Ghana: Yvonne Nelson intensifies glaucoma campaign

By Peterking Quaye – One of Ghana’s most talked about actress Yvonne Nelson is leaving no stone unturned in her quest to campaign against Glaucoma through creating awareness on the aliment and its negative impact on people in the society. She is offering a two-week fully-paid holiday trip to the UK to entice Ghanaian students to join her in the fight against glaucoma.

Yvonne Nelson

Yvonne Nelson

The Yvonne Nelson Foundation, which was launched last October to purposely raise awareness and educate people about the ailment.

A campaign to present the message to Ghanaians has started by the actress, ‘Glaucoma Essay Competition’ among students across the country. The winner will work with Yvonne’s foundation and also get attractive prizes including laptops, two-week holiday in the UK and other packages. The competition would take off late this year, aimed at raising awareness and conveying her message about the disease to every Ghanaian via students. It will start from basic schools in the Greater Accra Region, where a registered number of pupils from various selected basic schools will be encouraged to write essays on a glaucoma topic provided by The Yvonne Nelson Foundation.

A team of teachers will then mark the essays and winners will be picked the winners. Schools in Accra and Tema expected to take part in the essay competition include St. Michael Junior High School at Nungua, First Star Academy, SOS School, Tema Parents School, and Datus Complex school, Creator Schools, Angels School, Michel Camp Schools, Witsand School, Happy Home School and Naval Base School, among others. Yvonne will be touring each of these schools ahead of the competition to interact with students, while tasking them to carry the glaucoma message home to their parents to get screened.

The Ghana Movie Awards favourite actress award winner launched her glaucoma foundation in October. She has since been leading a campaign against the ailment with a song on glaucoma which featured stars John Dumelo, Majid Michel, Bola Ray, Sarkodie and a number of others. The song picked up a prize at the last Ghana Music Awards. Besides adopting a Glaucoma victim to cater for his medical expenses, she also donated GH¢1000 to support the Glaucoma Association of Ghana Fund to help glaucoma patients afford medication.

Last Friday, the leggy actress was at St. Michael’s Junior High School at Nungua. She received a rousing welcome from both students and officials of the school, who applauded her efforts in taking the glaucoma awareness to their school. She told them glaucoma is a deadly disease and that one contracts it without knowing that he or she has it as there are no symptoms. She therefore advised children to educate their parents to go for screening. She told them that the next time she visits the school; she expects certificates from those who went for screening upon her advice. She also disclosed that her foundation hopes to build a bigger platform for people to come for free screening in the future.

The pupils had a good time with Yvonne and asked her questions about glaucoma, which she explained to them. There was an interesting moment when a pupil named Godwin Foli, who requested to ask a question, ended up demanding a hug from Yvonne, which she gladly gave, with hundreds of the pupils cheering on. Foli, who hails from the Volta Region, said “It has been my wish to meet Yvonne and hug her.” There were also poem recitals by some of the children on Glaucoma. After the ceremony, Yvonne took photos with some of the pupil as well as teachers and headmaster of the school.

Yvonne’s passion to educate people about glaucoma was inspired by her grandmother who died of glaucoma. After her death, Yvonne swore to take up the challenge to educate people. Her tour is expected to continue to various out Greater Accra.