‘A HEART RELIEF’ Organization was established in 1999 in Africa and Officially launched in 2000 in Ghana by the Ministry of Health in the Official launching ceremony. The ‘Relief’ website was also launched by the Ministry of Communication. Ever since ‘A Heart Relief’ has been in the area of education and information directed towards the prevention of HIV/ AIDS and support to seriously sick needy patients.
‘A Heart relief’ Organization specializes in the provision of Health, social services, education and Training in this regions. The Organization is designed to reflect the United Nation’s Millennium goals, particularly towards the ‘Global Poverty Alleviation Program’ focusing on the health sector. In support of the, ‘Health for all by 2020…’ Initiative drawn by WHO in NOVEMBER 1981 in Karachi.
Bringing affordable Healthcare and social services to the underprivileged in these regions, as well as the provision of education and training are the underlying premise of A Heart Relief Organization.
The organization is committed to providing training at all levels, so as to equip health care providers and social workers with the necessary tools to provide high quality services, develop culturally and linguistically appropriate programs, and the maximizing of limited resources. The approach taken by AHRO is a holistic one, addressing society as a whole.
AHRO is committed to promoting equity between women and men. It is also important to help increase the economic potential of women by providing them with opportunities for education, training, literacy programs and employment in the various sectors. Programs that accord priority to the special situation and needs of women, particularly rural and single women, are some of the areas that the Organisation has identified as an essential prerequisite to poverty alleviation around the World. The challenges that young women and adolescents face in their reproductive health cannot be overemphasized. According to the Population Report of 1995, 20% to 60% of young women’s health is at risk through child bearing and unsafe abortion. What is worse is that half of the people infected with HIV/ AIDS are under age 25.
Obviously these health risks could be reduced through programs addressing reproductive health issues and education. For example, use of birth control, condoms and even abstinence where necessary. The importance of getting into prenatal care as early as possible in their pregnancy is of paramount importance. Little or no prenatal care leads to an increase in the infant mortality rate as well as the maternal mortality rate. AHRO’s programs would provide a “safe” space for participants where they can share information. Figures available in the country portray a gloomy picture of the situation of HIV/ AIDS cases. If even we ignore the unreported cases it was estimated that by the time we enter the next millennium there will be 62,000 confirmed AIDS cases and some one million HIV positive people living in Ghana. However, in the New Millennium it has been discovered that figures were way beyond what was predicted. Now we have 200 people a day getting infected with HIV. It’s very devastating.
We must address the cultural barriers in addressing HIV/AIDS or any other disease. Most HIV/AIDS cases would never be reported, because to some in Africa, AIDS is regarded as a curse from the gods, and those infected, were as a result of evil spells from witch doctors and black magic. The myths and misconceptions must be removed. Through education and training this can be done. Education of the masses, from the elders all the way down.
The stigma associated with many diseases are great, and this makes it difficult to treat or address. We must address this issue in order to achieve healthy communities and healthy nations. There are many new and emerging diseases (ZIKAvirus, Ebola, chickenomia) and for some prevention is simple. In some cases is just the washing of hands, covering you cough etc. AHRO is dedicated through its training programs to address issues such as Universal Precautions along with prevention and treatment of many diseases. What ‘A Heart Relief’ does is to help these unfortunate people by paying in full or subsidizing their Medical Bills, which they cannot afford, especially for seriously sick people falling within the following category: Unemployed Women, Single mothers, pregnant women, children between the ages of 0-12, the Elderly and those below the poverty line.
In addition to giving care and support to needy Patients.
‘ A Heart Relief’ also aims at Refurbishing some selected Units & Outfits of certain critical Health Institutions, especially in Rural and Economically Deprived areas where it would be of great service to the people. Our primary target population is women—because, in Ghana and Africa as a whole, women are marginalized and in most cases they do not have a voice. The research indicates that women and children, especially in the rural areas, who form about 70% of Ghana’s total population, are the ones who are mostly at risk. The Ghana Human Development Report of 1997 revealed that maternal mortality rate in the Upper West Region for example was as high as 452 to 10,000 live births. (These figures are comparatively very low in terms of past records).
Malaria which causes over 1 million deaths every year in Africa, is another disease of great concern and must be addressed. In the light of the devastating impact of disease in Africa and in other parts of the world and challenges of Public Health, compounded with little and no resources, access to care and treatment, ‘A Heart Relief’ was born in 1997.
- Providing support for individuals infected with HIV.
- Providing healthcare for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Paying for anti-retrovirus therapy for the poor and underprivileged
- Providing special scholarships, fellowships and training for healthcare providers: thereby building the country’s capacity to respond to this growing pandemic. (The Ghana Ministry of Health, through various hospitals, has benefited enormously from our scholarship programs since the conception of this ‘capacity building initiative’).
It is with great pleasure that we provide these services as a contribution of our quota towards the success of the ‘development program’ in Africa.