News Release

Wheelchair Initiative Benefits Lives in Ghana

LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, partnered with Ghana Health Service in an initiative to provide wheelchairs and walking aids to people with physical disabilities in Ghana.

Using volunteer trainers, LDS Charities strengthens the capability of local organizations to assess individual needs, select and fit appropriate wheelchairs, train individuals and caregivers, provide support for repair and maintenance, and implement World Health Organization guidelines.

Gaetan Adangabey, head of Physiotherapy at Ghana Health Service, selected 22 technicians and clinicians from government and non-government hospitals and institutions throughout Ghana to attend a wheelchair training in Accra on 22-26 September, 2014.

“This is the best training we have ever had in West Africa,” said Joyce Findlay. She and her husband are LDS Charities volunteers and were instrumental in the success of the wheelchair project in Ghana.

“The students were handpicked by Adangabey based on their commitment, and it showed. They learned quickly and participated fully in the workshops. The technicians were superb in their ability to quickly figure out how to assemble the wheelchairs.”

More than 500 assistive devices, including 326 manual wheelchairs, were donated by LDS Charities and are intended for use by Ghana Health Service and other service organizations to improve mobility, health, and educational and economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

Providing wheelchairs that are custom fitted to the individual’s body and disability is an important part of the training. The students were also trained about the most effective use and maintenance of the wheelchairs.

“Because of the level of education of the course participants, I believe this WHO certified training program will have a very successful impact throughout Ghana,” said Shane Rosenberg, a WHO clinical trainer and volunteer with LDS Charities.

“Those who attended the training will provide those they serve with an immediate benefit that will determine the best type and size of wheelchair and education regarding issues normally related to this type of mobility device.”

Alex Donkor, a shoe cobbler in Accra and father of 5 small children, showed his sincere appreciation for the new wheelchair that replaced the one he has used for the past 13 years. He could not stop smiling as he took a test run at the Ghana Health Service clinic after being measured and fitted for his wheelchair.

In a letter of appreciation, Gershon Aniewu Yawo wrote: “On behalf of the Board of Directors of Empowerment Through Community Volunteering, we express our profound gratitude to you all for the role you played in making it possible for the disabled in Asikuma Odoben Brakwa district to benefit from the wheelchair donation made in Accra.  Our special thanksgiving goes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Ghana Health Service for the one-week course organized for us on wheelchair prescription and assembly.”

Since 1985, LDS Charities has partnered with many organizations to provide emergency response and long-term aid through major initiatives focused on providing clean water, wheelchairs, neonatal resuscitation training, vision care and immunizations. LDS Charities also partners to support a variety of local area initiatives.


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