Jesse Owusu Ampah, GNA
Accra, Dec. 12, GNA
– Oyeman Autoimmune Foundation, established by Mrs Emma Wilhelmina Halm Danso,
has been adjudged the winner of the NGO in Health Philanthropy Award at the
National Philanthropy Excellence Awards 2019.
The award was in
recognition of the critical role the Foundation plays in the lives of people
affected with autoimmune disorder.
Mrs Danso, the
Executive Director, expressed gratitude to the awards committee for recognising
her Foundation as the Best NGO in health philanthropy, which brings hope to
persons affected by autoimmune disorders through advocacy, education,
counselling, and fund raising.
“I dedicate the
award to my husband and co-founder of the Foundation for his support and
encouragement; through my battles with autoimmunity and also to the late Mrs
Dorcas Asanoa Agble, Nee Tandoh, who suffered from the deadly autoimmune,” she
occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissues
Sharing her own
encounter with the disease, Mrs Danso said; “Personally, the joy of my National
Service days was wrecked because most of the days are filled with pain, I could
not understand nor explain.”
She said that
affected her input even though she did her best, and that little did she know
that years later, she would be diagnosed with the disease.
Mrs Danso said as a
result the Foundation was borne to bring hope to persons directly and
indirectly affected by the disorder, particularly Lupus, through advocacy,
awareness creation, counselling, fundraising and medical assistance.
She said in 2017,
the Ministry of Health legitimised Lupus as a serious public health concern by
ratifying the World Lupus Day Proclamation.
She said Ghana needed
a national lupus patient registry to collate data to identify the incidence and
prevalence of the disease.
Mrs Danso expressed
the hope that policy makers and stakeholders would enact relevant policies that
would support people with autoimmune disease.
She said, however,
that the Foundation would, through advocacy, generated broad-spectrum support
for autoimmune healthcare in Ghana, through their call for the establishment of
a national commission on autoimmune disorders.
She also called for
a Centre for diagnosis and treatment of the disease and a scholarship scheme to
support the training of autoimmune specialists.