As part of the UDS-MSA’s commitment to the fight against COVID-19, medical students in the University for Development Studies celebrated their annual health week project this year, from Monday, February 22 to Saturday, February 27, 2021, under the theme, “RAYS OF HOPE; Rising from the Ashes of a Pandemic, What next?”.
The celebration was dedicated to sensitizing the people of Tamale and the Northern Region at large on COVID-19.
The World Health Organization declared the Novel Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic in March 2020. With Ghana recording its first case on March 13, it has been a long, hard road with many detrimental effects on our socioeconomic lives and education, especially medical education, not forgetting the many precious lives lost to the disease.
The 2020/2021 UDS-MSA Health Committee, chaired by Emmanuel Smith-Graham, a final year medical student, set out with the medical student body (MSA) to ignite Rays of Hope within Tamale community in their recently ended 2020/2021 Health Week Celebration. Rays of Hope that indeed with the right attitudes, mindsets, and commitments towards CoVID-19, we would get through this together.
For the first time in a Zoom Webinar on Saturday, February 20, the celebration was launched under the esteemed Chair-ship of Prof. Gideon Helegbe, Vice Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) of the University. He spoke on behalf of Prof. Stephen Tabiri, the Dean of SMHS-UDS, on the medical student’s role in the fight against CoVID -19 within the University community and beyond. Other guest speakers at the launch were Dr. Yennusom Maalug, a Specialist Psychiatrist, Pantang Hospital, and Dr. Stephen Apanga, a Public Health Specialist in UDS, Tamale. They spoke on “Impact of CoVID-19 on Mental Health” and “Public Health Duty towards CoVID-19” respectively. The week-long activities from Monday 22nd were as follows;
Poster presentations were made at vantage points all over the UDS-Tamale campus with two medical students as moderators to help educate non-medical students at each poster point on COVID-19. A strict policy instituted by the Health Committee ensured that all individuals attending the sessions were in nose masks and observed social distancing with not more than ten persons present fin each presentation group at a time. The UDS-MSA acquired a temperature gun for this exercise as well.
Tuesday 23rd – Friday 26th:
Members of UDS-MSA visited various Radio stations in Tamale key of which were Filla FM, Kingdom FM, and 123FM to educate the general public on the pandemic. The discussions were placed on observing all GHS and WHO outlined at all times with translations made in some dialects of the people of Tamale to ensure a wide range of reach and understanding on the subject matter. Some myths and falsehoods surrounding the virus were busted, and the public was also sensitized to the vaccine, which was said to arrive in the country on February 24, 2021.
Members of the UDS-MSA also visited some strictly selected senior high schools within Tamale to spark interest and care on COVID-19 while in and out of school and sensitize the young minds on the pandemic.
Some final-year medical students who were already in various districts across Ghana working on their Final MBCHB thesis volunteered and seized the opportunity to educate the communities they found themselves on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saturday, February 27: Donation Exercise
A delegation led by the UDS-MSA Health Officer, the MSA Finance Committee Chair, the MSA Secretary, and the MSA Vice President and involved some members of the health committee on Saturday called on the Chief and elders of the Dungu community, where the UDS-Tamale campus is situated. The Chief, elders, and his royal entourage were educated on the COVID-19 pandemic. Although riddled with financial challenges, UDS-MSA donated some PPEs- including nose masks, 4.5L liquid soap gallons, and 100 (200ml) bottles of hand sanitizers – to be given to less privileged members of the community to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UDS-MSA is a not-for-profit student-led organization and is equipped with the necessary systems and personnel to undertake more donations and projects like these to the society and is by this inviting all stakeholders and co-believers of humanitarianism to come on board to partner with us to continue doing some good to the societies around us.
You can get in touch with UDS-MSA on the web at www.udsmsa.org. Insatgram @udsmsa and on Twitter @udsmsagh. You can also reach us via e-mail [email protected]
On the phone, you may contact the UDS-MSA President, Safwan B. Yiah, on 0552935305 or Health Officer E. Smith-Graham on 0240022479.
Written by; UDS-MSA Health Committee
Edited by: UDS-MSA Editorial Board