Coming Full Circle – Andrews Nyantakyi

Andrews Nyantakyi Brings Life-Saving Health Education Back Home to Ghana

When Andrews Nyantakyi, BSN, RN, realized nursing would become part of his future, he also recognized it would become a path back to his past. It led him to establish a nonprofit organization that provides free health education to people in Ghana, where he was born and raised.

As a teen, Nyantakyi was raised primarily by his grandfather, who died when Nyantakyi was still in junior high school. He struggled financially and was even homeless for a while, taking odd jobs as a housekeeper to support himself. He had no way to pay for high school until one day a classmate saw him sitting by the roadside and learned of his situation. The next day, the classmate returned with his parents, who agreed to pay for Nyantakyi’s high school tuition.

With an interest in technology, Nyantakyi began online networking, finding “pen pals,” as he called them, to learn and gain career advice. Among the people he connected with were two Americans who gave him the financial support to finish college with a bachelor’s degree in network security.

The challenges he overcame in Ghana and the support of those sponsors “laid the foundation of who I am now,” Nyantakyi said. In fact, he paid tribute to one of those “ pen pals,” whose last name is Parks, by naming his son Robin Parks.

From left: Andrews Nyantakyi with his daughters, Jekoliah and Eliana; wife, Jennifer; and son, Robin.


Change of Plans

Nyantakyi was determined to pay it forward in his home country, but the nursing part of that personal mission was yet to come.
In 2012, Nyantakyi and his wife moved to the United States, where he joined the Navy. He was assigned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a corpsman — a role similar to a medical technician — which was one of the few positions he was eligible for prior to being granted citizenship. At the time, he was planning on a post-military career in IT.

“Nursing or a health care career was never something I had considered before,” Nyantakyi said. “The ER nurses [at Walter Reed] provided me with a lot of assistance, and many of them tried to persuade me to consider nursing. However, I was determined to stick with IT, until everything changed on July 20, 2015.”

Andrews Nyantakyi graduated from George Washington School of Nursing in 2022.

On that date, his first child, Eliana, was born and experienced meconium aspiration. Nyantakyi credits the keen observation of a nurse and his wife’s attentiveness for saving their daughter. Nyantakyi said he witnessed “exceptional nursing care” for both his daughter and his wife over the course of the baby’s weeklong stay in the NICU.

That pivotal event made Nyantakyi want to be a nurse. And it’s when he realized he could channel what he was learning in the Navy into helping people in Ghana, where “access to health care is almost nonexistent,” he said.

Elijeko Is Born

In 2016, while serving as a hospital corpsman at the Naval Hospital Beaufort in South Carolina, Nyantakyi established the Ghana-based Elijeko Foundation. The name comes from combining parts of his two daughters’ names, Eliana and Jekoliah. The nonprofit organization initially coordinated programs that provide free preventive health education with the help of doctors, nurses and other volunteers from both countries.

Many people in Ghana, a country of about 32 million, do not have access to quality health care. Nyantakyi wanted to help educate the general public as well as train nurses, EMTs, midwives and others to better respond to patients’ needs. Elijeko’s efforts first centered on education about malaria and cholera. The foundation converted shipping containers into “kiosk clinics” and provided care in rural areas.

Elijeko’s mission has evolved over the past few years. The foundation has worked primarily on maternal health, patient safety and CPR. Recently, the organization produced a video on bystander CPR shot on location in a Ghana marketplace, schools and churches to help drive home the fact emergencies can happen anywhere. Nyantakyi continued to spread that message in September when he returned to West Africa for several weeks to teach bystander CPR in communities in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Benin for several weeks.

“It’s really amazing the reception we’ve received in Ghana,” Nyantakyi said. He estimates that through the support of more than 60 volunteer medical professionals, Elijeko’s education and outreach efforts have helped more than 140,000 people.

In addition, the nonprofit hosts educational call-in radio shows. Edmund Boakye, BSN, RN, CSMRN, who came to the United States from Ghana about two years ago and is a nurse at Stormont Vail Hospital in Kansas, helps produce the radio shows.

“Over here, people are well-informed about their conditions,” Boakye said. “Back home — not as much. There are a lot of people who cannot read or write. Radio and television are one of the ways we can get informed.”

Growing Impact

Since Elijeko started, Nyantakyi has completed his bachelor’s degree in nursing, continued to grow the foundation and started a small travel agency with his wife. The revenue from the travel agency goes to support the foundation.

Through Elijeko, Nyantakyi has been able to connect with others who share his passion for helping people in Ghana, including Susan Koduah, PhD, MSN, RN, OCN, one of his nursing instructors. Koduah has her own foundation that supports girls’ and young women’s health education in Ghana and elsewhere. She said she likes to tell her students that nurses not only work at the bedside, but they should help in their communities as well. Nyantakyi and Koduah have worked together at health education events in Ghana, and Koduah has since joined the Elijeko Foundation board of directors.

Koduah praised the work Nyantakyi does to train health workers and first responders in CPR. She knows there is a big need: On a recent trip to Ghana, Koduah recalled talking with a doctor, who told her he couldn’t recall the last time he had renewed his CPR certification.

“[Nyantakyi] has done tremendous work with that,” Koduah said.

Nyantakyi appears to be always ready to teach. In Ghana last year, police pulled him over for speeding. He and his team saw it as a great opportunity to teach more first responders about CPR. So, they pulled their manikins out of the car and gave lessons to the officers on the spot. And no, he didn’t get a ticket.

Nyantakyi’s military service ended in 2020, and he graduated from George Washington School of Nursing in 2022. He said the transition from Naval corpsman to civilian emergency nurse was a bit of a challenge, but he has had “amazing mentors” along the way.

His current supervisor, Justin Hawkins, BSN, RN, clinical director at Inova Loudoun Hospital – Cornwall Campus, said Nyantakyi often receives compliments and DAISY Award nominations from patients.

“With his Navy experience and IT background, he brought a lot of skills to the table,” such as problem-solving and conflict resolution, Hawkins said.

“He really builds a therapeutic relationship” with patients, as well as educates them, Hawkins said. “Patients often leave with a flood of info.”

When it comes to his own education, Nyantakyi said his ENA membership has been very helpful to him, and he especially appreciates the ENA CONNECT Community Huddle, an online discussion board where he has asked or found answers to questions.

While he still is interested in finding ways to incorporate those IT skills he learned in college, Nyaktakyi’s focus now is on continuing to learn about nursing — that is, nursing and paying it forward.

Andrews Nyantakyi provides impromptu CPR training to police officers following a traffic stop — his own — in Ghana.

Elijeko Foundation to train more Community CPR Instructors


Elijeko Foundation, a Non-Profit Health Organisation based in Ghana, plans to initiate a trainers training workshop for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Instructors.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a lifesaving hands-only technique that is useful in many emergencies, such as a heart attack, particularly where someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

Madam Celestina Kalor Abapiri, the Country Director of Elijeko Foundation, said this hands-only CPR applied to both untrained bystanders and first responders.

Madam Abapiri made this known in a statement during a CPR Training workshop in Kumasi for some selected professionals, who were members of the Kumasi Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industries in the Ashanti Region.

She said it had become necessary to train more people from different locations in Ghana to augment the skill of saving lives under emergency circumstances, especially issues relating to heart attacks.

The Country Director said the Foundation planned to undertake the project in partnership with the US-based Global Mission Readiness, a non-profit organisation that provides emergency services in education and resources to public safety agencies worldwide.

“Selected community volunteers will be trained on Emergency Medical Services, Basic Water Rescue Training, Rope Rescue, and Vehicle Extrication through partnership with organizations like Global Mission Readiness and other fire departments in the United States and Canada,” Madam Kalor Abapiri said.

Madam Kalor Abapiri said they recently launched the Pre-Hospital Emergency Training in Kumasi, and it became necessary that they focus on “train the trainer” programs so that more people would be trained to provide bystander CPR education in their local communities to help others acquire this critical health and basic lifesaving skills.

She said currently in Ghana, there was a limited number of CPR Instructors, so the Foundation had taken it upon itself to train more people and they were going to train other persons with little or no knowledge at all about CPR matters.

Mr. Andrews Kwabena Nyantakyi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation said his organisation had worked with Global Mission Readiness in previous years to train NADMO volunteers and first responders in Afigya Kwabre District, Sekyere Afram Plains, and Bosomtwe Constituency.

“The Foundation has opened discussions with Global Mission Readiness to help develop the ‘train the trainer’ concept so that many can receive the information needed to provide effective CPR intervention while sending some selected individuals to the United States for future training,” he added.

Mr. Nyantakyi said a U.K based bookseller called AwesomeBooks had pledged to support the Foundation’s efforts to ensure that everyone in Ghana was equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to intervene in medical emergencies.

Miss Sannah Maan, the Head of Impact and Giving at AwesomeBooks, said her company had worked closely with the Foundation since 2011 in Ghana to donate books to schools in the Ashanti Region and was excited to support the Foundation’s initiative to make healthcare knowledge accessible to Ghanaians.

Mr. Kwaku Sarpong, the Operations Manager, at Prudential Bank Adum Branch in Kumasi, expressed optimism and appreciated the Foundation for the initiative.

“This training is indeed an eye-opening program to CPR because it is not common and also not something we teach in our various schools. It is very important because, with that little knowledge, you can at least save some lives,” Mr. Sarpong added.

He appealed to the Foundation to provide the training to the public in partnership with the Ghana Red Cross Society to create more awareness of CPR Training to save more lives.

By Stanley Senya, GNA

Health workers must be trained in Basic Life Support

Basic Life Support

Dr. Joseph Bonney, an Emergency Medicine Specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi has called for the training of workers in “Basic Life Support” to help provide emergency health services to save lives.

He also called for the incorporation of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Basic First Aid principles in the curriculum of basic schools in Ghana and proposed for a law to be enshrined for every public facility to have a first aid box and Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Dr. Bonney made the call when he briefed the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, after the launch of a project dubbed: “The Basic Life Support” at a workshop in Kumasi by Elijeko Foundation, a non-profit organisation in collaboration with the National Ambulance Service (NAS).

He commended Elijeko Foundation and the NAS for the initiative, which was aimed at encouraging timely pre-hospital interventions for individuals who experience cardiac arrests.

The Director of Operations of the NAS appealed to the public to use Emergency Toll-Free numbers for genuine emergencies.

“There were over 20 million emergency prank calls recorded in 2020 and 2022, and these prank calls made it difficult for people with genuine emergencies to access emergency services, thereby, affecting service response time,” he stated.

Ms. Celestina Kalor Abapiri, the In-Country Representative of the Elijeko Foundation said Elijeko Foundation and the NAS were ready to provide this live-saving training and encouraged individuals or the public to take advantage of the services.

Ms. Abapiri pleaded with the public to volunteer to donate blood to support the work of the National Blood Bank.

Okogye Abibiduro Nana Kwadwo Obiri from Obiri Herbal Research Centre on behalf of Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM) expressed gratitude to the organizers of the event, which he described as very useful and an eye-opener.

“We are coming from the herbal background, and it is going to be very helpful. I must admit that this workshop has been very useful because we have learned a lot. We also thank Elijeko Foundation and the NAS for this opportunity and encourage them to do more,” he stated.

The event gathered participants from diverse backgrounds, notably, healthcare professionals, and students from Garden City University College.


By Albert Allotey, GNA

Elijeko Foundation, Ambulance Service embark on emergency lifesaving project

Ambulance Service

Elijeko Foundation, National Ambulance Service embark on an emergency lifesaving project, an initiative to drive public awareness and education on pre-hospital emergency care has been launched in Kumasi.  The initiative is to encourage timely pre-hospital interventions for individuals who experience cardiac arrests.

The initiative, which is under a project dubbed: “The Basic Life Support” was mooted by a non-profit organisation, Elijeko Foundation in collaboration with its partner the National Ambulance Service (NAS).

The launching took place on the sidelines of a day’s workshop on cardiovascular diseases, held in Kumasi.

Mr Andrews Kwabena Nyantakyi, the Founder of the Elijeko Foundation and a U.S. Navy Veteran, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, revealing that cardiac arrest and heart attacks have claimed many lives.

“This is because of the lack of bystanders’ skills to provide timely life-saving resuscitation for victims,” he stated.

He said according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 17.9 people die each year from cardiovascular diseases worldwide, and Ghana recorded about 14,103 cardiac deaths in 2020.

The Elijeko Foundation is being supported by the founder’s family to address the healthcare needs of people throughout Ghana by offering preventive health education, medical outreach, and training programmes.

Mr Nyantakyi said since the establishment of the Foundation in 2016, it has served over 40,000 beneficiaries and continued to expand its programmes to remote communities with no access to quality healthcare services.

He said the workshop was to provide the public with adequate information on how to perform a proper intervention as a bystander for victims of heart attack and cardiac arrest.

“At Elijeko Foundation, we are a nonprofit provider of free preventative health education, health promotions, and community medical outreach across Ghana. We identified a gap in the healthcare approach in Ghana, that is, being unable to handle emergencies and preventable deaths, so we partnered with the NAS to begin, “The Basic Life Support Workshop,” he said.

Mr Nyantakyi pointed out that the Basic Life Support Workshop uses the community-based outreach approach to provide preventive and pre-hospital emergency care education to the public.

He said: “We hope to use this programme to create a platform to promote direct community engagement and equip Ghanaians with the knowledge of what, when, and how to respond to emergencies.”

Basic Life Support

“We invited the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM) and their members to join us so we can provide free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) awareness and education to the public.

“We had a team of instructors that travelled to Ghana from the United States, and we arranged a training session for GHAFTRAM members,” he stated.

Press Release: We are ready to support COVID-19 fight


We are writing concerning the government’s announcement and response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 situation. This is a global issue and we appreciate the government’s effort in dealing with the situation.

As a community-based preventative health education charity, we stand ready to provide the needed support and education to the general public. COVID-19 as any other viral infection is spread by person-to-person, when they come in close contact with an infected person normally six (6) feet; PREVENTION IS KEY.

Elijeko Foundation encourages the general public to remain calm and adhere to guidelines from Ghana Health Services.

Let’s protect ourselves by following these steps:
– Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water.
– If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
– Use proper coughing techniques (Coughing into the elbow or your clothes), especially in public or crowded
places like in trotro, VIP buses, market areas, taxis, etc.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. STOP biting your fingernails.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially those with flu-like symptoms.
– Seek medical care if you feel sick especially if you are experiencing fever, shortness of breath and cough
– If possible, delay all travel to countries that currently have high COVID-19 cases. If you must travel, please
follow all the preventive guidelines above.

Please call 0322497813 or 0546410340 if you have any questions (s) on the above guidelines.

Thank you.

Download our release: Our Press Release

Oyarifa residents get free medical screening


A free medical exercise for about 300 residents of Oyarifa and its environs in the Ga East Municipality was organized last Thursday with widows, widowers, orphans, single parents, and the underprivileged benefiting the most.

The medical screening exercise which covered hypertension, diabetes, and antenatal care, among other ailments, was organized by Elijeko Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) with the support of Stanley and Khadi Foundation, also an NGO.

The Lead Medical Officer of Elijeko Foundation, Priscilla Amma Pokuaa, a Family Medicine Physician Assistant at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Hospital in Kumasi, expressed joy at the patronage by the chiefs and people of Oyarifa.

“Most of the older women were completely ignorant of their health status, and information about diabetes, hypertension, and even common cold are vital for them at this age,” she said, adding that “through the screening, we were able to counsel many including expectant mothers, gave them nutrition education, and provided a referral to a higher echelon of care because we want them to have optimal health care.”

According to her, Elijeko Foundation had over the years, been conducting health promotion, education, and screening in cities in the country but the festive season at Oyarifa was on “our radar because we realized the community lacked access to health facilities, especially where the elderly were unable to trek to hospitals in far distances for their care.”

Dr. Frederick Amakye of the Nsawam Government Hospital and Assistant Executive Officer of Elijeko Foundation underscored the importance of one knowing their health status and encouraged participants to seek frequent medical checkups.

The Chief Executive Officer of Stanley and Khadi Foundation, Apostle Stanley Tsedi, said his foundation made dual donations yearly, in July and December last year, saying the “July donation is solely for orphanages where we make donations in cash and in-kind to provide for their basic needs.”

A 17-year-old mother, Amanda Sowah, who was among the beneficiaries said, she could not seek medical checkups after she gave birth because she did not have the resources to do so.

“I am happy this medical team is here. I spoke to the medical officer and she told me a lot about my health, which I did not know, and I was also advised on how to keep myself and my baby healthy,” she said.

Earlier, the founder of the Elijeko Foundation, Mr. Andrews Nyantakyi, who is a US Navy Hospital Corpsman, said his organization’s vision was in solidarity with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3, on health.

Elijeko Foundation urges government to support preventive health education

preventive health education

As part of the efforts to create more awareness on breast cancer and also educate young girls on the need to stay healthy, Elijeko Foundation conducted its 10th Community Health Promotion event at Kumasi Wesley Girls Senior High School and St. Michael Educational Complex both in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.

The event was in commemoration of the Breast Cancer Awareness month celebration.

The team led by Mr. Samuel Oduro Mensah provided hands-on training on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Self-Breast Examination.

Students were also educated on how to detect and prevent Urinary Tract Infections, Upper Respiratory Infections, and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

The lead Medical Advisor, Mrs. Priscilla Amma Pokuaah, a Physician Assistant at Kama (Mikaddo) Clinic in Kumasi entreated students to abstain from unprotected sex and maintain proper hygiene.

“Many of the young patients we receive at our health facilities suffer from conditions that can easily be prevented through proper hygiene”, she said “I admonish all female students to stay away from patronizing illegal medications, especially body-enhancing drugs which have the potential to inflict a negative impact on them in the future”.

Speaking in an interview the founder of Elijeko Foundation, Mr. Andrews Nyantakyi who serves as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy said the focus of the foundation’s Community Health Promotion events is to promote preventive and safe health practices in Ghana as well as other sub-Saharan African countries.

“Our model is simple: we go to schools, churches as well as community gatherings with our team to provide basic preventive health education, and detection techniques for illnesses that are prevalent in our societies. We are working to support the United Nations 3rd Sustainable Development Goal which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, he added.

The Chaplain of the school, Reverend Peter Nimo, commended the organization for its contribution towards health promotion in Ghana and pleaded with the team to work with the school in setting up a sick bay to provide timely health interventions to students when needed.

Mr. Samuel Oduro Mensah, the Country Director for Elijeko Foundation urged the government and other relevant bodies to support the promotion of preventive health education in Ghana.

Widespread use of breast enhancing creams among SHS students

breast enhancing creams SHS students

There are reports of widespread use of breast enhancing creams and injectibles among Senior High School students and other teenagers.

The substances are also said to change the complexion of the breast region of users.

In the course of the investigations, a young female in Senior High School revealed she once used the product after a friend introduced it to her. Josephine, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, is a seventeen-year-old Senior High School student. She appears to wear an A-cup bra and she says her friends laugh at her for having smaller breasts.

“I feel embarrassed when my friends laughed at me for having small breasts. I have always had this perception that certain clothes will not look good on me. So I decided to use it but I stopped that’s why I am still flat,” she added.

Other young women have also used similar cosmetics, which they claim, makes the breasts fairer. Josephine says the cosmetics and other body enhancement products are sold on the open market but only to their target customers.

Checks at the Food and Drugs Authority show no product has been duly registered for the purpose.

Dr. Priscilla Amma Pokuaa says teenagers need to be aware of the danger they are exposed to.

“We have hormones in the breast that regulate and if those hormones exceed the amount of hormonal regulation it can also increase your risk factor. So there is the need to halt this practice which is increasing”, she said.

A local NGO, Elijeko Foundation, is on a mission to educate students to stay clear of such substances.

President of the foundation, Andrews Kwabena Nyantakyi says already some young women in some Senior High Schools in Kumasi are being trained on how to prevent some of these diseases.

“With the necessary knowledge, diseases like cervical and breast cancers can be prevented and this will help the country,” he added.