Ghana hands over Torch Caravan to Morocco

Accra, Ghana has handed over the Touch Caravan to Morocco for the MENA Region, as the Global Fund marks its 20th Anniversary. Mrs Cecilia Lodonu Senoo, the Executive Director, Hope for Future Generation, at the handing over ceremony in Accra, said the Global Fund had since 2002, been one of the major financial partnerships globally for HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria in more than 120 countries, investing four billion dollars annually to defeat these diseases.

She said the touch represented the tremendous contributions of the Fund towards health financing, as well as the beacon of light and hope to affected communities of these three diseases while reminding nations of the work that remained undone.

Mrs Senoo who is also the Chairperson of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, said as a major contributor and partner in Ghana’s health sector development and its financial backing for programmes, run by local experts in beneficiary countries, had led to a reduction in the disease burden.

The partnership had saved 44 million lives globally, with over 21.9 million people put on Anti-Retroviral Therapy, 4.7 million people on TB Preventive Therapy, and 428 million mosquito nets distributed across the globe, with the impact of the Fund remaining undefeated.

Mrs Senoo acknowledged the late Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, whose grand dream and commitment led to the establishment of this facility to pull funding from developed nations, to finance these three diseases in developing countries.

She commended all the partners including governments, multilateral agencies, bilateral partners, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and Persons affected by these diseases, who had helped in accomplishing the goals of the Fund for the past 20 years.

Ms Tina Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health, was full of gratitude and hope, saying, the trajectory of health had completely changed by the influence of the Global Fund, since its absence would have greatly increased the mortality rate of Ghanaians.

She said African health systems have been able to save the lives of millions of its people as the Global Fund continued to partner with governments, the private sector, CSOs, and communities.

“It will interest you to know that the first grant of $7.2 million released by the Fund, was received in Ghana which enabled 2000 Persons living with HIV to receive Anti-Retroviral, and 20,000 persons diagnosed with TB, were enrolled in public and private institutions,” she said.

She said at the last grant, Ghana received $304 million for HIV, TB, and Malaria interventions in facilities and communities in both private and public sectors, and this was aside the $65 million that had been recently allocated for COVID-19 response in Ghana.

“Today, we have received more than $1.2 billion in allocated funding to sustain our health system and ensure the smooth delivery of service and programme implementation for its three diseases.

Ms Mensah, however, warned that HIV was still real in Ghana despite not being a death sentence. The country has a total of 19,000 new infections with 13,000 losing their lives annually, saying, “This should prompt the country to remain vigilant and not be complacent”.

She called for sustained awareness creation especially, among the youth since new infection rates have increased among females, and pledged the continuous partnership of the Government of Ghana with the Global Fund to ensure that money worked to save lives.

Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, the Director of Public Health, Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the country would not have survived without the support from the Global Fund for years, considering its high burden of diseases.

He said current data showed that both adults and children were now living longer due to the great achievement in access to healthcare and services, but indicated that the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to erode the gains made so far.

He commended the Global Fund for its extended assistance to Ghana’s COVID-19 response, which included oxygen and other critical supplies, to save the health system from collapse, contributing greatly to the case management and control of infections.

Dr Asiedu-Bekoe said the gains made in reducing the burden of HIV, TB, and malaria must be sustained through collaborative efforts by all stakeholders in the years ahead and announced that TB treatment was still free for all in Ghana, and that the public must be encouraged to access this facility to help identify the missing cases and save more lives.

Ms Angela Trenton Mbonde, the Country Director, UNAIDS, said Global Fund resource had been used in strategy formulation and planning, ensuring that the vision and direction to end AIDS as a public health threat was based on science, data, and on interventions that would have the most profound impact.

She said the partnership had thought great lessons that a high level of ambition backed by strong political will and courage would succeed, and encouraged the current contributors to continue their generous support, while inviting new members to come on board.

Ms Mbonde said as though the torch was being handed over to Morocco, Ghana must continue to work to reflect the light and hope brought by the Global Fund, ensuring that no one was left behind.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

COP26: Honour your promises now -Okyeame Kwame tells western world leaders

Glasgow, (Scotland, UK), Mr Kwame Nsiah-Apau, popularly known as Okyeame Kwame, a famous Ghanaian musician, has urged leaders of western nations to honour their climate financial commitment to enable Ghana and other African nations to adapt to climate change impacts. “A few days ago some 3,000 people in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region of Ghana were rendered homeless after a tidal wave swept their homes at dawn. We are witnessing so much flooding. Rainfall pattern has changed and it is affecting our cocoa production,” he said.

Mr Nsiah-Apau, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the on-going COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom, said the impact of climate change was real and was being felt thought-out the country.

“The G20 acknowledge that Africa’s contribution to emission is very little, yet the continent is the hardest hit by climate impacts. It is important the West, whose development endeavour resulted in this phenomenon, show responsibility and act accordingly,” he said.

Being a Climate Change Ambassador of a number of projects, he said he joined the Climate protest at Glasgow to urge world leaders to go beyond the rhetoric and move to action to save the world.

“I am here on behalf of the communities around Jomoro whose only river they depend on dries up quickly at the onset of the dry season due to high temperature. It is important world leaders get to know that climate change impact is making people more vulnerable,” Okyeame Kwame said.

Individuals also had a role to play to save nature by changing their eating habits, managing their garbage and ensuring efficient energy consumption, he said.

“Instead of beef, people should opt for plant protein because livestock alone contribute 18 per cent of carbon emission. We have to make it a point to unplug our phones when they are fully charged, and turn off electrical gadgets when leaving the house,” he said.

Okyeame Kwame noted that as part of the post-COP26 initiatives, some 10,000 people would be mobilized by the end of the year to support the advocacy as well as extend climate education to schools.

The global meeting COP26, which has assembled some 30,000 delegates including world leaders and innovators, is seeking to discuss and identify ways to accelerate climate action over the next week.

A millstone attained in the past week of the conference is a promise by more than 100 world leaders, including President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to tackle deforestation, which plays a critical role in absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

A total of 450 organisations controlling $130 trillion dollars – around 40 per cent of global private assets – agreed to back “clean” technology.

This story was produced as part of the 2021 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organised by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Centre for Peace and Security.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Political corruption taking a toll on national economy – Bishop

Wa, Most Rev. Philip Naameh, Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale and President of Ghana Bishops’ Conference, has stated that perceived corruption and corruptible practices by politicians and other politically exposed persons in Ghana are taking a toll on the national economy.

He said corruption was also making the poverty situation to grow progressively, emphasizing that “Poverty is grinding down millions of people all over the country”.

Most Rev. Naameh who stated this during the opening of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) in Wa, noted that prices of essentials were rising daily as family people struggled to keep families and lives together.

“Though poverty stirs us in the face, it appears lost to those with power.

The expressed commitment of the President of the Republic to protect the public purse, a promise that citizens welcomed, seems to be an illusion now”, the Metropolitan Archbishop pointed out.

“Are those managing the public purse not concerned about waste and misapplication of resources that belonged to all Ghanaians”, he questioned and urged those who wield power to exercise it responsibly and with empathy and compassion.

The Most Rev. Naameh noted that power could be used to destroy or build, to heal or to bind a people together and could also be used for self-glorification and gratification or selfless public service.

He noted that power did well to the general society when used with compassion, empathy, truthfulness, humility, care and justice, but when used for self-glorification and self-gratification, it would ultimately disintegrate the moral fabric of any society and breed violence and chaos.

The Archbishop of Tamale explained that his remarks were meant to draw the attention of all to their individual and collective responsibilities for managing the power they hold.

“Those who are entrusted with power that comes from our collective will must know that what they do with that power shapes what we all will become in the future”, he said and added that they must therefore handle it with compassion, empathy, truthfulness, humility and service for all without discrimination.

Touching on the conference theme: “Fratelli Tutti and COVID-19: Pastoral Opportunities and Challenges in Ghana”, the Most Rev. Naameh noted that besides recovering kindness, Fratelli Tutti challenged them to build lasting peace in society by upholding the truth, fostering both ‘architecture’ and art of peace, making love the foundation of their forgiveness, abolishing capital punishment, and forever saying “No” to wars.

Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, noted that government had over the years followed with keen interest the activities of the GCBC and admitted that the contribution of the Conference in shaping national discourse was phenomenal.

He said the communiqué issued on topical national issues at the end of deliberations at the Conference was of paramount concern to government and there was no doubt it helped government to address some of the issues.

“I want to encourage you to register your views on national issues that bother on development as they have the potential in helping government to take an informed decision on them.”, the Minister said.

Most Rev. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, the Bishop of Wa, noted that the Catholic Church in the region had promoted indigenization and enculturation and was ever mindful of the call to work towards being a self-reliant and self-sustaining Church.

He said the Church had established basic Christian communities, skills training and access to affordable rural social services, amenities and infrastructure like schools, clinics and hospitals.

This, according to the Bishop, had contributed to the reduction of vulnerability and exclusion in needy communities through special education of the disabled and orphans as well as support of widows and the marginalized.

Most Rev. Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinski, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana called on all to work together to promote peace and justice for all especially the vulnerable in society.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Forestry Commission develops Xylotrom Wood App to increase timber revenue

Sunyani, The Forestry Commission (FC) with support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has developed a new Mobile App to check and control smuggling of lumber and other timber products in the country.

The implementation of the app has well-positioned the Commission to increase the nation’s annual timber revenue.

According to Mr. Abban Kofi Bonsu, the Sunyani Area Manager of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Commission, the ‘Xylotrom Wood App’ helped to identify specific lumber species to collect required levies on them.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Tuesday in Sunyani, Mr. Bonsu explained that 18 timber inspectors at various checkpoints, and sawmills within the Sunyani Division had been trained, using the apps.

With the implementation of the mobile app, Mr Bonsu anticipated an increase in the annual timber revenue being generated by the Sunyani Area, saying the Area mobilised between GHC1.5 and GHC1.8 million within every six month.
“The app is configured on a smart phone and it identifies the name and original colour of the lumber species.

“Initially it was difficult for our inspectors to identify lumber species with their naked eyes, and this was creating undue opportunity for some timber contractors to outwit them, but with the introduction of the new mobile app they would have no way out”, he said.

Mr Bonsu indicated the Sunyani Area generated GHC16 million revenue from timber products in 2020, and expressed the hope the area would exceed its revenue target for 2021.

The amount mostly consisted of levies on lumber, registration, penalties and others, he explained.

Mr. Bonsu reminded charcoal burners, carpenters and other dealers in the wood industry it was unlawful for them to operate without registering and certifying their businesses, and warned illegal chainsaw operators to stop their unscrupulous activities or be arrested and prosecuted.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

G&W Electric Announces All New Teros™ Recloser for High Speed Fault Isolation

The all-new smart solution improves grid reliability, resiliency, mitigates outage risks and easily integrates into existing electrical grids

BOLINGBROOK, Ill., Nov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — G&W Electric, a global supplier of electric power equipment since 1905, today announced the launch of its Teros™ Recloser which is available for markets outside the U.S. and Canada. Capable of working with a variety of configurations in any application, the new Teros recloser is designed to improve system reliability and grid resiliency. This new recloser provides overcurrent protection for temporary faults on overhead distribution lines and reduces long-term system outages.

“Grid reliability affects everyone—all around the globe—from the average household to entire factories and telecom systems. The results are not just inconvenient, but economic,” said John Mueller, chairman and owner of G&W Electric. “To better mitigate disruption and to manage reliable electrical service, improvements made in recloser technology are imperative to ensuring a reduction in widespread power outages. Today, reclosers are the critical must-have in a utility’s grid reliability.”

The new Teros recloser offers a wide range of benefits and fits most configurations, despite a wide variance of requirements from country to country. Requiring no oil or SF6, the Teros Recloser eliminates the need for routine maintenance and improves personnel safety. Solid dielectric and electronically controlled, Teros has been field-tested for reliable load switching and overcurrent protection. Whether looking to improve or expand grid systems and capabilities, the Teros offers utilities site-ready designs for new and existing electrical systems.

“With growing populations and a greater demand for reliable power, paired with new construction, a reliance on technology and the effects of climate change, utilities are working hard to save customers the expenses and inconveniences of frequent outages,” added Mueller. “Reclosers have become the global market solution to the expansion and modernization of distribution networks for enhanced reliable power.”

The Teros system is designed to reduce the amount, frequency, and duration of outages on overhead systems, including main distribution lines, distribution branch circuits and substations. Lightweight and compact, the Teros site-ready designs provide all the necessary brackets, arresters and voltage transformers providing ease of installation. In addition, this new recloser is power grid automation ready, simplifying the need for future automation requirements.

To learn more about the grid resiliency challenges faced around the globe, download G&W Electric’s latest white paper titled, “Reclosers: Safeguarding Electrical Grid Reliability, reducing system outages and increasing reliability by providing quality overcurrent protection on overhead lines.”

To learn more about Teros System Recloser visit www.gwelectric.com/teros.

About G&W Electric

Since 1905, G&W Electric has helped power the world with innovative power grid solutions and products. With the introduction of the first disconnectable cable terminating device in the early 1900s, G&W Electric began to build a reputation for innovative engineered solutions to meet the needs of systems designers. With an ever-present commitment to customer satisfaction, G&W Electric enjoys a worldwide reputation for quality products and superior service. For more information on G&W Electric visit their new website at www.gwelectric.com. Follow G&W Electric on Twitter @GW_Electric and on LinkedIn.

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