15 January 2013

Ghana: Kessano Foundation Supports Lepers Up North

A VISIT by The Chronicle to Nkanchina No.2, a farming community in the Kpandai District of the Northern Region, has revealed the deplorable state of the people living in the community.

The village, largely dominated by over 100 male and female Lepers, and an estimated 898 children, cannot boast of a single development intervention since the time of Independence.

The deplorable nature of the community has immensely affected the quality of life of the people especially in accessing quality healthcare, education, potable drinking water, electricity and other basic amenities.

The Chronicle, facilitated by the Kessano Foundation, discovered that the Lepers found themselves in the Nkanchina No.2 community in the 1950s, when they were brought by their families for medical treatment at the West Africa Leprosarium Centre, built by the Evangelical Church of Ghana, during colonial days.

Some of the victims, according to our information, were brought from some parts of Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Benin and other ECOWAS countries, since the medical centre was the only furnished Leprosarium in the whole of West Africa.

The Lepers have since refused to return to their original communities and countries as a result of the marginalization, stigmatization and molestations by their communities. Regrettably, some of them have had their 10 fingers and toes completely chopped off by the disease, yet they are solely responsible for their survival.

The paper discovered that some of them are into serious farming business and are contributing to National Food Security, but they receive little or no attention from either the government or the Kpandai District Assembly.

Over the years, the inmates have had to live on divine providence until one Dr. David Abdulai through Most Rev. Gregory Kyiebaya, Archbishop Emeritus of Tamale, took steps to provide aid to them at the end of every year.

But this year, the Lepers at Nkanchina No.2 received double aids from Dr. Abdulai and one charity organisation, Kessano Foundation, an Accra based NGO helping the needy in society.

The NGO donated assorted food items including bags of rice, bags of maize, bags of sugar, gallons of cooking oil, second hand clothing and rubber sandals, as well as medical aid.

The donation, which is the forth major charity activity, carried out by the Kessano Foundation since its establishment in 2011, was supported by Goil Filling Station and Nanos Ventures, as well as other individual contributions.

The President of Kessano Foundation, Nana Kwaku Anobil said the support to the lepers was in line with the core objective of the Foundation to give to the needy.

He called on religious and other donor organisations and individuals to always make a little provision for the less privileged and destitute in society during Christmas and other festivities. He encouraged the Lepers to continue to national development and not to see themselves as outcasts or second class people in society.

Nana Kwaku Anobil who was accompanied by six (6) other staff of the NGO praised the people for also prioritizing the education of their little children who were living with them. Three of the female Lepers, Madam Nunkor Kpante, 79, Maame Agupo Kobore, 62, and Madam Zinabu Asumani, in separate interviews with The Chronicle, commended Dr. David Abdulai and the Kessano Foundation in particular for coming all the way from Accra to support them.

They called on government to come to their aid and register them on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and also provide electricity and potable drinking water for the community.

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