“While studying for my undergraduate, I got the opportunity to intern at a family health clinic in Ghana where I worked on a health development project targeted at youth. The project was research-based, so I had a lot of interactions with young people and was quite shocked by how most of them under prioritized their health. For most, the general sentiment was, ‘why should I go to the hospital when I feel fine and healthy?’
Most of the people we screened at the clinic were at risk for conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, all of which are preventable through regular health checks and lifestyle changes. After that internship, I got very interested in joining initiatives, including #IAHW, that promoted preventative health practices and a more holistic approach to health care, especially in youth.
This year, I am launching an online adolescent wellness journal – @adwellvoice – that ultimately seeks to bring all the different adolescent voices I have encountered into a central space for all adolescents in Ghana. This journal is essential to empowering adolescents in Ghana to use the power of language and arts to express their personal opinions on health and wellness in their homes, schools, and communities. Students get to submit their original essays, stories, poems, and artwork which are published in the Adwell Voice Library for a wider reach.
Through my advocacy initiatives, I have focused on creating a safe space for teenagers to begin talking about the state of mental health they experience in their communities, thus increasing the conversations around this wellness.”