News Release

Church Joins with Ghana National Diabetes Association to Screen for Juvenile Diabetes 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through its Humanitarian Servces arm, is collaborating with the Ghana National Diabetes Association – working with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education – to carry out a pilot project to screen students for diabetes in second-cycle schools in the central region.

The goal of the project is to identify the prevalence of youth with diabetes and help them learn to manage and reduce future risk by participating in the Diabetes Association’s “Life for a Child” program.

Sponsored by the Church, the screening project was launched on June 12 by the Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, at the Aggrey Memorial secondary school. Dignitaries and students defied a heavy downpour of rain to attend the event.

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur thanked the Church for supporting health issues and encouraged students to not hide behind their youthfulness and energy to avoid being screened. She told them to take advantage of the screening and the “Life for a Child” program, which provides counseling and support.

Mrs. Essie Denyoh, National Chairman of the Ghana Diabetes Association, said, “The disease formerly thought of as a disease of the elderly and the wealthy members of the population is now the bane of the poorest of the poor and is creeping into the adolescent age group. Thus the need to protect the youth which is our future.”

The screening team is composed of nurses from the Ministry of Health in the Cape Coast area and trained volunteers from the Cape Coast Ghana Stake (similar to a diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are conducting free screenings, education and counseling in six second-cycle schools in the Central Region of Ghana.     

A total of 2,306 students were screened during the pilot project in Aggrey Memorial with 16 students testing positive. These 16 students, with permission from their parents, will receive counseling and other help from the "Life for a Child” program. Five other second cycle schools in the central region of Ghana will benefit from the free screening, education and counseling.

The launch event was chaired by the President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, Dasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII of the Abeadze traditional area. Also in attendance were the Central Regional Minister, Mr. Acquinas Tawiah-Quansah; the Member of Parliament for the Mfantsiman constituency; and the Deputy Director for HR in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Comfort Kyeremeh. 

Others in attendance included Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., President of the Africa West Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Mr. Ras Muburak, Chief Executive of the National Youth Authority; A.C.P Fred Anim, Deputy Regional Commander of Police; a representative from the National Health Insurance, Mr. Raymond Avenu; and Rev. Franklin Boadi, Headmaster of Aggrey Memorial Secondary School. 

According to reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes is one of the rising killer diseases globally, claiming one life every eight seconds and a lost limb every 30 seconds. In Ghana about four million (4,000,000) people are affected with diabetes.

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