The Senior Staff Association of the Cocoa Board, Head Office, has organised a free health screening exercise for cocoa farmers at Asuofori in the Lower West Akyem District in the Eastern Region.
The exercise on the theme “Stop Galamsey on Cocoa Farms: Cocoa farming is the best Investment,” was part of the Association’s Corporate Social Responsibility outreach programme to respond to the health needs of the community and sensitise the cocoa farmers on the negative effects of galamsey.
About 500 people from the community benefited from the exercise, which saw them screened for breast cancer, eye, blood pressure, malaria and other related diseases and were given medication by the Cocoa Clinic medical team.
Mr Fuad Mohammed, the Chairman of the Association in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said the exercise sought to bring quality health care to the door steps of cocoa farmers to enable them have the energy and strength to expand the production of cocoa in the country.
He said the exercise was in line with government’s quest to stop galamsey, hence, the need to organise it in a galamsey community to educate them as the country thrives on cocoa.
He said the activities of illegal miners have polluted water bodies, destroyed farm lands and forests.
He said cocoa farms were generational heritage and sustainable financial backbone for most families in Ghana; and advised farmers to protect the legacy and adopt modern agronomic practices to increase their yields and boost Ghana’s economy.
Mr Mohammed commended government for its dedication to halt galamsey and salvage the natural resources and called on Ghanaians to support the course.
The Association partnered companies such as Chemico Ghana Limited, Niche Cocoa, Yara Ghana Limited, Huge Investment Limited, Cocoa Processing Company, Unicom and Armajaro to undertake the exercise.
Mr Ebenezer Darko, a community member, appealed to the Ghana Cocoa Board to ensure that children of cocoa farmers benefitted from the board’s scholarship scheme as well as they also bebefiting from the distribution of fertilizers, spraying machines, amongst others to help them maintain their farms.
Some of the community members also expressed gratitude to the Association and pledged to work hard to increase the country’s cocoa production.
Used clothing, mathematical set, stationery, caps, and slippers were donated to the community members and six other communities namely; Akanteng, Ommaase, Akwadum, Tutu, Abaase and Osenase as part of the activity.