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Meet Stella Agyei, the midwife taking health education from the classroom to remote areas.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the number of women and girls who died each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth declined from 451,000 in 2000 to 295,000 in 2017.

These improvements are particularly remarkable in light of rapid population growth in many of the countries where maternal deaths are highest. Still, over 800 women are dying each day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. And for every woman who dies, approximately 20 others suffer serious injuries, infections, or disabilities.

Quite disturbingly, two regions, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, account for 86% of maternal deaths worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africans suffer from the highest maternal mortality ratio – 533 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, or 200,000 maternal deaths a year. This is over two-thirds (68%) of all maternal deaths per year worldwide.

It is statistics like these as well as hands-on, personal experiences with real-world cases that motivated a young midwife to embark on an aggressive campaign of educating would-be as well as new parents on the risk factors of infant and maternal mortality.

From early beginnings at the Shai Osudoku Hospital in Accra, Stella Agyei has expanded her sensitisation and education drive to the television screens, reaching a wider audience and having a greater impact, in spite of tremendous difficulties. Below, we delve into the making of the young but vastly experienced midwife who is redefining health education and outreach.

Early life and education

Stella describes her humble childhood as “not easy” owing to “the lack of support and understanding from her guardian,” as well as having to contend with all that came along from very evident financial constraints. She was, however, a sprightly child who exuded confidence and had a knack for self-motivation, traits she has carried along into adulthood and impacted all who come across her path with.

Having a penchant for reading and realizing that nothing was going to be offered her on a silver platter, Stella was determined to turn her narrative around through academic excellence, most notably, during her time at the Nsaaba Presbyterian School, when she was so many miles away from home.

Her desire to succeed was heightened through the various vacation schools she attended. It was through these schools that she realized that she was equally as good as her counterparts from the A-rated schools in Kumasi despite her attending a B-rated school.

Following a stellar performance during the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), she gained admission to the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), where she was again excelled in her studies and earned her first degree, with Bachelor of Midwifery.

Health education as a lively passion

During her days at UHAS, she engaged in the buying and selling of garments to augment the source of her educational funding, which was inadequate. This was the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey.

Upon graduation, she was posted to the Shai Osudoku Hospital in Accra or her mandatory year of national service. There, she took delight in educating expectant parents, having realized the rather disturbingly high infant and maternal mortality rates, all the while discharging duties related to labour management.

This passion and the skills required to execute it were further honed during a number of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHIPS) compounds in and around the Volta Region.

The Health Link Show

The desire continued and has evolved, with a special focus on preventive health and education, culminating in the birth of the Health Link Show. This came after the insistence of a bosom friend, who believed that Stella had the right mix of skill, passion, and experience to put together a very successful and impactful health-centric TV show. She began committing resources towards the show around October of 2018.

Several challenges came along the way in putting this health-education show together, most notably, identifying and attracting the right sponsors, particularly for the very first season. Despite being an uphill task, as she had very little verifiable record in this new venture, she was, through grit, persistence, and a detailed plan, able to secure good sponsorship deals which enabled her to shoot the first season.

The pilot episode aired a year after on October 29, 2019, on GHOne Television. So far, two seasons have been aired on GHOne, with the third season is coming up. Despite ongoing challenges, including signing up sponsors, putting together a production crew, content creation, research, and logistic constraints, Health Link is on course for season three, which will focus on some selected rural communities.
The third season will have the regular health education element, donation of medical logistics, provision of some primary health care where applicable. Additionally, clothing and consumables will also be given to some members of these communities who are impoverished.

Impact

The young, yet experienced midwife has been able to impact a lot of lives through her platform as a health educator and promoter, particularly through the show where she has oftentimes had to serve as the sole host, executive producer, marketer, and scriptwriter among others.

Through the success of the show, Stella has been able to legally establish a foundation aimed at supporting individuals and communities with pertinent and pressing health issues.

This is called the Health Link Specialist Foundation. Though this foundation is still in its nascent stage, it has provided logistics, consumables, and funds to support some health-related charitable causes in many communities.

These items include cash, wheelchairs, Zimmer frames, foodstuffs (oil, rice, tomato pastes, etc.), toiletries (soap, detergents, sanitary pads, diapers,), and medical supplies (thermometers, sphygmomanometer, skin creams, medications, nose masks, hand sanitizers etc.).

In prior seasons, Health Link TV show has been sponsored and supported by Nestle Ghana Limited, Moods Condom, M&C Properties, Prince Syrup, Unilever, Pharmanova, BD medical laboratories, and Home fresh foods.

So far, with the production of the third season underway, only one sponsor has come on board, and Health Link is thankful to the management of Serene Insurance for its commitment.

According to Stella Agyei: “We are humbly appealing to other individuals and corporates to come on-board. We are still accepting sponsorship and donations from individuals and companies to enable us to cover costs of production, surgeries, hospital & medication bills, and other unforeseen expenses of some sick people in need of medical attention in this third season.”

 

Source: thebftonline.com

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Africa’s First Global Music Festival, Vertical Rave to host Omah Lay, Bnxn, Ruger Major League DJz and more on December 17

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Vertical Rave to host Africas first global music festival

African Music stars are set to converge in Lagos for a redefining moment as the first-ever Vertical Rave Festival holds on the 17th of December 2022. Music fans and experiential seekers will enjoy the perfect blend of music and culture at this cross-generational event.

Music continues to take new turns in Africa, with investors coming into the industry with their resources. The Afrobeat and Amapiano music genres are currently dominating the music space globally, and Vertical Rave is set to promote the African tune and set the pace for new African stars to emerge.

The festival will treat its audiences to a musical spree, acoustic performances, and back-to-back live music on centre stage. The maiden event will showcase a massive lineup of artists, with other major artists reveal in the works.

The roster of artists comprises an exciting mix of the African music elite and some of the newer acts who have enjoyed success in 2022. Omah Lay, Bnxn, Made Kuti, Lojay, Ruger, Victony, Young John, Major League DJz.

Already earlybird tickets are being sold, and music lovers can get theirs at www.verticalrave.com 

Attendees will also be treated to unlimited fun with various festival activities, including exciting board and group games, beach soccer, skateboarding, fireworks, dance-offs, parties, giveaways, pop-up sales with Lagos’s finest vendors, luxurious festival merch and much more. The festival provides an excellent opportunity to unwind, engage and end the year on a high note, contributing to an unforgettable experience.

“VerticalRave Limited is a company on a mission to export African content and reintroduce the world to a new Africa through music,” said Yinka Ash, CEO of Vertical Rave Limited.

According to him, Vertical Rave seeks to create more space for young African talent by amplifying their voice on a global scale. He revealed that the festival would “showcase the largest group of inspiring international artists, creators, innovators and performers ever seen in Lagos at one time.”

“We feel blessed to have the opportunity to bring together such an eclectic program of performing artists and play a part in further boosting the confidence in our industry,” he added.

As the only major concert of this standard happening in Nigeria and Africa this December, Vertical Rave is making Lagos the go-to-destination for the Christmas festivities and Detty December activities. Fans can expect festival headliners to perform live with pristine sound, world-class lighting, immersive multi-sensory experiences, exotic cuisine and more.

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Beautiful photos from Rita Dominic’s white wedding

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After breaking the internet with her traditional wedding ceremony back in April, Nollywood actress, Rita Dominic is back with an elegant white wedding held in England. (more…)

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First look at Rita Dominic at her white wedding happening in England

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After breaking the internet with her traditional wedding ceremony back in April, Nollywood actress, Rita Dominic is gearing up for her white wedding. (more…)

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Rita Dominic arrives in England with her ‘best gals’ ahead of her white wedding on Saturday

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After breaking the internet with her traditional wedding ceremony back in April, Nollywood actress, Rita Dominic is gearing up for her white wedding. (more…)

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Juliet Bawuah wins Sports Journalist of the Year at the GJA Awards

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Juliet Bawuah wins Sports Journalist of the Year at the GJA Awards

TV3’s Juliet Bawuah was adjudged the Sports Journalist of the Year at the recently held Ghana Journalists Association Awards in Accra.

 

Juliet’s story titled ‘Rugby at the Beach: Young players take baby steps in Famous sport’ won her the coveted prize at the event, which is in its 26th year.

 

Set in Teshie and Nungua in Ghana’s capital, Accra, the story highlighted the plight of young Rugby players who go through visible challenges to learn a sport they have grown accustomed to.

 

Juliet’s story explored the lines between danger and passion and daring to dream.

 

The biggest award for Sports journalists in Ghana, the Sports Journalist of the Year adds to a stellar career pool of recognition for Juliet, who is one of the country’s most loved brands.

 

The 26th GJA Awards was held under the theme: ‘Walking the Path Towards Ghana’s Economic Recovery: The Role of the Media’.

 

A number of dignitaries including the US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer and Justice of the Supreme Court (JSC) Yonny Kulendi were present at the event.

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I love only women romantically; for men, it’s all business- Kwabena Kwabena

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Ghanaian Highlife musician, Kwabena Kwabena has expressed his love for women on countless occasions in his songs, however, he loves them too in real life. (more…)

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