Don’t put chemicals in familiar containers - Doctors advise parents at Vodafone healthline discussion

Two panellists on Vodafone Ghana’s healthcare initiative, have advised parents and guardians not to put dangerous chemicals into containers minors can relate with.

The panellists, Dr Aba Folson, a cardiologist, and Dr Kwekuma Yalley, a General Practitioner, also advised them to avoid placing them where children can reach easily.

The doctors were contributing to a discussion on safe ways to store chemicals used on a daily basis.

The advise formed part of their contributions at the fourth episode of the 10th edition of the initiative in Accra.

It was in reaction to the phenomenon of children drinking chemicals put in familiar containers within their reach.

Vodafone Ghana’s healthcare initiative came to the aid of a boy who drank caustic soda, mistaking it for water a few years ago.

How it happened

Young Elisha, on his way from school one day with his friends, came upon what they thought to be water and decided to have a drink. What he thought was water was rather caustic soda.

As a result, his oesophagus was damaged, causing young Elisha to eat and drink through tubes inserted directly into his stomach.

Narrating the incident, his mother, Naana, said immediately after ingesting the substance, the boy fell to the ground and was rushed to a hospital in Sunyani.

“However, after two months, doctors suggested a transfer to the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

“At KATH, we were told he could not eat due to ulcers in his stomach. So, we had to grind his food into paste to enable him to eat a little” his mother said.


Elisha’s father, Mr Afan Kloba, narrated how traumatic the incident had been for both his family and him.

He added that the whole family was unable to even eat, considering Elisha’s dire condition.

“Seeing my son has traumatised me. I have lost so much weight because I can neither think straight nor eat,“ he added.

The parents explained how hard it had been seeking for financial support to cater for Elisha’s medical needs.


Mr Kloba said it was at that point that the Vodafone Healthline expressed interest to take up Elisha’s medical bill.

Both parents were full of excitement and thanked Vodafone for taking up Elisha’s medical bills and opting to provide him with the necessary medical care.

Nutrition and weight

As part of the show, a nutritionist, Dr Ayisi Addo, explained how nutrition played a role in achieving optimal body weight depending on the height of a person.

“An ideal body weight comes in ranges. Depending on a given height associated with good health and its maintenance, high level of life expectancy is to be expected, all other things being equal”, she said.

Dr Addo also explained the causes of underweight and overweight and the adverse effects on individuals and the nation at large, adding that it was important to stay within the appropriate body range.

She therefore, advised the public to eat healthy diets, engage in healthy lifestyles and physical activities as well as taking rests, when necessary, in order to attain the optimal body weight.

“80 per cent of diabetic cases can be prevented through healthy diets, physical activities and healthy lifestyle. Same applies to 40 per cent of cancer cases”, Dr Addo added.

Additional content

The host and her panellists debunked the myth that drinking coke with salt resolves a runny stomach.

They explained that runny stomach was self-limiting, “meaning, it goes away on its own.

“However, taking in the combination of coke and salt replaces the fluids, salts and sugar lost when a person has diarrhoea,” they added.

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