Three years ago the parents of Esther Nyarko started with countless hospital visits to treat their daughter, who had a hole in the heart.
Esther’s parents felt the true impact of Vodafone’s presence in Ghana when in the first series of its HealthLine programme, the company paid for their daughter’s surgery to correct the problem in her heart and also gave them additional funds for any follow up medical treatment.
To Esther and her family, Vodafone is more than a Corporate entity – it is a company that uses its profit to do good, a company with a heart.
The Vodafone HealthLine TV show demonstrates the organisation’s dedication to Corporate Social Responsibility and under the programme, the organisation funds surgeries of patients who have life-threatening conditions but cannot afford the treatment.
Vodafone has paid for the surgeries of over 80 patients who resigned themselves to their fate, thinking that their conditions would eventually kill them or they would have to live their lives in constant pain and sometimes shame because they could not afford the corrective surgery that would make them enjoy normal lives.
The show also highlights the dedication and talent of the unsung heroes of the Health sector – the doctors, surgeons, nurses and other health workers who put their heart into keeping the country healthy. Indeed until the commencement of the programme, the Health sector did not realise that a telecommunications company could make such significant impact on doctors and their numerous patients and also contribute to keeping the Ghanaian public well informed on health issues.
Vodafone Ghana recognised that in addition to fulfilling the brand promise of ‘Power to You’ in terms of providing a telecommunications service, they had a role to play in making a lasting impact on the lives of Ghanaians. The TV show ‘HealthLine’ was born out of a call to action in the Daily Graphic for corporate institutions to do their part to help improve on basic services such as health and education.
This call for action has given birth to the Vodafone HealthLine programme which uses mass media to bring relevant and essential health information to the people. The TV show is both informative and entertaining and never fails to educate and touch the hearts of all who watch it every week.
The content of the show is determined by members of the public who submit health questions by SMS, calls or videos; these questions are used to determine the topics the panel of doctors should cover in the 13 episode series. The panel of doctors are young, vibrant and most importantly dedicated to the cause of keeping Ghanaians healthy by giving them essential information.
There is no doubt that Vodafone has saved the lives of many people simply by providing simple health information to the millions of viewers every week. In the different segments of the show - ‘staying healthy’, ‘sex talk’ ‘kids’ corner’ and ‘treatment room’, the doctors give advice and answer many of the questions submitted by members of the public.
It therefore came as little surprise to people gathered at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) awards last weekend when HealthLine was voted ‘TV show of the year 2011’. Ghana will be a better place if other corporate organisations showed such dedication to the lives of the people they serve.