Don’t abandon hospitals for prayer camps, pregnant women advised


Dr Kennedy Tettey Coffie Brightson, the Medical Superintendent of the Shai-Osudoku District Hospital, has advised pregnant women against abandoning medical assistance for prayer camps.

Dr Brightson said they had noticed that pastors had lots of influence on pregnant women and urged religious leaders to serve as ambassadors for the promotion of good health practices in their various communities. 

He gave the advice at the launch of the pre-eclampsia day at the Shai-Osudoku District Hospital, saying religious leaders’ role in promoting health talks would eliminate myths and misconceptions regarding some health complications and energise people to immediately visit health facilities for treatment.

He said that there had been instances where pregnant women had stopped medical treatment due to some pastor’s advice, saying the situation was hindering the well-being of some pregnant women, leading to complications and sometimes death.

Dr Brightson cited an instance where a pastor visited the consulting room with
the patient to undermine the work of the health practitioner, adding that such attitudes made the work of health providers difficult and could also decrease the chances of saving the patient’s life.

He said his outfit had initiated activities such as visiting clients at home and running satellite clinics, including at Torkpo, Agortor, Osuwem, and Asutuare, among others, to help identify the challenging conditions and amicably find solutions to them.

He said that a pregnancy school was initiated to intensify education in and outside the hospital, while human resources capacity was strengthened while the number of consulting rooms increased to promote maternal health care. 

Dr Brightson explained that the pregnant schools operated on Tuesdays and Thursdays for pregnant women to be educated, while on Saturdays, their partners also visited the hospital for education.

Again, a new clinic had been opened for working mothers who could visit the hospitals as early as 0600 hours.

He urged Ghanaians to develop the
habit of visiting health facilities with their issues and listening to the advice of their caretakers.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We will contribute our quota to the development of Anlo – Togbi Akpanya


Togbi Akpanya III, Chief of Taviefe Avedome in the Volta Region, has reaffirmed his commitment and alliance of Taviefe Traditional Area to the Anlo State for mutual development and peace-building.

‘We are always ready to contribute our quota towards Anlo’s development and total reformation.’

Togbi Akpanya gave the assurance at Anloga on Saturday, when he led a delegation to represent the Taviefe Traditional Area at the ‘Anlo Dukor (State) Congress of Chiefs’ held at Anlo Senior High School Auditorium.

He disclosed that Taviefe remained an Anlo town founded by the ancestors, adding that they took the initiative to reconcile with their route.

Togbi Akpanya further expressed his satisfaction with the high level of reception they received during the prestigious event.

‘We never felt like strangers, but rather as part of the Anlo ancestry. We are grateful for the invitation and we promise to continue on this path,’ he added.

In January 2023, a delegation from the Taviefe Traditional Area paid a courtesy call
on Togbi Sri III, the ‘Awoamefia’ of Anlo as part of activities to trace their route and reconcile with their people in the south.

This was after they were invited to celebrate the Hogbetsotso festival with them at Anloga in November 2022.

According to Togbi Akpanya, history and oral tradition have it that Taviefe was founded by Togbi Anyage who was a prominent Warrior of Anlo who led his people to present-day Taviefe some centuries ago due to some happenings at the time.

The Congress is a perennial meeting of Chiefs, Queens, and people of the Anlo State to deliberate on matters of progress and development.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dormaa Circuit Court jails man for stealing


The Circuit Court in Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Bono Region, has sentenced Malik Ibrahim, a-23-year-old man to 24 months in prison for stealing.

Ibrahim pleaded guilty for stealing a sewing machine, an unspecified amount of money, and other valuables, and the court presided by Madam Philomena Ansaah-Asiedu convicted him accordingly.

Presenting the facts of the case, Police Inspector Joseph Mensah, the prosecutor told the court that the complainant, Joyce Amankwaa, is a trader residing at Dormaa-Ahenkro while the convict is a self-employed resident at Asushia, near Wamfie.

On May 21, 2024, around 0730 hours, the complainant visited her shop at the Dormaa-Ahenkro Tuesday market and detected those thieves had broken into it through the roofing, damaged the ceiling and made away with a sewing machine, 18 pieces of Kente clothes, unspecified amount of money and other valuables.

Police Inspector Mensah said the complainant reported the matter to the police, after which the investigations led to the arrest of the con
vict who had in his possession the sewing machine.

During the investigations, the convict admitted to committing the crime and was arranged before the court accordingly.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tinubu’s credit scheme to address `loan sharks’ excesses -FCCPC


The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), says President Bola Tinubu’s credit scheme will help to close the gap and reduce vulnerability of Nigerians to unethical digital loan companies.

The Acting Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, Dr Adamu Abdullahi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

Abdullahi who was reacting to unethical practices by some unregistered digital money lenders to their customers, said the scheme would grant Nigerians access to soft loans without collaterals.

He said the scheme would also help to reduce the rate at which Nigerians patronise unregistered loan applications that were prone to maiming and shaming their character.

The acting executive vice chairman said that although the Commission had registered some digital money lenders, most of them who were not registered had continued their unethical practices on their customers.

‘What is happening is because the availability of loans is not there in Nigeria but y
ou can see that this government through its `Renewed Hope Agenda’ came up with a credit scheme.

‘It has now gone into effect but it is only for government workers for now, it is going to address the gap that the apps were addressing before.

‘So once we have that kind of possibility in which a person can get a loan from a recognised institution, banks, it will be a soft-loan without collateral.

‘The only collateral you will need is your National Identification Number (NIN) and once you have NIN and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

‘That means you are identified and people know that you are the one that has taken this loan and they know how to get their loan back.

‘When that gap is now filled, this people (loan companies) will sit up and do the right thing or they fizzle out of existence,” he said.

On the Commission’s achievements in the past one year, Abdullahi said t

It had begun investigations into some unfair practices and irregularities in the market.

‘We frown against practices that are monopolist
ic, we frown against abuse of dominant position in the market.

‘In the competition aspect, we found out that there are some companies that are doing some anti-competitive practices and this has led to a sanction against a major international company.

‘Beyond the sanction, the aspect that is not well reported is the aspect that we have made them to do some advocacy in the field of tobacco smoking for the young and under-aged.

`We have on-going investigations in other major companies which we found are indulging in other anti-competition practices,” the acting executive vice chairman said.

Abdullahi said that advocacy was a major hindrance for the Commission, adding that the FCCPC was planning to have presence in all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

This according to him will be done through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with another government agency to educate people on their rights.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Ghana’s resilient economy is still worth your money – investors told


Dr Dickson Adomako Kissi, Member of Parliament for the Anyaa Sowutuom Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, says Ghana’s economy remains resilient for investors across the world.

Despite the current economic challenges, he said the government had laid a strong foundation for investors to reap profit in the manufacturing sector, particularly under the One District-One Factory (1D1F) initiative.

The member of Parliament’s Account Committee said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency over the weekend, in Accra, at a ceremony to award some Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

‘There’s never a bad time for good investment in Ghana; in as much as we think that things are difficult, serious minded people are doing hardcore business and we need to emulate that,’ he said.

On the need to invest, particularly in the SMEs sector, he explained that small businesses are very organic in their growth, making them one of the best people to do business with.

‘I, therefore, encourage investors to support
their growth, as we turn the economy, with our focus on shifting more on SMEs and provide them with resources, not just money, sometimes, proper record keeping and accounting,’ he said.

Referencing the case of Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Adomako Kissi, said, ‘all is not lost to invest in our country. There’s hope, because the government has laid a solid foundation for investors to recoup their investments.’

Encouraging local SMEs to continue to work to keep their companies for a better future, he said, ‘Ghanaians are resilient; we thrive where it’s impossible. Even in bad times, good companies still flourish and new ones also pop up.’

He reiterated that SMEs remained the backbone of any economy, including Ghana, and as such businesses grew, so do they pay dividend to the government through the payment of taxes, which supports economic growth.

Underscoring the contribution of small businesses, Dr Adomako Kissi, said ‘If SMEs employ about 50 people, it relieves the government of employment numbers
, and as they grow bigger, they employ more.’

He encouraged the award recipients to use the honour made them to spur them to do more to support the government’s economic recovery effort, while creating more employment opportunities for the youth.

Speaking with GNA, Mr Kofi Damquah Bingabin, Director, Zeigler Ama Ghana Ltd – a jewellery manufacturing company, and recipient of Investment Promotion category, said the award would serve as a motivation to them.

‘This award will give us a boost, and people will recognise the work that we do – buying, selling, repairing, and customising of jewelleries, including watches, necklaces, and rings,’ Mr Bingabin, said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

The Boresah Royal Foundation rallies women for environmental cleanliness


Boresah Royal Foundation, a women-focused Organisation, in collaboration with the US Army has rallied women and schools at Daboya in the Savanah Region for a clean-up exercise and sanitation summit.

The exercise and schools’ sanitation summit were spearheaded by the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) division of the US Army, as part of its Army Flintlock 2024, which is an annual event with special exercises designed to enhance cooperation on trans-regional security issues.

Queen Boresah Fantevie, the Executive Director of the Foundation, was one of the honourees by the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, as a Champion of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in 2022 and has since been part of the efforts towards advancing the rights of women and leading advocacy, against GBV.

The event was attended by the Paramount Chief of Wasipe traditional area, Wasipewura Yakubu Anyame Kabasagya II, who urged women and other participants to come out in their numbers for the exercise, noting that cleanliness was next to Godliness.

The Paramount
Chief was hopeful that dumping of waste in the white volta which passed through the community would be a thing of the past with the sanitation summit and advised all to live at peace with each other.

Queen Boresah Fantevie, also a Development Queen of the Yagbon (Gonja) Kingdom with the Title Nkligiwurche Boresah Iddisah Jeduah, expressed gratitude to the US WPS for the partnership and support.

She explained that in tune with Sustainable Development Goals 5 and six, the exercise sought to promote gender equality by ensuring a clean environment and safe drinking water which mostly affected women and children.

Global warming and climate change issues were all related to environmental cleanliness and practices, hence the need to engage women at the grassroots for such exercises.

As part of the exercise, she handed over sanitation logistics worth thousands of cedis and urged the recipients to use them judiciously to keep the environment clean always.

Madam Kathryn Maitrejean, the Women, Peace and Security Pl
anner of the US Army Flintlock 2024, encouraged the women and other participants to continue the sanitation exercise in their homes and surroundings and pledged the continuous support of her outfit to the Boresah Royal Foundation to enhance the lives of women and children in the area.

She emphasised the important role women played in community development adding ‘Women’s health matters because women give life’.

Winners of the school sanitation summit competition were honoured with awards ranging from books, mathematical sets, dictionaries, and footballs among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Preparing for Epidemic Outbreaks: Public Health Emergency Fund in Ghana crucial


As the saying goes; ‘health is wealth’, governments around the world have obligations to protect their citizens from health complications, emergencies and pandemics that have the potential to take the wealth from them (the citizens).

This calls for governments to put in place efficient systems and structures that will prepare them to respond to or counter the negative effects of outbreak of deadly diseases such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Funding

A key component of epidemics preparedness is the financing of programmes and initiatives geared towards the swift response to public health emergencies.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana exposed how stakeholders have neglected instituting interventions to respond to such viruses and diseases.

It is imperative for the government to seek broad consultation from all relevant stakeholders to develop strategic measures on how to set up epidemics preparedness financing system to respond to future outbreaks.

One of the measures the government can take is to ta
ke inspiration from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) and introduce a Public Health Emergency Fund (PHEF) to mobilise contingency resources towards future public health emergencies.

This Fund, when established, will rope in more revenue locally thereby boosting external partners’ confidence in supporting the nation in the event of pandemics. This is in fulfilment of the saying that: ‘Heaven helps those, who help themselves.’

Legislation

Beyond the establishment, there is the need for government to enact legislation to regulate how the Fund should be used to repose confidence in both local and international partners, which will help generate more revenue for the Fund.

Pandemics are a natural phenomenon; they are the result of new pathogen emerging and spreading around the world and have occurred at frequent and unpredictable intervals throughout human history.

New and emerging pandemics can affect humans anywhere and at any time, with diseases that can spread from animals to humans, such as COVID-1
9, HIV, Ebola, and influenza, among others.

The acceleration of global mobility for example, due to conflict or instability, population growth, urbanisation and poor sanitation, the ecological implications of climate change, and changes in food and agricultural systems including intensification, biodiversity loss, trade in wildlife and livestock all contribute to the risk of emergence of infectious diseases, and of antimicrobial resistance.

The establishment of a Public Health Emergency Fund in Ghana can be used to put in place robust infrastructure and systems to respond effectively to future epidemics.

Statistics on disease outbreaks in Ghana

Ghana has experienced in managing cases of high infectious diseases, and in recent years, has managed confirmed cases of COVID-19, Lassa fever, and monkeypox, among others. These are infectious diseases, with few or no treatment options with high fatality rates, and the ability to spread rapidly.

Statistics from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) shows that between 20
20 and 2023, the country recorded eight different disease outbreaks.

They are: COVID-19, Lassa Fever, Monkeypox, Marbug virus, Yellow Fever, Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM), Polio and Measles. All these diseases led to some deaths and other health complications.

Public health emergency preparedness and response in Ghana

Dr Hilarius Asiwome Kosi Abiwu, the Deputy Director of Public Health at Northern Regional Health Directorate, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that the Ministry of Health and the GHS have developed sufficient systems and capabilities for those at the national, regional, districts, sub-districts, and community levels to quickly identify and respond to public health emergencies.

He said the authorities had instituted event-based and indicator-based surveillance systems to determine and respond to possible public health emergencies.

He said all the structures were in place except the resources to effectively carry out these mandate.

Challenges in responding to public health e
mergencies

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resilience of Ghana’s healthcare system was highly tested, and exposed as to how less prepared it was to respond to the virus.

Some facilities were overwhelmed by the number of cases recorded to the extent of making use of temporary structures such as insulation and treatment centres.

Dr Abiwu observed that the major challenge in responding to public health emergencies in Ghana has to do with source of finance.

He said currently, there was no standby fund dedicated to public health emergencies, which he described as a worrying phenomenon.

Why emergency fund?

The relevance of establishing a public health emergency fund to build a robust responsive structure cannot be understated.

A public health emergency fund will provide Ghana with the resources necessary to respond promptly and effectively to disease outbreaks without waiting for support from international organisations.

A well-funded and resourced public health system will enable Ghana to pre
vent epidemic outbreaks through vaccination and community health sensitisation programmes

Dr Abiwu said, ‘Any efforts to setup a fund with a system that makes it easy to access it when there are concerned public health threats will be crucial.’

Revenue mobilisation channel for the fund

Mr Nathaniel Appeadu, a Finance Expert from Takoradi in the Western Region, suggested that authorities must take inspiration from how the Ghana Education Trust Fund was established and institute same ideas to set up the Public Health Emergency Fund.

He said there could be a levy introduced in the form of taxation, where a percentage would be paid at the ports and harbours to rope in a substantial amount of money for the fund.

‘Just as they were able to introduce the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) out of nowhere, they can also pass through the necessary processes and introduce the public health emergency levy to establish the fund,’ he added.

The way forward

New and emerging pandemic diseases can affect humans anywh
ere and at any time. So, there is the need for the country to be adequately prepared now for the future.

The major challenge in responding to public health emergencies in Ghana has had to do with source of financing mechanisms.

Madam Vivian Eshun, a Community Nurse, in Takoradi, said the relevance of establishing a public health emergency fund to build a robust responsive structure could not be understated.

Madam Bassana, a Midwifery Officer at Tamale West Hospital, said public safety should be the country’s top priority, as such, the establishment of the fund will support government and stakeholders to provide the best care possible for people, who became ill, and support hospitals to maintain essential services to help minimise the overall impact of the disease on society, public services and on the economy in case of pandemics.

It is hoped that the government will take considerable steps to establish a public health emergency fund to mobilise enough resources to respond to future public health emergenc
ies.

Source: Ghana News Agency

FCT ADP urges timely agricultural inputs for farmers


Mr Innocent Ajaefobi, Director of the FCT Agricultural Development Project (ADP), has appealed to all levels of government to provide timely agricultural inputs to farmers to ensure a constant supply of farm products.

Ajaefobi made the appeal during the Monthly Technology Review Meeting (MTRM) and Fortnightly Training (FNT) for agricultural extension workers and subject matter specialists (SMSs) in the FCT, held on Monday in Gwagwalada.

He stated that the training was approved by the Mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), Malam Suleiman Kolo, and designed to equip extension workers at the village level with the latest agricultural production techniques.

He explained that agricultural production is subsidised worldwide and emphasised that all levels of government in Nigeria should consistently do the same.

‘The purpose of the training is to ensure food security in the FCT. We invited specialists in various aspects of agriculture to train our extension staff.

‘These extens
ion workers will then teach local farmers, demonstrating techniques on their farms for adoption.

If farmers adopt these techniques, it will lead to increased production, value addition to farm produce, wealth creation, and income generation for farmers and the general FCT populace.’

He urged all participants to view the training as an opportunity to refresh their knowledge, listen to trainers, and equip themselves.

Dr Omole Olateju, Head of Extension Services at FCT ADP, said the training serves as a forum for scientists and experts to teach ADP subject matter specialists about developments in agriculture.

Olateju noted the dynamic nature of agriculture and the need to stay updated on new production methods.

He explained that specialists would train ADP subject matter specialists, who would then train extension workers to transmit the information to farmers.

These extension workers, he said would also gather information from farmers about their problems and bring it back to scientists to find solutions.

Olateju noted that since the training commenced, there had been significant improvements in farmers’ productivity and approaches to farming systems.

‘The quantity of food produced in the country is insufficient to meet our needs, let alone for export; we are far from food security.

‘However, with this programme, we have seen improvements in farmers’ production, the training covers crop production, fishery, animal production, and more,’ Olateju said.

He added that the future of agriculture lies in the hands of smallholder farmers, who produce 70 per cent of the nation’s food.

Mr Solomon Idowu, Head of Technical Services at FCT ADP, said the training spans the six Area Councils and, when relayed to farmers, would help improve their productivity, put food on their tables, money in their pockets, and empower their livelihoods.

One participant, Mrs Dorcas Idowu, Zonal Extension Officer for Gwagwalada, noted that the training was timely and necessary to equip them with the knowledge to teach farmers.

She urge
d other participants to use the knowledge gained from the training to enhance the farming practices of local farmers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three papers were presented on enhancing farming prosperity with tela maize cultivation, the production and management of sheep and goats (small ruminants), fish stocking and routine fish management.

The participants were extensively trained on these topics to subsequently train the farmers.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

GN Bank to revive operations as CEO Dr. Nduom seeks to retrieve banking license


Groupe Ndoum(GN) has initiated steps to recover its banking license in a bid to revive operations across the country. 

At a gathering addressed by Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Chief Executive Officer for the Bank, at the former branches of the defunct bank in Brewa and Agona, all in the Central Region, he assured the residents that the bank would reopen operations soon. 

‘I am here to assure you all that sooner or later the bank will begin operations for you all. We are currently taking steps to access our license from the Bank of Ghana. We are the bank for the people, so we will do everything in our power to commence operations for you people, ‘he said.

The Bank of Ghana on August 16, 2019 revoked the licence of 23 savings and loans companies and finance companies. 

One of the savings and loans companies was GN Savings and Loans. 

The Central Bank took the decision pursuant to Section 123(1) of the banks and specialised deposit-taking institutions. 

The Act mandates the central bank to revoke the licence of a
bank or specialised deposit-taking institution if it determines that the institution is insolvent. 

However, the bank’s decision, according to Dr. Nduom, in an address to residents of the communities he visited, was unjust. 

He said that the government’s indebtedness to the bank through locked-up funds from contractors occasioned the bank’s insolvency. 

The CEO said if the government had paid the debt it owed the contractors, the bank would have been in a better financial position during the period the license was revoked. 

Dr. Nduom urged the residents to mount pressure on their leaders, particularly their representatives in parliament, to force the central bank to release its licence. 

The bank formerly had 300 branches across the country and a staff of 7,000. 

The license recovery drive also featured other activities, including a visit to the various branches of the defunct banks and communities. 

He said that in the coming days, the defunct bank will seek to recover its licences, as it intends to e
ngage in various advocacy activities to raise concern about the ‘unjust’ revocation of banking licenses by the Bank of Ghana. 

The ‘Bring Back GN Bank’ recovery drive included several activities, notable among them being a tour of the company’s assets across the country and engagement with former staff of the bank, he said. 

Dr. Ndoum visited the former and proposed branches of the bank  in Afransie, Awutu Senya, Potsin and Ngleshi Amanfrom.

The branches in Amanfrom and Awutu Senya have been converted into churches while the branch in Potsin had been destroyed.

Source: Ghana News Agency