A local NGO, dedicated to the protection of the rights of vulnerable girls and women, ‘Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (SWAA) – Ghana’, is advocating free health insurance for female head porters, popularly referred to as, ‘kayayes’.
Mrs. Elsie Ayeh, its Ashanti Regional Coordinator, said this was important to give them access to quality healthcare.
She pointed out that the harsh economic situation they found themselves had been making it difficult for them to afford medical treatment when sick.
This was why the government would have to intervene – to provide them with a safety net.
Mrs. Ayeh made the call at a health outreach programme organized jointly by the NGO, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for kayayes’ in Kumasi.
They were screened for hepatitis ‘b’, blood pressure and other diseases. Additionally, they were given multi-vitamin, pain-killers and de-wormers.
The pregnant among them were found not to have been attending ante-natal clinic and anaemic, a condition, the health personnel on hand to examine them described as ‘disturbing’.
Madam Comfort Agbenyikey, a retired Principal Midwifery Officer at the Atwima Maakro Hospital, educated them on the need to maintain good personal hygiene.
She counseled the adolescent porters to abstain from pre-marital sex to protect themselves from sexually-transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.