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Ghana trains health professionals to provide better care for athletes

During April approximately 50 health care professionals attended a training aimed at equipping them to address specific health issues experienced by people with an intellectual disability (ID). The participants, who trained at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Adabraka-Accra in Ghana, left with basic skills and the ability to assess the health needs of people with ID. Research studies conducted by Special Olympics found that individuals with ID face widespread health problems, but physicians, dentist and other health care professionals are not receiving adequate training to treat individuals with ID. For more than 15 years, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® volunteer healthcare professionals have provided health screenings, health education,services and referrals for follow-up care in 122 countries. Special Olympics is the world’s largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities – a population that faces severe health issues and inadequate or non-existent care. The training was facilitated in an effort to break down preconceived notions around ID and to reduce the challenge people with ID experience in receiving health care. The training was supported by the Special Olympics Ghana Board Chair, Mr. Augustine Kokukokor, Special Olympics Ghana National Director, Mr. Seth Asamoah, Special Olympics Clinical Director, Dr. Paul Kyponyoh and, guest of honour, the Honourable Member of Parliament, Mr. John Majisi. The family members and athletes present at the training were very excited about the opportunities being created for them in Ghana.