FDA destroys three tones of unwholesome goods in Cape Coast

Cape Coast, March 25, GNA- The Central Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has safely destroyed three tones of unwholesome goods gathered between the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.

The products, included drugs, food, cosmetics, household chemical substances, were either bloated, expired, dented or had defaced date marks.

The move was said to be part of measures to help protect the health and safety of consumers and to prevent scavengers getting the products back into the markets.

Ms Francisca Obeng, Principal Regulatory Officer of the FDA, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast, indicated that the items seized amounted to more than GHC109,880.00.

She said they were seized through regular post market surveillance activities in warehouses, pharmacies, supermarkets and voluntary donation of expired products from two organizations.

She said her outfit would intensify market surveillance and inspections to reduce the sale of unregulated items to safeguard the health of consumers.

Ms Obeng noted that their regular public sensitization on the need to voluntarily surrender unwholesome goods for disposal had yielded much result as there had been an increase in that regard.

The Regional Regulatory Officer entreated sales points, distributors, warehouse operators, among others to surrender all unwholesome products to the FDA for safe disposal as failure to do so could attract prosecution.

Cautioning the consuming public, she urged buyers to beware of product labelling infractions, impulse buying or products sold at ridiculously low prices to avoid buying unwholesome goods.

Ms Obeng said safety must be prioritized and in doing so buyers must be critical about what was being bought for consumption, taking into consideration expiry dates and the general physical appearance of products.

“There should always be a cause for alarm if you hear slogans like “buy one get one free. Begin to ask questions, be very critical about what you decide to buy and consume, make sure the product is safe and not dented in anyway,” she cautioned.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Renegotiate debt for ‘climate swap’

African countries must renegotiate debt owed international institutions and development partners to be redirected into adaptation and mitigation infrastructure to build climate resilience.

Under such arrangements, the creditor institutions would allow debt owed to them to be redirected by the indebted countries as an investment in climate-related infrastructure.

Professor Patrick Verkooijen, the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), made the suggestion in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the sidelines of the launch of ‘Ghana’s Roadmap for Resilient Infrastructure.’

The Ghana’s Roadmap for Resilient Infrastructure is the culmination of a 21-month partnership between the Government of Ghana, GCA, the University of Oxford, the United Nations Office for Project Services and the United Nations Environment Programme to identify and propose solutions to address priority adaptation needs in Ghana.

Using novel modelling and assessment tools, and through an extensive stakeholder consultation process, it provides an assessment of risk of climate hazard on national infrastructure systems.

It also develops a roadmap for addressing risks through targeted adaptation options in the built and natural environments, including nature-based solutions.

The roadmap also defines institutional interventions required to enhance the enabling environment that ensures the optimum effectiveness of adaptation measures in the country.

The report revealed that as a result of climate change, Ghana was expected to experience more acute climate hazards such as flooding, as well as more frequent and intense droughts.

The prenominal has the potential to threaten the socio-economic development that has helped strongly position Ghana as a middle-income country.

Climate-related extreme events have the potential to put years of progress toward growth and development targets at risk.

Professor Verkooijen said climate change impacts were corrosive to the development of African countries hence the need to be supported with funding to upscale adaptation measures.

“Adaptation is not only possible; it makes economic sense. GCA’s State and Trends on Adaptation 2021 report, finds that a dollar invested in weather and climate information services gives between four and 25 dollars in benefits,” he said.

“A dollar invested in resilient water and sanitation not only saves lives; it creates between two and 12 dollars in economic benefits. The cost of action to integrate resilience measures into agriculture and food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa may be $15bn annually. The cost of inaction is $200bn annually,” he added.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said it was common to see roads, bridges, dams and school buildings wash away after a downpour.

He said the infrastructure, in most these affected sectors, were the bedrock of the country’s economic growth and development.

The Minister stated that in line with the Government’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, the Nationally Determined Contributions, Ghana’s National Adaptation Plans, the country was focused on building a more sustainable and resilient society.

Dr Afriyie said the implementation of the resilience roadmap would require additional financial resources from both Government and Development Partners.

Within Ghana’s energy sector, geospatial risk analysis revealed that the main climate risks to service delivery are exposure to drought and flooding that threatens major components of the generation and transmission system.

The top five exposed power plants provide electricity to 16.3 million people (Akosombo, Sunon-Asogli, Bui, Kpong, Cenpower), while the top five exposed substations are: Ga West, Hohoe, Ga South, Greater Accra, Sefwi Bibiani-Anhwiaso Bekwai that provide electricity transmission to 3.9 million people.

It said availability of the energy needs of most of the rural dwellers of the country will be threatened due to increased droughts, and over 240,000 people in the top five exposed districts namely Wa East, Banda, Sissala West, Lawra and Wa West.

Within the water sector, the priority climate risks include drought and flooding exposure that affects major water assets such as dams, the five most exposed of which have a total capacity of approximately 4.8 billion cubic metres (Akosombo, Bui, Tono, Vea, Weija).

In addition, parts of Ghana rely on the natural environment (rivers and other water resources) for water abstraction for household use, often in smaller, rural districts.

However, an increase in droughts will reduce river runoff, affecting up to 1.3 million people across the country, with large impacts on women and girls who are often responsible for water collection.

Source: Ghana News Agency

A work tool to strengthen capacity of community health workers developed

Accra, March 25, GNA- The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have developed a working tool for health workers to facilitate community involvement and participation in healthcare.

The tool named Community Health Volunteer (CHV) and Community Health Management Committee (CHMC) flipchart was developed under the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) for life project.

The CHPS for life project seeks to build a robust community health care system by bringing health care to the doorstep of people.

Dr Andrew Ayin, Deputy Director Policy, GHS, who was speaking at a dissemination workshop held in Accra, said the work tool developed would help bring healthcare close to people in the community, at the markets and workplaces.

He said the project would ensure that health containers are planted close to people to ensure easy access to health care.

“The flipchart would educate community health nurses on how to communicate with people in simple term to ensure that patients understand some disease conditions,” he said.

He said the tool would also make CHPS compounds more visible and enable individuals get more interested in their healthcare.

Mr Takuya Shizume, JICA representative in Ghana, said JICA was pleased to have a close collaboration with the United Nation Agencies, to undertake the project to improve access to quality community health service.

“We hope that the GHS can scale up the CHPS for life project and the CHPS database to cover all communities in the Greater Accra region to strengthen healthcare delivery,” he said.

Mr Shizume said the JICA Ghana office would through its projects continue to provide technical support to the GHS.

Mr Akihisa Katsumura, Representative of Embassy of Japan, said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funding from the Government of Japan, was implementing a CHPS for life project aimed at addressing the demand and supply for health services in communities.

The project, he said, would focus on making healthcare accessible to women, children, persons living with HIV, Non-Communicable Diseases, and slum dwellers for the uptake of health services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CHPS concept is a key strategy developed to bring health service close to clients in underserved, deprived or vulnerable communities.

The concept was premised on the involvement of individuals and households in the planning and delivering healthcare with communities as partners for improved health outcomes.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Gbewaa College of Education launches appeal to revive stalled GETFund projects

Koforidua, March 25, GNA – Dr Halidu Musah, the Principal of Gbewaa College of Education, has launched an appeal to revive GETFund funded projects in the college to create a conducive environment for effective teaching and learning.

He said the campus was littered with stalled GETFund projects, including an administration block, a new female hostel, a fence wall, and a two-story classroom block, adding the school’s progress had been hampered by delays in the completion of these projects.

Speaking with the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Thursday, Dr Musah said the College’s infrastructure problem was further compounded by the four-year Bachelor of Education programme.

As a result, he urged the government to expedite work on the projects to create the ideal environment for effective teaching and learning.

“The College roads are in bad shape. During the rainy season, the situation deteriorates even more, making moving on the campus very difficult,” he said.

According to him, as a temporary measure, the management of the college is working to build more access roads on campus to make it easier for staff and students to move around.

He said the College admitted 360 new students for the 2021/2022 academic year, with 206 males accounting for 57 per cent and 154 females accounting for 43 per cent to study Bachelor of Education (Basic Education).

“We hope to achieve the College’s gender policy on admission, which targets 1:1 ratio in the not too distant future,” he said. “You should, therefore, count yourselves very lucky to be among the selected few.”

Dr Musah congratulated the students on their admission but warned that anyone found to have falsified results would have their admission revoked.

He said the goal of the educational institution was to transform students into good, brilliant, efficient, wise, active, and assertive students.

Thus, he advised the students to take their studies seriously to bring fame, glory, honour and enthusiasm to themselves, their families, the College, and Ghana.

“Remember the sacrifices made by your families to get you here,” he said. “Keep in mind the significant investment they have made and will continue to make in you.”

He added, “Be reminded that the College does not condone bad behaviour, thus, those found culpable of misbehaviour and insubordination will be sanctioned accordingly.”

According to the College Principal, the government is yet to increase the amount of money usually allocated to the colleges for the feeding of teacher trainees.

“Food prices have skyrocketed due to the rising cost of living, resulting in the College, incurring a deficit of over seven thousand Ghana cedis per week,” he stated.

“This now puts a lot of pressure on the College’s coffers and will most likely affect the quality of food the students will be served going forward.”

However, he said the students should cooperate with management as they strived to manage the situation.

All the same, Dr Musah said the College had enough classrooms to accommodate all students for academic work, adding, “We also have a spacious library, a well-equipped ICT Centre, and we are currently working towards getting a reliable internet connectivity to assist you in your academic work.”

He said while the College had a team of professionally qualified, dedicated, steadfast, committed, and selfless tutors to help students achieve academic success, the students must take greater responsibility for their studies.

He advised new students to take their health seriously and obtain a valid and active NHIS card to enable them to access health services in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sunyani High Court grants Farmer, 63 bail for alleged murder

Kwabena Ampomah, a 52-year-old farmer, who allegedly murdered his cousin Madam Adwoa Badu, aged 63 was on Thursday granted GHC100,000 bail with two sureties to be justified by Sunyani High Court Two.

The incident occurred on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at Mim in the Asunafo North Municipality of the Ahafo Region but Madam Badu died on Sunday, April 4, 2021.

According to the court, initially suspect Ampomah was arrested by the Mim Police and charged with assault but following Madam Badu’s death, her husband, Nana Kwadwo Prempeh who is the complainant in the case informed the Police and the suspect was therefore charged with alleged murder and had since been on prison remand. 

The court presided over by Justice Gabriel Mate-Teye, ordered the suspect to report to the Goaso Municipal Police station every Wednesday to aid Police investigations till his re-appearance before the court on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Recounting the incident, the defense Counsel, Mr Rowland Boadi-Gyan told the Court the suspect visited his father and met the deceased who was at that time drying cocoa beans and assisted her.

But the deceased also requested the suspect to help her in sieving the cocoa beans which the latter refused, Mr Boadi-Gyan added.

A misunderstanding thus ensued between the two and in the process, the suspect pushed the deceased who fell to the ground and became unconscious.

The deceased was rushed to the Mim Ahmadiyya Hospital and subsequently referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi but was pronounced dead on arrival.

A District Magistrate Court at Goaso that was earlier handling the case referred it to Sunyani High Court Two.

Source: Ghana News Agency

MIIF to focus interest on industrial salt production—CEO

Kumasi, March 25, GNA – The Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) will focus its investment this year on industrial salt production.

The move is to help boost the supply of industrial salt to feed the booming oil and gas industry.

Mr Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, MIIF Chief Executive Officer, who announced this, said Ghana had the potential to produce all the industrial salt for oil industry.

“This year, one of the minerals MIIF wants to focus its interest on is the industrial salt, the salt that we need for oil and gas.

We know Ghana and Senegal are the only countries in West Africa producing this industrial salt.

We want to venture into that area to boost production to feed our oil and gas wells,” the CEO said.

Mr Koranteng announced this during interaction with some journalists in Kumasi to begin a tour to some mining communities in the Ashanti region.

According to the CEO, the tour in the region was to help identify some of the challenges facing mining companies, especially in the payment of royalties.

It will also afford the MIIF an opportunity to interact with the non-gold players in the sector like the quarries, to know their challenges with regards to royalty payment.

Some of the places to be visited are Obuasi, Bibiani, Amansie, among others.

The Minerals Income Investment Act was passed in 2018 to, among other things, monetise the country’s mineral resources for the government’s infrastructural development projects.

It is also to monetise the mineral’s income accruing to the country, develop and implement measures to reduce the budgetary exposure of Ghana to minerals income fluctuations.

Mr. Koranteng also said this year MIIF would roll out a $500-million investment in the small-scale mining sector.

The six-year investment, which would be rolled out in September this year, would help deal with key issues affecting the sector, such as environmental pollution, under-reporting and lack of capital investment.

According to him, the investment package, which would be spearheaded through a special purpose initiative, dubbed ‘MIIF Small-Scale Incubation’ is designed to help formalise the small-scale mining sector, not only to promote environmental sustainable mining, but also to create local mining champions.

The Small-Scale Incubation Programme, he explained, evolved from President Akufo-Addo’s plan to sanitise and bring value to the small-scale mining sector through mining community development, creating champions and adding value to their produce.

“We intend to introduce what we call the Small-scale Mining Incubation Programme with the objective to see how we can help develop the small-scale mining sector, turning it into mid-tier fully owned Ghanaian company which will impact the entire mining value chain to create jobs and transform the community.”

Mr Koranteng added that MIIF had acquired a 3.5 per cent stake in the Asante Gold Corporation in line with its vision to hold stakes in high performing mining companies.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NPRA holds stakeholders’ engagement in Takoradi

Takoradi, March 25, GNA – Formal and informal sector employees have been advised to take advantage of the tax incentives to increase their contribution to the pension scheme.

Mr. Stanley Ogoe, the Western Regional Director of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), who gave the advice, noted that the informal sector, contributions were more voluntary.

However, he said, there was a tax incentive aspect which employees could take advantage of to make their contributions.

Mr Ogoe, who was speaking at a stakeholder’s engagement in Takoradi, said the NPRA was focused on getting more people from the informal sector on the pension scheme.

He said some employers had been taken to court for non-compliance with pension contributions for their employees.

He noted that many employers had genuine issues, which the NPRA could help to resolve.

“We get them to sign payment agreement with the schedule in their payment after the roundtable to resolve issues. Moreover, the NPRA supports them not only in the financial aspect but encourages them to know that they can pay,” he added.

He said many pension contributors had misconceptions about their pensions but insisted that the supervisory regime was robust enough to safeguard their contributions.

According to Mr. Ogoe, there were three institutions checking on each other with the main interest of protecting contributors’ money.

He said the Authority was monitoring the three institutions and assured clients of full security concerning their contributions with keen investment guidelines to ensure that returns from clients’ contributions were secured.

He, however, called on the media to help educate employers and employees on the contributions to the pension scheme.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Neither Islam nor Christianity is against women leadership—Clergymen

Wa, March 25, GNA – Clergymen from the Islamic and Christian religions have dismissed the notion that the two religions forbid females from taking up leadership positions and that those biases against women and girls were not supported by scripture.

They said women played significant roles in leadership and decision-making and if society would move forward then the woman should not be seen as a second-class citizen.

The clergymen were making a presentation on “Demystifying the misconceptions around Girls and Young Women (GYW) leadership and participation in decision making: the way forward for a better and sustainable socio-economic growth”.

This was part of the inauguration and sensitisation of Change Agents for the She Leads project in Wa, organised by the Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD-Ghana) in partnership with Plan International Ghana.

Reverend Father Barnabas Duorinaa, a Priest at the St. Andrews’ Catholic Cathedral, said the African biases against girls and young women were pushed to religion in order to establish religious backing for those biases, which were not supported by scriptures.

“God wants that at the end of the day man and woman will be equal. If our society will go forward then the woman should not be seen as a second-class citizen. Women play significant roles in leadership and decision making”, he said.

Rev. Duorinaa said women had the potential of nurturing and turning ideas into great results and must be given the opportunity to lead and participate in decision making.

Sheikh Alhaji Yussif of the Jamiat Islamiya, on his part, said Islam was not against women’s leadership and decision-making and that it was unfortunate some Islamic scholars were perpetuating those perceptions.

He observed that women could lead in any of the five daily prayers of Islam except the Jumah prayers, but that they were advised not to lead due to the movement involved in the prayers, which could distract others if a woman led it.

In a presentation on the Champions of Change approach in advocacy, Dr Elijah Yendaw, the Vice Dean, Faculty of Public Policy and Governance at the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, noted that biases against women were manifested at all levels of society, which had made it difficult to fight against the menace.

He said gender norms were not static, hence the need for concerted efforts to change those norms to bridge the leadership gap between men and women.

The change agents ought to establish a sense of urgency for the people to recognise the need for change and to lead that change to ensure endurance.

Madam Leenat Abdul Rahaman, the Executive Director of CARD Ghana, said the Change Agents concept was recognised internationally as a collaborative effort to achieve behavioral and social change.

“We want each and every one of us to identify ourselves as agents of change in our respective communities to enable us to derive the needed change we want in this project,” she said.

The change agents comprised community members, traditional authorities, the clergy, the Regional Youth Parliament, and representatives of government agencies in the Upper West Region.

Source: Ghana News Agency