Farmers advised to take advantage of heavy rains to intensify work.

Gomoa-Darhom (C/R) The former Paramount Chief of Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area, Okutupong Apata Kofi IV, has advised Commercial and Peasant Farmers in the country to take full advantage of the heavy rains the nation is experiencing to intensify their agricultural activities.

He also advised jobless youth in farming communities to assist their parents and family in their food and other crops producing ventures.

Okutupong Apata Kofi gave the advice when he spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Gomoa-Pomadze.

He described the recent downpours the nation was encountering as, timely and one of the greatest gifts nature has bestowed on the nation this year, which commercial and peasant farmers must utilise it purposefully to increase food and exportable crops production.

As a cocoa farmer, Okutupong Apata Kofi appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to provide to farmers with the adequate fertilizers, insecticides, weedicides and other farm inputs to help improve their work.

He urged government to provide soft loans to cocoa and crop farmers in the country since such services would help attract more youth into the agricultural ventures.

He stressed the need for the youth, not to perceive farming as an unprofitable profession, adding that, without agriculture the nation cannot feed its millions of people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Four West African countries meet to fix Cross-Border crimes

Sankaduri (Burkina Faso)- Ghana, Burkina Faso, the republic of Benin, and Togo have met to find ways of combating cross-border crimes in the sub-region.

These four West African neighbours have concluded that crimes were trans-National activities that affected development of these countries in the sub-region.

The round table meeting which was a follow up to operation Kondanlgou-2018 being executed by the four-member countries was aimed at checking and stopping trans-border crimes and to strengthen ties between the security apparatuses of these countries.

It was also to ensure the safety of residents at the borders of the various countries.

The meeting brought together heads of service commanders and members of the national security of the participating countries to deliberate on issues of security, including communication such as language barrier, effective cooperation and logistics among others at the weekend in the Sankaduri province of Burkina Faso.

The operation will further consider combating crimes such as human trafficking, terrorism, armed robbery and smuggling among others at the borders of the participating countries.

Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere, National Security Advisor to the President of Ghana, noted that the current crime trends were transnational ones, which needed effective collaborations between the four countries to enable them combat such crimes.

Brig. Gen. Okyere mentioned that it was important to enhance interoperability with the security agencies in the various countries to create a viable and effective communication strategy to make the operation succeed.

He urged the security agencies to cooperate effectively and extend the sensitisation to the civilian population of their respective countries to enable them appreciate the purpose for which the operation was being executed, which was paramount to their security.

Mr Clement Sawadogo, Minister in charge of National Security in Burkina Faso urged the various countries to be committed to retooling the securities at the frontiers to protect the interest of the vulnerable citizens.

He commended the framework of the operation and called on civilian population to support the security to maintain law and order to promote the socio-economic development in the various countries.

Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, Ghana’s Upper East Regional Minister, Deputy Commissioner of police (DCOP) in charge of operations in the Upper East Region, Mr Simon Afeku and other heads of government institutions represented Ghana, while Mr Clement Sawadogo, Minister in charge of security represented Burkina Faso.

Mr Nouatin Alian Minister for Defence represented the republic of Benin and Mr Damehane Yark, Minister in charge of security and civil protection represented Togo at the meeting.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Assemblyman elected PM for Ablekuma North Assembly

Accra� Mr Mohammed Labaran, the Assemblyman for Odorkor Electoral Area, has been elected the Presiding Member (PM) for the new Ablekuma North Municipal Assembly.

The election was on ‘yes or no’ voice vote as Mr Labaran was a sole candidate for the position.

Mr Labaran in an interview with the Ghana News Agency pledged a broad consultation with stakeholders to ensure a rapid development of the municipality.

He said his formulation of decisions would be based on the concerns and needs of the people to improve their living standards and transform the new municipality to reap maximum benefits.

The new PM appealed to the members in the municipality to cooperate and lend their support for the assembly to realise its vision of expanding the scope of development in the area.

He commended the assemblymen for giving him the nod to become the PM.

Mr Labaran was sworn-in by Mrs Victoria Ghansah, a Magistrate at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Court at Abeka.

Nana Akua Owusu-Afriyie, the Member of Parliament for the area urged the assembly members to remain undaunted in the face of the development challenges in the municipality.

She said: As a newly created assembly we have to take our destiny into our own hands with the provision of massive infrastructural development.

Nana Owusu-Afriyie urged the assembly to intensify its revenue generation and tackle the prevailing poor environmental sanitation to ensure good and health environment.

Mr Shehu Kadiri, the Coordinating Director of the Assembly who chaired the function, urged the assembly members to work hard for the assembly to meet its set targets of providing more development for the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Parliament called to pass law on Teenage Pregnancy

Wa Parliament of Ghana has been called on to pass a law with harsher penalty on teenage pregnancy to sufficiently guarantee the protection and future of young girls in the country to enable them realise their dreams.

The proposed law should prescribe stiffer punishment for perpetrators who have shuttered the dreams and future of victims of child marriage and teenage pregnancy, particularly in Northern parts of Ghana.

Mr Moses Dramani Luri, the Executive Director of Social Initiative for Literacy and Development Programme (SILDEP), who made the call in said teenage pregnancy contributed significantly to child marriage, a menace profound in the Upper West Region.

Ghana’s 2010 population and housing census data indicates that for persons aged 12 to14 years, 11.18 percent of them were married, followed by 17 percent for those who fall within the age bracket 15 to 19 years.

Child marriages amounted to almost one tenth (7.4 per cent) of the married population in Upper West, prompted Mr Luri to concluded that many girls in the region were victims of child marriage.

According to him, statistics had it that 4,282 out of 8,220 married people were girls, representing 52 percent.

A total of 197 of the girls willingly get married without any customary rites, 24 of them get separated due to misunderstandings, 14 completely divorced and 43 get widowed, while 7,942 of them live a relatively stable marriage, he added

He noted that though, Act 560 of 1998 made child marriage criminal, most people were not aware of the provision, adding: Even those that are aware do little or nothing at all about it.

Mr Luri said 77 defilement cases were recorded in 2015 as against 61 in 2016 while 90 of such cases were registered in 2017 in Upper West, totalling 228 recorded cases in three years.

He explained that cases not covered by the law but retarded development were 3,010 in 2015, 3,412 in 2016 and 3,595 in 2017, bringing the total to 10,017 in three consecutive years.

Mr Luri therefore called for robust action to enforce the Law on defilement to protect such victims.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Physicians Society offers free medical screening to community

Accra- The Society of Family Physicians of Ghana (SOFPOG) has organised a free medical screening for the people of Korle-Gonno a suburb of Accra to improve their quality of life and make them healthy.

The programme which formed part of the World Family Doctor Day, seeks to provide healthcare to all individuals in the community who due to financial challenges do not visit the hospital but have health issues.

The World Family Doctor Day, set aside in 2010 by the World Health Organisation on May 19 every year, highlights the roles and contributions of family doctors in healthcare system.

This year’s celebration was on the theme; “A Family Doctor for Every Family”.

Dr Henry Lawson, the Africa Regional President, World Organisation of Family Doctors, in an interaction with the media said, every family in Ghana ideally should have a family physician that handles primary health needs and only refers when the need arise.

But in Ghana, the reality is that most people engage in self-medication, visit the emergency unit and take non professional health counsel when ill and as such do not see the need to have a family physician.

Dr Lawson said for individuals and families who apparently may have access to health care, inappropriate health seeking behaviour may prevent them from maximising health services available to them.

This therefore calls for a family physician who knows the patient and can be more effective in taking care of his or her health care needs.

Family physician develops professional relationship with the patient, involves in primitive care, provides coordinated care and also treats all health related problems and in some cases undertakes some surgical procedures.

Dr Lawson said SOFPOG for these reasons was embarking on a campaign on the need for every family to have a family doctor in the future as they believe that no person should be denied the opportunity to have a family doctor irrespective of their location, age, sex and economic status.

He therefore called on the government, WHO, other international organisations, NGOs, institutions and other funding agencies to support the training of family physicians in Ghana.

He encouraged doctors especially those in private practice across the country, to update their knowledge in family medicine to ensure high quality standards in primary health care.

He also called on the Medical and Dental Council, Health Facilities Regulatory Agency and other regulatory bodies to revise the criteria for licensing health facilities that provide primary care to conform to the standards.

He said Ghanaians relying on unregulated traditional medicine for healing was worrisome as research had indicated that the use of these medicines was the leading cause of kidney failure in the country.

Dr Lawson called on the Ministry of Health and other appropriate authorities to tackle this menace with much urgency to prevent complications that result from unsuspecting patients being taken advantage of.

Dr Priscilla Vandyck-Sey, the Senior Family Physician and Acting Head of Department Korle-Bu Polyclinic, said this was their way of providing community service to patients.

The community members were given medical screening on hepatitis, malaria, diabetes, blood pressure, weight and height and were advised accordingly.

She said 300 people were expected to be screened and expressed the hope that in the near future more people would embrace the specialty of family doctors.

Source: Ghana News Agency