FIDA-Ghana condemns Anglican Priest for kissing female students

Accra, The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has condemned an Anglican Priest, who was seen in a viral video kissing female students of the St.

Monica’s College, Asante Mampong during Church Service.

 

The Priest, Father Balthazar Obeng Larbi, who is the Chaplain of the College and a Lawyer, was seen in a video kissing the three female students, one after the other, even though some visibly did not like the act.

 

A statement issued by FIDA-Ghana, Wednesday, and signed by its President Afua Brown-Eyeson, said screenshots of chats allegedly posted by students of the same school claimed that the incident was only a reflection of the modus operandi of the said Reverend Father.

 

“Quite disturbing to watch was the jeering and excitement on the faces of onlookers, which in no doubt emboldened the perpetrator to continue kissing the girls. Sexual harassment and sexual abuse is no laughing matter,” it said.

 

The statement said it was time to challenge the culture of entitlement and abuse by clerics because for far too long, the issue of sexual harassment had been at best sidelined and at worst silenced in the church.

 

“It is now time to challenge cultures of entitlement and abuse of power by clerics, which plague women and girls in religious settings. The reality though is that sexual harassment and abuse by clerics has been in the news for quite a while due to undue influence, duress and fear of religious authority.

 

“Though religious authority is regarded highly in Ghana, it should not be used as a cloak to oppress and abuse women and girls who most often need the protection of these clerics,” it noted.

 

Needless to say, the statement said sexual harassment was gender-based violence and a violation of the human rights of girls and women and is prohibited in the 1992 Constitution, the Domestic Violence Act and the Labour Act.

 

The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) defines “sexual harassment as any unwelcome, offensive or importunate sexual advances or request made by an employer or superior officer or a co-worker, whether the worker is a man or woman.

 

The effect of sexual harassment in the academic and professional lives of women has in most situations denied women of their rightful places of merit and contributed to the huge gender gaps in education and the workplace, thus the need for the Affirmative Action Law.

FIDA-Ghana applauded the Anglican Church of Ghana for taking the matter seriously and relieving the Rev. Father Larbi of his duties and as well providing counselling for the girls.

 

The Federation encouraged women and girls who had been sexually harassed in churches to come out with their experiences to raise awareness of the despicable acts.

 

“Being mindful of the possibility of being stigmatised for speaking out, FIDA Ghana entreated the public to report such incidences to its Gender-Based Violence number or Whatsapp platform 0554121205 and website on www.save@fida.org.

 

These platforms, the statement explained provided the opportunity for victims of violence to report such acts whilst providing a trained lawyer to attend to their legal needs.

 

FIDA-Ghana also appealed to the media and individuals to be circumspect in sharing the video to protect the identity of the girls as victims.

 

It also called on leaders at every level within religious Institutions to initiate changes and to establish and maintain a culture that abhors sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

 

“To make this work, we call on members of religious institutions, students, faculty, staff, and administrators to assume responsibility for promoting a harassment-free environment,” the statement added.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government on course to complete inherited health projects – Health Ministry

Accra, The Ministry of Health says the government is on course to complete all health projects it inherited from the previous administration in 2017.

It has, therefore, denied claims by a section of the public that it had abandoned health projects started under the previous government.

 

Speaking at a news conference in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health (MoH), said no such projects had been left untouched since he assumed office in 2017.

 

“Since I joined the Ministry no project has been abandoned,” he emphasized.

 

Mr Agyemang-Manu disclosed that work on health projects such as the Kumawu, Fomena and Sekondi hospitals had commenced and was expected to be completed in due course.

 

“The previous government had a contracting agreement we call NMS that was supposed to do about six projects. The only single project that was completed under this arrangement was the Dodowa Hospital. When we came in, they were completing Kumawu, Fomena and Sekondi Floor work so we did an assessment with finance and what came out was the fact that monies left couldn’t complete the projects that had not been undertaken,” he said.

 

The Health Minister added that “We needed to engage, value for money audits went through, brought a report and we engaged them and likely for us we are managing to get the contractors back to the site.

 

We have now triggered the NMS that was even terminated before we joined and people are now working in Kumawu, people are now working in Fomena and soon these will come to completion.”

 

The Minister added 10 health projects, which started under the previous government in areas such as Besease, Gomoa Dewurampong, Gyamera, Mampong, and Ekumfi were completed in late 2017 and early 2018.

 

“So I am beginning to wonder which projects we have abandoned. Even Bekwai has been completed and is in use as we speak.

 

“We have triggered the continuation of Eurojet projects that were started by President Kufour, left abandoned, is not done now we have completed a significant portion of this project, Tepa is online, Nsorkor is online and Upper West Regional hospital is online,” he said.

 

He also noted that 12 projects, including the La and Shama hospital which the government cut sod last year for its commencement, had been delayed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 second wave.

 

He, however, disclosed in the next two weeks work on all the 12 projects would commence, following the completion of the necessary processes.

 

“The good news is that all that we have to do on these projects have now been completed and within the next two weeks, our government alone is mobilizing to 12 different sites. Shama and La, next week you will see work ongoing in these places,” he said.

 

Dr Ben Ampomah Nkansah, Director of Infrastructure, MoH added that the government had earmarked several health projects to be undertaken this year including the construction of trauma centres at Obuasi and Anyinam in the Ashanti and Eastern regions respectively and rehabilitation of the Ngleshie Government Hospital in the Greater Accra Region.

 

“All these projects as I speak the contractor has moved to site and work is ongoing,” he said.

Other projects such as the construction of a Urology and Nephrology Centre at Korle-Bu, construction of a sub-regional hospital in Tema, reconstruction of the Tema Medical Stores were currently at various stages of work, Dr Nkansah said.

 

Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, the Presidential Adviser on Health, assured of the government’s commitment to complete all 111 hospitals under the “Agenda 111” hospital project to facilitate the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

The Rheumatology Initiative launches projects to improve autoimmune rheumatic care in Ghana

Accra,  The Rheumatology Initiative (tRi), Ghana, a medical advocacy and non-governmental organization, has launched two projects to create awareness about autoimmune rheumatic conditions and care in Ghana.

The projects dubbed; Heralding Education in Autoimmune Rheumatic Disorders (HEARD) Campaign and “RheumChat” seek to make treatment for such conditions easily accessible, convenient, and fast for all.

 

Dr Dzifa Dey, Director of tRi and a consultant rheumatologist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) who launched the projects in Accra said the “RheumChat” project is a toll-free telemedicine short code service (*844*555*3#).

 

“This project is expected to help screen persons suffering from autoimmune rheumatic conditions in all parts of the country and improve access to care by directing them to the nearest partner health center,” she said.

 

The HEARD campaign is also aimed at increasing awareness about Autoimmune Rheumatic Disorders in Ghana through the use of simple animation videos and communication materials in English, French, and selected local languages such as Twi, Ga, Ewe, and Dagbani.

 

Dr Dey explained that generally, “there is a lack of rheumatologists worldwide. Ghana has only three rheumatologists for a population of 30 million”.

 

She said there was a lack of awareness and care for Autoimmune Rheumatic Disorders due to inadequate dedicated clinics, lack of manpower to provide basic care, poor knowledge and disease recognition among medical personnel, and the unavailability of diagnostic facilities and essential drugs to help manage patients.

 

The Rheumatology Initiative, tRi Ghana is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing education, advocacy, and research into the autoimmune rheumatic conditions in Ghana and Africa.

 

The NGO aims to find a cure for the causes and cure for autoimmune rheumatic conditions and provide support, services to persons affected with those conditions and their dependents, with a special focus on adolescents.

 

Autoimmune disease is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body due to its inability to differentiate between good and bad cells.

 

These attacks can be on specific organs or across multiple organs like the skin, joints, muscles, blood, the heart, nerves, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

 

Examples of autoimmune diseases that result from the attack of a single organ are Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and Thyroid disorders.

 

More systemic cases where attacks are across several organs in the body are Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and Myositis.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Silenced, not gone: How CSM continues to thrive behind COVID-19

Wa, Every year, tens of people die from the deadly Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) disease in Northern Ghana especially the Upper West Region.

The annual havoc wrecked by the disease in Northern Ghana, often dominated both local and national media space and attracting attention from the government, development partners, civil society, the business community, and other philanthropists.

 

This then results in mobilization of resources required to combat the spread of the infectious disease, which causes death among 10-15 percent of patients diagnosed with the disease according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

COVID-19 AND CSM

 

The Upper West Region lies in the Africa Meningitis Belt hence prone to Seasonal Outbreaks occurring from November to April every year.

 

However, since the emergence of COVID-19 in Ghana on March 12, 2020, the global pandemic has stolen the usual attention given to CSM away to itself and has maintained that to date.

 

All efforts and resources are channelled at fighting the pandemic to the detriment of the equally deadly or even more deadly disease in our local context.

 

STATISTICS

 

In 2017, the Upper West Region recorded a total of 425 cases of CSM and 54 deaths and in 2018, the number of cases increased slightly to 428 with a total number of deaths decreasing to 37.

 

In 2019, the total number of cases and deaths both declined to 354 cases and 16 deaths respectively, then, in 2020 when COVID-19 emerged and succeeded in shifting attention and resources to itself, CSM secretly claimed 56 lives out of a total of 421 cases recorded in the region.

 

Meanwhile, in the same year, COVID-19 recorded a total of 97 cases with just three deaths.

 

Comparatively, since March 12th, 2020 till August 18th, 2021, there are 519 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Upper West Region with 19 deaths whereas that of CSM stands at 582 cases and 57 deaths. So, from 2017 to August 2021, CSM recorded a total of 1,789 cases out of which 164 persons lost their lives.

 

HEALTH AUTHORITIES VIEW

 

Mr John Viannie Maakpe, the Upper West Regional Health Promotion Officer, said the usual publicity in respect of CSM did not happen this year because they recorded only one death as compared to previous years.

 

He attributed the low fatality rate to early reporting of cases to health facilities which according to him was achieved through continued public education and availability of drugs.

 

He, however, admitted that they were facing funding constraints as a result of the absence of donations towards the fight of the disease this year, which according to him was affecting effective surveillance and monitoring.

 

TESTING OF CASES

 

With respect to COVID-19, Mr Maakpe said the region now has a testing centre here in the Wa Municipal Hospital, which has addressed the challenge in transporting samples to Accra or Kumasi for testing which came with delays in the release of results for treatment.

 

Meanwhile, the region, which lies in the Africa Meningitis Belt has been plagued with the infectious disease for decades now, and yet, it has no testing centre of its own, instead, it carries samples to Tamale for testing; a distance of about 304 km.

 

A situation that is detrimental to the fight against the disease. This, the Regional Health Promotion Officer, admitted the region needed a testing centre located in the region to facilitate the easy and fast release of results, hence, speedy treatment of confirmed cases.

 

WHAT IS CSM

 

According to the WHO, Meningitis is a serious infection of the meninges; the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It is a devastative disease and remains a public health challenge.

 

It said the disease can be caused by many different pathogens including bacteria, fungi, or viruses, but the highest global burden is seen with bacterial meningitis.

 

Several different bacteria including Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza, Neisseria meningitides are the most frequent ones that can cause meningitis.

 

Neisseria meningitides, causing meningococcal meningitis, is the one with the potential to produce large epidemics according to the WHO. It said there were 12 serogroups of Neisseria meningitides that have been identified, six of which (A, B, C, W, X, and Y) can cause epidemics.

 

In 2020, serotype X was the one behind the outbreak in the Upper West Region which resulted in a total of 421 cases recorded and 56 deaths.

 

SYMPTOMS

 

Symptoms of CSM, according to the WHO, are a stiff neck, high fever, confusion, headaches, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.

 

Even with early detection and onset of adequate treatment of the disease, WHO says 5-10 percent of patients die, typically within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.

 

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

 

Transmission of CSM is from person-to-person and this may be through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions of infected persons or those who carry the pathogen.

 

Close or prolonged contact activities such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on another person, or living in close quarters (such as a dormitory, sharing eating or drinking utensils) with an infected person aided in the spread of the disease.

 

The disease has an average incubation period of four days, but can range between two and ten days.

 

PREVENTION

 

The WHO says to prevent and control CSM, there is the need to be vaccinated or immunized against it.

 

It said vaccines have been around for more than 40 years and have been undergoing improvement overtime.

 

However, there is no universal vaccine against meningococcal disease and this is because the disease exists in strains and so the vaccines are strain specific and have varied degrees of protection for certain durations, it added.

 

There are three types of vaccines namely, Polysaccharide vaccines (used during the response to outbreaks and mainly in Africa), Conjugate vaccines (used in prevention through routine immunization schedules and prevention campaigns) and Protein based Vaccine which has been introduced into the routine immunization schedule and used in outbreak response.

 

CSM is still there and thriving in secrecy, so it is important to give equal attention and resources to COVID-19 and CSM to protect lives.

 

We must not lose sight of the fact that it is an annual disease.

 

The public must know that early reporting to health facilities is very important to save lives, hence they must report immediately they begin to experience any of the symptoms.

 

It is equally important to note that symptoms of CSM are similar to that of COVID-19; the only difference is the stiffness of the neck which is a symptom of CSM.

 

From the statistics above, one could clearly deduce that CSM has a more devastative impact on the region as compared to COVID-19; hence, to relent on the publicity will be dangerous to the fight especially with regards to mobilization of resources.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

My commitment to fighting corruption is steadfast – President

Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Wednesday reiterated his commitment to the corruption fight, saying it is the priority of his government to ensure that the country is rid of the vice.

In a meeting with the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition at the Jubilee House, Accra, he said his administration’s fight on corruption had not waned and that he remained unwavering in pursuing that course to meet the growing hopes and aspirations of Ghanaians for socio-economic transformation.

 

The President said his government had invested more resources in the state’s anti-corruption agencies than any other administration in the country’s history and would ensure that those investments did not come to nought.

 

He said it was a matter of record that his administration, since 2017, had increased resource allocations to anti-corruption institutions such as Parliament, the Judiciary, Police, EOCO, and CHRAJ, among others.

 

“It is unfortunate that the perception is that the commitment of government is waning especially when two or three facts are taken into account.”

 

“I don’t think that any government has mobilised resources to give the opportunity for anti-corruption agencies of the state to function as efficiently as this government has done. It is a matter of record,” he said.

 

President Akufo-Addo noted that without such investments in anti-graft institutions, the vexed issue of fighting corruption would have been in vain.

 

“If the institutions of the republic that are meant to take the struggle are not capable to do so, all talk about fighting corruption remain meaningless,” he held, adding that the yearly increases in the budgetary allocations for the anti-corruption institutions were a clear demonstration of the commitment of government to fight corruption.

 

The President was unhappy about the politicisation of alleged corruption-related issues but said he would continue to pay heed to the disquiets and suggestions on the matter to strengthen the fight against the canker.

 

The Chairman of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Nana Osei Bonsu, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, was worried about the blight of corruption on Ghana’s finances and urged the government to heighten the momentum on the fight on malfeasance.

 

He urged the government to speedily appoint a permanent Auditor General to boost the fight against the menace, to which the President replied that the process to that effect was currently ongoing and would be concluded soon.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Casio to Release Two-Tone, Purple and Blue Metal G-SHOCK

Two-tone ion plating and metal finish evoke the beauty of Tokyo twilight

TOKYO, Aug. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Casio Computer Co., Ltd. announced today the latest addition to its G-SHOCK line of shock-resistant watches. The new GMW-B5000PB is part of the 5000 line of full metal watches with the square face design of the very first G-SHOCK, and it features purple and blue-gray ion plating (IP).

GMW-B5000PB

The GMW-B5000PB is based on the GMW-B5000D, which reproduces the shape of the very first G-SHOCK, but in a metal case. The purple and blue-gray IP finish, a new approach to CMF design,* is inspired by the beauty of Tokyo at twilight when light and darkness interplay. The bezel and band feature a new purple IP hue achieved by tuning the chroma and luminance, along with a deep and sophisticated blue-gray IP. Combined with muted chroma and hairline finish, the watch evokes the image of twilight Tokyo in an integrated total design. The watch face is adorned with splashes of orange and light blue reminiscent of city lights illuminating as the sun sets. The bezel and band are hairline and mirror-finished, which enhances the texture of the metal while emphasizing the interplay of multi-spectrum light.

GMW-B5000PB

* CMF design integrates color, material, and finish

The GMW-B5000PB not only receives radio wave time-calibration signals; it is also equipped with Mobile Link functions that pair via Bluetooth® to a smartphone to access Internet time servers and ensure accurate time. Features like alarms and World Time can be easily set from a paired smartphone, and the helpful reminders and phone finder function make for a very useful watch.

Band featuring purple and blue-gray IP

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Casio Computer Co., Ltd. is under license.

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Casio to Release Second Rui Hachimura Signature Model

Design Inspired by the National Flag of Benin, Hachimura’s Ancestral Home

TOKYO, Aug. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Casio Computer Co., Ltd. announced today the release of the GM-110RH, a new addition to the G-SHOCK brand of shock-resistant watches. The GM-110RH is the second signature model designed in collaboration with NBA pro Rui Hachimura.

GM-110RH

Hachimura is the first Japanese national ever to be taken in the first round of the NBA draft (2019). This season, Hachimura continues to be a centerpiece of his team, and his impact is expected to grow in the future. Casio signed a global partnership agreement with Hachimura in November 2019 to support him in tackling the tough challenges that lie ahead.

The new GM-110RH is a signature model designed in collaboration with Hachimura, who has been a G-SHOCK fan since he was in school. The GM-110RH is based on the GM-110, which features a metal bezel and a stylish design. The watch face and band loop on the GM-110RH feature yellow, red, and green accents inspired by the colors of the national flag of Benin, Hachimura’s ancestral home. The yellow hour hand, red minute hand, green inset dial, and Y-shaped bridge are laid out for optimum visibility.

The new watch not only comes with a basic black urethane band, but also a urethane band with a West African kente-cloth motif inspired by the traditional clothing of the region — and it is easy to switch between them. Hachimura’s signature “Black Samurai” logo is engraved on the back plate, band loop and special packaging. The symbol (hachi in Japanese, meaning “eight”) represents both his name and jersey number.

Hachimura had this to say about the new model: “The watch draws inspiration from my roots in Benin and Africa, which are very important to me. The band design and watch face evoke elements of Beninese culture and I am delighted at how Casio brought my ideas to life.”

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Casio annonce une montre G-SHOCK bicolore en métal violet et bleu

La finition métallique et le placage ionique bicolore évoquent la beauté du crépuscule à Tokyo

TOKYO, 18 août 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Casio Computer Co., Ltd. a annoncé aujourd’hui la dernière nouveauté de sa gamme de montres antichocs G-SHOCK. La nouvelle montre GMW-B5000PB fait partie de la ligne 5000 de montres entièrement en métal au cadran carré inspirées de la toute première G-SHOCK. Elle présente également un placage ionique (IP) violet et bleu-gris.

GMW-B5000PB

Le modèle GMW-B5000PB est basé sur la montre GMW-B5000D, qui reproduit la forme de la toute première G-SHOCK, à la différence qu’elle est en métal. La finition IP violette et bleu-gris, une nouvelle approche des concepts CMF*, s’inspire de la beauté de Tokyo au crépuscule, lorsque la lumière rencontre l’obscurité. La lunette et le bracelet présentent une nouvelle teinte de plaçage inionique violette obtenue en accordant la saturation et la luminance, ainsi qu’un plaçage ionique bleu-gris profond et sophistiqué. Avec à une saturation douce et une finition de type hairline, la montre évoque l’image de crépuscule à Tokyo dans une conception totalement intégrée. Le cadran de la montre est orné d’éclats orange et bleu clair qui rappellent les lumières de la ville qui s’illuminent au coucher du soleil. La lunette et le bracelet ont une finition miroir, qui met en valeur la texture du métal tout en soulignant l’interaction de la lumière multispectrale.

GMW-B5000PB

* Les concepts CMF intègrent la couleur, le matériau et la finition

Le modèle GMW-B5000PB ne se contente pas de recevoir des signaux d’étalonnage de l’heure par ondes radio ; il est également équipé de fonctions Mobile Link qui peuvent être jumelées via Bluetooth® à un smartphone pour accéder aux serveurs de temps Internet et garantir une heure exacte. Des fonctionnalités telles que les alarmes et l’heure universelle peuvent être facilement réglées à partir d’un smartphone jumelé. De plus, les rappels utiles et la fonction de recherche du téléphone en font une montre très utile.

Band featuring purple and blue-gray IP

Le nom et les logos Bluetooth® sont des marques déposées de Bluetooth SIG, Inc. et toute utilisation de ces marques par Casio Computer Co., Ltd. est sous licence.

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