UK Beauty Queen to Raise Awareness of Bronchiectasis on Trip to Ghana

UK Beauty Queen to Raise Awareness of Bronchiectasis on Trip to Ghana

A British beauty pageant winner will be raising awareness of a lung disease known as bronchiectasis, which she developed as a child, during a trip to the country of her roots, Ghana.

Rachel Djan, a second-year Education Studies major at De Montford University Leicester (DMU), will also be participating in social service initiatives in Ghana. They include educating and empowering girls.

Djan will speak at schools and orphanages, and deliver books and sanitary napkins to youngsters in some of Ghana’s poorest regions. She became Miss Ghana UK in September 2016, a role that made her an ambassador for the Miss Ghana UK Foundation.

A crowdfunding effort is under way to raise money for the trip to Ghana.

Djan said majoring in Education Studies will help her educate people about a lot of subjects, including bronchiectasis.

The condition makes her tire easily and often leaves her breathless, she said.

“I have asthma, too, and when I was at secondary school, I found it hard to explain” to others, she said in a DMU news story. “For example, asking people not to spray deodorants in the sports changing rooms.”

Most cases of bronchiectasis are the result of other diseases, although some cases result from lung damage in the mother’s womb.

The lung damage that leads to bronchiectasis can be caused by a childhood infection such as measles or whooping cough. Or it can stem from a lung-related medical condition like cystic fibrosis or primary ciliary dyskinesia, which affects tiny, hair-like structures that line the airways.

Congenital bronchiectasis is the result of lung-development problems before birth.

Djan is also involved in another project to instill confidence in girls, called the Queen’s Organisation. It echoes the Miss Ghana UK Foundation’s goals of inspiring young people to make informed career choices and always keep learning.

“Education is an everyday thing for me, and I love to learn,” said Djan, who was born in Germany but moved to Coventry, England, 10 years ago.

“In different countries, education can be downgraded or lacking, but you can still learn — you just have to look harder. For example, if an individual is intrigued by food, they could go to different areas of Ghana to learn about foods from different cultures.”

For information on how to support Djan’s outreach to Ghana, please visit the crowdfunding campaign page here.

 

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