghana Health Service to enhance the impact of the initiative.

The global wheelchair initiative spearheaded by the Church is currently rolled-out in one hundred and eighty-nine countries as part of the Church’s efforts to improve mobility, health, educational and economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an “estimated one percent of the world's population representing 65 million people, need a wheelchair”. It said that the provision of wheelchairs that are appropriate, well-designed and fitted, enhances mobility and opens a world of education, work and social life for those in need of such support.

Elder Van Christensen, Humanitarian Specialist for LDS Charities, explained, "In the past wheelchairs were procured from existing wheelchair manufacturers. However, the wheelchairs donated this year comes in three different categories “active, standard and the rough-terrain” were manufactured by the Engineering Department of Brigham Young University (A Latter-day Saint sponsored tertiary institution).

Cal Randle, a volunteer trainer for LDS Charities said, “This training is to equip technicians on how to select and assemble wheelchairs while the clinicians give prescriptions of wheelchairs for patients”.

Mark Kumi, technician from Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital expressed appreciation to the team.  “This training has helped me learn how to properly adjust a wheelchair to suit a particular patient. The acquired skills will aid my daily routine at the hospital,” he said.

Boni Courage Bernice, Head of Physiotherapy Department, Margareth Marquart Catholic Hospital opined that prior to the training she had limited knowledge on how to properly take care of wheelchairs. She continued, "The training program has properly equipped our staff with the needed skills to perform thier duties effectively."  

Speaking on the plight of persons with disabilities, Elvis Kosi Alipui, Chairman of the Accra Metro Disabled Society, expressed disappointment in most organisations over the sheer disregard for section 6 of the Ghana Disability Act 2006 which says, “The owner or occupier of a place to which the public has access shall provide appropriate facilities that make the place accessible to and available for use by a person with disability”.

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