Healthier & Happier Life Foundation (HHLF) is a registered not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting preventive medicine, advocating for quality healthcare and equity in access to good health. The Foundation was born out of the experience the Founder had as a result of the health and healthcare challenges faced by people in Ghana. As a health professional, he saw the wails and tears of people especially the less privileged as they battle with highly preventable diseases, bad health systems and how these people could not even afford healthcare. This is how he described one case:
“He looked at Madam Efua, a breast cancer patient that afternoon as her condition got deteriorated with pus and bad odors, laboring in her hospital bed with no relatives by her as the clock ticked, he could not but let tears down his cheeks. Her joy was turned into shame and guilt which negatively affected her sense of self and social identity. She echoed these words, ‘this illness is like poison’; ‘this illness is like something rotting in the body and makes me uncomfortable’ ‘the pain is too much’; ‘this illness has made me rejected, ignored, forsaken, unloved and has rendered me stupid and dumb’….I become unhappy ’, she lamented”. A condition she could have been completely cured of if it was detected early. She was 53 years old. He met her at teaching hospital in Ghana.
Curiosity got hold of him. He decided to look into her folder for her medical history. Madam Efua was diabetic as well. She was diagnosed of diabetes some years back before the cancer. However no effective management was adhered to. This according to her was due to inaccessible healthcare. She further confessed the bad lifestyle habits she developed early part of her adult life. Notwithstanding all these agonies, she was able to tell him the great aspirations she was having before the diseases set in.
This signifies how individuals and nation’s life and aspirations can be crippled due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Meanwhile Madam Efua was just one among millions who go through the ordeals of life in the hands of NCDs and health system challenges in Ghana and Africa.
This has been a great source of worry for him. He then began to promote health and advocate for health education since majority of the diseases and deaths could be avoided if the people had understood the preventive mechanisms. He continues to engage the public, individuals, communities and institutions through innovative strategies including theatre for development/education (drama, community participatory programs, peer educator programs etc) seminars (audiovisuals) in order to helping in breaking cultural, language, educational and socioeconomic barriers to healthy living. He has used other strategies including print and online media, television, radio and audiovisuals through seminars/conferences and workshops.
Spurred by what he has seen of the combined effects of communicable, non-communicable diseases and health systems challenges, and the need for a formidable force to make the greatest impact, Healthier & Happier Life Foundation (HHLF) was formed. HHLF was founded in 2016 but was officially registered in April 2017 to enable a larger membership and resource base to help tackle the increasing menace.
To meet these health needs, HHLF prioritizes health promotion, public health advocacy, capacity building, patients’ advocacy, health systems advocacy, research and humanitarian services to carry out its mandates