Drew Theological School student Janet Okang T’25 organized the screenings for the rural communities
September 2022 – Drew University’s Religion & Global Health Forum (RGHF), in collaboration with Amanfrom CLoK Academy (ACA), hosted two health screenings in the Amanfrom and Agartha-Koforidua communities, located in the eastern region of Ghana.
The events were organized by Drew Theological School PhD student Janet (Jane) Okang T’25, a native of Ghana who also founded ACA, an elementary school that aims to provide affordable education for underprivileged children in rural Ghana while allowing them to develop their God-given potential through education and life skills in a Christian environment.
The rural communities in Ghana have difficulty obtaining essential health support from the government.
To address the shortage in medical supplies and care, especially in Eastern Ghana, a local team of nurses and physicians provided the communities with malaria, hepatitis B virus, HIV, and hypotension screenings. They also offered education on the benefits of healthy living, and a team of pastors provided education on prayer, which is critical in the communities plagued with an over-spiritualized health crisis.
“The aim of the screenings was to learn more about the health system in the rural areas of Ghana and promote health equity, especially for the ‘underprivileged’ people in rural communities,” said Okang. “Moreover, it is to bridge the gap between church (spirituality) and health (physicality) to promote a (w)holistic health justice.”
The health volunteers determined the events were a success and well-received by the communities—providing many teachable moments.
“Being an educator and bringing hope to African children and families constitutes a lot of hard work, yet each moment helps in renewing our commitment to love, inspire others, fight for justice, and to sacrifice in the service of helping those with great need,” said Okang.