The initiative by the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation (HDMF) to mobilize wheelchairs and other walking aids to support the movement of Persons With Disability (PWDs) across the 16 regions of Ghana, continues to receive applauds from many beneficiaries. The initiative is massively enhancing our mobility, giving them more accessibility and dignity in society, some of the beneficiaries have said.
The Foundation led by its Executive Director, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba in the latter part of 2020 launched the initiative to mobilize at least 16,000 wheelchairs (1,000 wheelchairs per each region) in support of PWDs.
On the eve of the just ended Ramadan, the Foundation distributed wheelchairs to some PWDs to empower them to go about their normal activities without much restraint.
Some of the beneficiaries of the wheelchairs included; one Hajia Mariama Adama, a former Principal Nursing Officer at the Mamobi Government Hospital, Philip Amankwa from Oyarifa, Samuel Clottey from Accra Central, Michael Adzoyi from Dodze in Volta Region, Adzoryi Michael and Victoria Obenewa from Akropong among others.
The Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba during the presentation of the items noted that since the launch of the initiative, the Foundation had received several requests from people who really need the wheelchairs either for themselves or their relatives.
She described the 16,000 wheelchair project as a drop in the ocean, since Ghana has over 187,000 persons with physical disability who actually need wheelchairs and other assistive devices.
She bemoaned that the number of PWDs keep increasing by the day due to the high incidence of accidents and other diseases like loss of eyesight, diabetes, stroke and injuries among others.
“It is important that we all support this wheelchair campaign because everyone can become a person with disability and can be bedridden through accident or ailment; but with a wheelchair you have mobility….you have access and you can move from one place to another and have a dignified life”.
Dr. Otiko Djaba therefore appealed passionately to organisations, agencies, religious bodies, social groups and individuals to donate towards the 16,000 wheelchairs project to better the lives of PWDs in Ghana through MoMo account; 0248510067 or Call the Foundation on 0241235199 or send wheelchairs and walking aids personally to the Foundation at the No.2 Prime Wood Close, Abelemkpe - Accra Ghana.
Some of the recipients of the wheelchairs commended the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation for the kind gesture.
Hajia Mariama Adama
A 64 year old Hajia Mariama Adama, a former Principal Nursing Officer who received a brand new wheelchair and some food items from the Foundation expressed her deepest appreciation to Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba for supporting her with the device free of charge.
She spoke briefly about how she developed her disability. According to her, she retired as a professional nurse in 2016 but unfortunately got involved in a fatal car accident in 2017.
“I had a fracture in my ankle joint and was operated upon. The Doctors put a metallic implant in my ankle joint but I developed severe complications because the implant was apparently not properly done. So the leg became swollen and I had to undergo another operation”.
According to her, she was quite traumatized to undergo such operations because she is a diabetic.
Hajia Mariama Adama has since not been able to walk again and was given a walking aid.
“I am now placed under medical observation with one specialist doctor at the 37 Military Hospital where I go for regular medical checkups with the hope that my diabetes will go down so that the Doctors can operate on my leg again….because as of now, the leg is not straight and I feel so much pain in it”.
She bemoaned that she always had to go through much difficulty in accessing the facilities at the 37 Military Hospital. “The way they built the hospital…it is a storey building and people with disabilities will have to access the facility through a [sloppy] walkway which required the use of a wheelchair. That’s why I applied for the wheelchair from the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation.”
Hajia Mariama Adama was extremely happy to see many other PWDs receiving the wheelchairs from the Foundation free of charge. Several people with disabilities who really are in need have applied for the wheelchairs from different regions of Ghana through whatsapps, emails and text messages.
One Madam Mildred Boye, a physically challenged woman in clutches who applied for one of the wheelchairs for one Samuel Clottey said she had been seeing the beneficiary in her neighbourhood clawing with both hands and legs in an undignified manner.
She heard of the free wheelchair project by the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation and decided to apply on behalf of the man. Fortunately, I received a quick response from the Executive Director, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba in less than one week and here am I with a brand new wheelchair for the man. Interestingly he does not know about this arrangement and I think he will be very surprised to get this assistive device from the Foundation”.
Madam Mildred Boye therefore called on organisations and rich individuals to support the initiative by the Henry Djaba Foundation so that the hundreds of women, men and children with disabilities on the streets and in the communities can be supported.
Ambrose Adzoryi, a senior brother of one of the beneficiaries, Michael Adzoryi Mawuli said he also applied for his brother, 22 years who is a student and relies on motorbike services to and from school every day – a situation he indicated is having a huge financial burden on their mother.
But with the provision of a free wheelchair from the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, his brother’s movement is assured and enhanced. “Sometimes he does not go to school if my mother is not able to pay the Okada riders to come and pick him”.
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