Police arrest sixteen suspects over shooting incident at Asaman Tamfoe

Accra, Sept.30, GNA — The Police have arrested sixteen persons in connection with a shooting incident at Asaman Tamfoe in the Eastern Region.

A statement signed by Police Superintendent Ebenezer Tetteh of the Public Affairs, Eastern Region, said the incident occurred between some persons believed to be illegal miners and a community anti-galamsey taskforce on September 29, 2022.

It said Police had retrieved one pump action gun, two excavators, two water pumps and a battery.

The statement said efforts were underway to arrest the remaining suspects and retrieve any other weapons in their possession.

It said Police had also seen a viral video on the incident which was being reviewed as part of the investigation.

Police assured the public that all other perpetrators would be arrested and brought to face justice.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

 

Local government service mulls new health insurance scheme for staff

Koforidua, Sept 30, GNA – The Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS) has proposed a new health insurance scheme to help reduce the number of deaths among Local Government Service (LGS) workers.

This followed an OHLGS inquiry that showed several deceased staff members were unable to obtain funds to cover their medical costs due to financial constraints, which contributed to their deaths.

As a result, among various health insurance schemes that were contacted to carry out the new scheme, Nationwide Medical Insurance was chosen to provide insurance services to LGS throughout the country.

In furtherance to that, a sensitisation session was organised in Koforidua by the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council (ERCC) in collaboration with Nationwide Medical Insurance to educate LGS workers in the Eastern Region.

The workshop was attended by the heads of ERCC’s decentralised departments and units, municipal and district chief executives, coordinating directors, and human resource department heads.

In a presentation, Mr Isaac Nartey, National Business Development Manager of Nationwide Medical Insurance, stated that the health insurance was not intended to replace the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He did, however, mention that the Nationwide Medical Insurance provided additional benefits when the NHIS reached its maximum medical coverage.

Beneficiaries of the insurance, according to Mr Nartey, were entitled to visit over 600 health institutions, including pharmaceuticals and laboratories, throughout the country’s 16 regions.

Access to general practitioners and specialised consultants, diagnostic tests such as CT scans, X-rays, and others, pharmacy, prenatal, delivery, and post-birth care, and surgery were among the perks he enumerated.

Mr Nartey stated that the packages were accessible at both private and public health care facilities registered with Nationwide Medical Insurance, but added, “Treatment outside of Ghana is not catered for. All the services are restricted to Ghana only. ”

In his welcoming remarks, Mr John Donkor, Eastern Regional Acting Coordinating Director and Eastern Regional Budget Analyst, stated that “there should be health insurance to cover staff of the local government to help prevent sudden deaths.”

He lamented the recent death of a staff member in the human resources department of the New Juaben South Municipality owing to their inability to raise funds to support her medical treatment.

Mr Donkor said that a proposal would be made to the OHLGS to bear a percentage of the monthly contribution to be provided by each staff member as a means of supporting the health staff member.

As a result, he persuaded LGS staff members to accept the OHLGS proposal to avoid losing additional members owing to financial difficulties in accessing medical care.

National Medical Insurance is a health insurance scheme said to be in operation in Ghana for about 18 years and serves over 400 organisations, including MTN, the Ghana Revenue Authority, and 65,000 individuals.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

ER deploys strategies to cover hard-to-reach communities with covid-19 vaccination

Koforidua, Sept 30, GNA-In ensuring that no one is left behind in the covid-19 vaccination campaign and all other vaccinations, the Eastern Regional Health Directorate has deployed effective strategies to reach out to every community, hamlet and cottage to offer vaccines to eligible persons.
The health directorate has instituted adequate pre-vaccination activities aimed at assessing the peculiar challenges of identified hard-to-reach areas and determining tailored measures to give access and reach to such areas accordingly.
Vaccinations are very critical health interventions to protect people from many ailments and diseases including the novel coronavirus. There are communities in Ghana which are very difficult to reach because their road networks are poor and, in some cases, located on islands which need extra effort to reach. Such areas are often described as hard-to-reach areas or overseas. The Eastern Region is not an exception and that, however, has not curtailed efforts in reaching out to all eligible persons for vaccination.
This was gathered in a follow-up interview after a roundtable discussion with fellows of the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on “Ghana’s covid-19 Responses: CSOs Perspective” as part of the JHR Mobilizing Media for COVID-19, project.
“For instance, we do piloting and mapping of all communities during every vaccination so we are able to reach everybody irrespective of any barrier and that same strategy is being used for the covid-19 vaccination exercise as well,” Dr Winfred Ofosu, Eastern Regional Director of Health said.
He added that “We retrain our staff and volunteers to be part of the teams and provide logistics such as boats and live jackets to be able to reach out to island communities in the Afram plains area and other communities where we have to cross a river or stream”.
Dr Ofosu, who was speaking at a press briefing indicated that “by so doing all target groups identified for vaccination including children’s routine vaccination exercises as well as outbreak response vaccination campaigns such as yellow fever has been very satisfactory, in fact, people who have not vaccinated against covid-19 is not about accessibility issues”.
The Eastern Region has about eight hard-to-reach communities within the Volta Basin districts, “but technically, all the 33 administrative districts in the region have a hard-to-reach area due to poor road network and nature of scattered cottages, but with our advance preparation nobody is left out”
Dr John Otoo, Eastern Regional Deputy Director of Public Health said in spite of all these challenges, there are vaccination centres in all areas making it possible to capture everybody who is eligible for one vaccination or the other, be it polio or the five childhood killer diseases and even the ongoing covid 19 vaccinations.
“We always discover new settlements after every vaccination campaign since communities are growing and stretching out and that is as a result of our detailed and effective mapping strategies” adding the just-ended polio vaccination of all children under five years recorded over 90 per cent and within target.
The Eastern Region has administered a total of 1,724,413 doses of covid-19 assorted vaccines out of a target of over two million people from age 15 years, with 733,975 fully vaccinated representing 30.1, per cent and over one million have received at least a dose representing 43.4 per cent, meanwhile, 19,055,059 vaccines have been administered nationwide.
The covid-19 vaccination started on March 2021 in Ghana, following lunch by President Nana Akufo-Addo and has so far received 12,971,470 doses of AstraZeneca, 8,788,850 doses of Janssen, 122,962 doses of Moderna, 11,036,658 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and 21,000 Sputnik-V doses as at end of August 2022.
Dr Otoo, appealed to those who are yet to take the covid-19 vaccines to take the jabs so the much-desired heard immunity could be achieved adding “even though we have made huge progress in eliminating covid-19 the pandemic is not over and we need to keep to the safety protocols, particularly the vaccination”.
Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, Programme Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI, at the Ghana Health Service, indicated at a roundtable discussion on Ghana‘s covid-19 responses for fellows of JHR and CSOs, that there was the need to push the covid-19 vaccination rates up as a safeguard to prevent a new wave.
Throwing more light on vaccines he mentioned that immunization/vaccination had conquered a lot of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases including Neonatal tetanus eliminated in Ghana in 2011, Measles has not recorded any death between 2003 and 2021 and there had been no reported cases of Polio since 2008 in Ghana.
The early days of the COVID-19 vaccination were difficult as many people refuse the jabs due to conspiracy theories and myths which suggested that the vaccination had serious side effects considering the short period under which the vaccines were developed.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Nutrition Friendly Schools Initiative improving consumption of fruits and nutritious meals in children

 

Koforidua, Sept 30, The Ghana Health Service together with the Ghana Education Service (GES) has rolled out the Nutrition Friendly Schools Initiative (NFSI) a school-based health and nutrition intervention to address the burden of malnutrition among school children through the promotion intake of nutritious meals.

A Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in a study conducted on Ghanaian students have shown that many school children in Ghana are suffering from anaemia, malnutrition and stunted growth as a result of inadequate intake of nutritious meals including fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods.

The study indicated that underweight among 13-15 years was 6.2 per cent, overweight 8.6 per cent, obesity 1.7 per cent while anaemia prevalence is highest among adolescent girls and particularly 15-19 years age group at 47.7 per cent.

Subsequently, 60 selected schools in 12 municipalities and districts were selected to implement the project on a pilot basis in the Eastern Region including New Juaben North and South, Fanteakwa North and South, Suhum and Nsawam-Adoagyiri among others and yielding desired results.

The nutrition-friendly activities involve packages focusing on the Four-Star diet leading to the institution of special days like fruit day, local dishes day, eggs a day and the Girls Iron Folate Tablets (GIFT) day where girls from 11 years are given the iron folate tablets.

Children in the beneficiary schools are very happy with the program as the various days of the observation of a particular diet have become part of the extracurricular activities in the schools, on a fruit day, the fruits are washed, cut and shared with the school children by their teachers and on the local dishes day, assorted foods are cooked in the school amidst learning and fun.

Some schools have gone ahead to cultivate school backyard gardens or farms to produce fruits and other foodstuffs to boost the project. GNA visited some schools on their turn of the fruit or egg day and noticed that teachers and students come together to cook the food and cut the fruits to share among themselves with enthusiasm.

The benefits of fruits, eggs and eating balanced diet foods and the importance of the iron folate Tablets are discussed passionately to imbibe the importance in the children and the need to make such foods part of their daily diet for healthy growth and development.

Mrs Rhoda Kyei-Yamoah, Eastern Regional Nutrition Officer of the Ghana Health Service in an interview described the project as very successful in influencing children’s nutritious intake of foods and fruits adding that the initiative is to address the triple burden of malnutrition, overweight/obesity and micronutrients deficiencies resulting in the stunted growth, anaemia and development of many diseases in children’s later years.

She said children’s consumption of fruits for instance is very critical to their health and development, “girls especially need fruits to be part of their diets to provide the necessary minerals and metabolism to ensure a healthy reproductive system as they began menstruation”.

She noted that due to myths and some cultural norms, eggs are not part of daily meals in many households “yet, eggs are part of the four-star diets relevant for some minerals key for healthy growth and development in children, especially at the adolescent ages.

As part of the training to begin the implementation, heads of the beneficiary schools were urged to engage parents as stakeholders to provide the foodstuffs, eggs and fruits weekly whiles the GHS provides the iron folate tablets supplementation free of charge.

She indicated that parent’s involvement had largely contributed to the success story, “So far we are happy with the level of cooperation by the schools and the parents who willingly provide all the essentials needed and we hope it will go a long way to help achieve the objectives of the project”.

The four-star diet is recommended by UNICEF for children and they include staples like cereals, starchy roots and tubers, legumes, fruits and vegetable sources and animal protection sources like milk and eggs.

According to a UNICEF 2019 report, 42 per cent of school-going adolescents in low- and middle-income countries consume carbonated sugary soft drinks at least once a day and at least 46 % eat fast food at least once a week, as a result, overweight and obesity levels in childhood and adolescence are increasing worldwide at an alarming rate.

From 2000 to 2016, the proportion of overweight children between 5 and 19 years doubled from 1in 10 to almost 1 in 5, ten times more boys and 12 times more girls suffer from obesity today than in 1975, according to the UNICEF report is as a result of poor dieting and feeding with no regards to the four-star diet.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO, (low fruit and vegetable intake is a key risk factor for conditions such as heart diseases, cancer and obesity or weight-related diseases and is estimated to cause 2.7 million death each year.

The WHO notes that “There is strong and growing evidence that sufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables help prevent many diseases and promotes good health, especially for children”.

“Fruits have not been part of our diet, we eat them once in a while when we go to the farm with our parents during vacation, but with the fruits day program in our school I eat fruits every week and it has become part of my diet” Mercy Korang a 14-year-old Junior High School student at Begoro said.

Ms Yaa Duah, a student at the Salvation JHS in Koforidua also said “eggs and fruits have not been part of our family diet, I sometimes buy them instead of food but with the school fruits and eggs day, I have been convinced my parents to give me money to buy fruits twice every week when we are on vacation because now, I understand its importance”.

Most of the students in the implementing schools who interreacted with GNA indicated that they now use their monies to buy fruits instead of carbonated drinks and sweets, now that they know the importance of fruits to their development and want to make them part of their diet for healthy growth.

Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director-General of Ghana Health Service, in a statement on the National Guidelines for NFSI noted that healthy dietary intake and improved physical activity during childhood and adolescence reduce the risk of immediate nutrition-related health problems of primary concern adding that “optimal eating patterns and habits developed early in life are more likely to be maintained into adulthood and that underscores the importance and success of this initiative”.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

EPA engages Federation of Disability organisations on climate crisis

Accra, Sept. 30, GNA-The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations has described as “fruitful” its meeting with officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the inclusion of persons with disabilities climate change policies and programmes in Ghana.

 

The meeting was held at the behest of the EPA following a Ghana News Agency (GNA) story titled: “Hardest hits by climate crisis but left behind”, highlighting the vulnerability of the members of the Federation due to the climate crisis.

 

 

It captured different real-life scenarios where Persons With Disabilities (PWD) were affected by the climate crisis and the dangers of their non-involvement in the country’s major policies and programmes.

 

Briefing the GNA after the meeting, Madam Rita Kusi Kyeremaa, the Executive Director of the Federation, said one key issue that came up was the need for the EPA to conduct an assessment to contextualise the impact on members of the Federation.

 

The Delegation from the Climate Change office of the EPA was Mrs Juliana Bempah and Isaac Kwabena Danso.

 

Mrs Kyeremaa said, “Based on the country-specific study, the outcome would inform if the relevant policies such as the Nationally Determined Contributions would be reviewed to fit the concerns of the Federation.

 

“The current information on disability inclusion in climate crisis issues is global and it will be good to have a comprehensive in-country study,” she said.

 

Ms Kyeremaa said the Federation proposed to the EPA to undertake intensive climate change education and early warning systems for its members.

 

She said it would be good to support the Federation not only on dangers but the opportunities in the sector to enable them to contribute to the country’s mitigation and adaptation initiatives.

 

The Executive Director said: “I feel this is a good development and we hope it will be back by action. This is positive and promotes partnership as stressed by goal 17 of sustainable development.”

 

Mrs Bempah said the meeting was successful and that the outcomes would be sent to the appropriate lead persons for consideration and implementation.

 

She said the meeting served as an opportunity to brief the leadership of the Federation on their activities and the potential areas for collaboration and engagement.

 

In Ghana, PWDs form eight per cent translating to 2,098,138 of the population, according to the 2021 population and housing census. Globally they are about one million contributing in diverse ways to economic growth but often face discrimination.

 

The majority of persons with disabilities according to a UN Human Rights Report live in poverty, as highlighted in the Convention on the Rights of PWD. Poorest people will continue to experience the worst effects of climate change through lost income and livelihood opportunities, displacement, hunger and health issues, the 2014 Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerability report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Rename UHAS the “John Atta Mills University of Health and Allied Sciences”

Ho, Sept. 30, GNA – Professor Fred Newton Binka, Foundation Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) has called for the renaming of the University after late President John Evans Atta Mills.

He said the unfading legacy of the late President, who died in office in July 2012, should be cemented to guide the nation’s dreams of development transformation, and that the University he passionately established would be best to honour him in name.

Prof. Binka made the call when he delivered the Keynote at a memorial lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the demise of the astute head of state, organised by the JEA Mills Memorial Heritage at the Cedi Auditorium of the University.

“The legacy of Professor Mills is so critical and important in today’s Ghana,” he said while eulogising the memory of the late President in layers of praise.

Prof. Binka said Prof Mills “father for all” mantra was critical for the outlook of the nation’s leadership, and that “his will and courage to pursue upright governance should inspire.”

“Leaders must be ready to show leadership when it matters most. Leaders must have the moral courage to address serious challenges that undermines the efficiency of their organizations,” he said.

Prof. Binka noted that the peaceful progression of the University through the years replicated “the way the old man used to behave,” and promised to help leadership of the institution preserve the legacy of Prof. Mills.

He commended the University for setting the pace in immortalising the late leader and called to ensure the legacy survived to inspire coming generations.

Dr Mrs Grace Amey-Obeng, CEO of FC Beauty Group of Companies, and who was also a speaker, said the nation’s ability or inability to celebrate its heroes affected its advancement, and urged all to emulate the all-loving nature of the late President.

Dr Amey-Obeng, who had worked with the late President on several women support initiative, said he deserved to be held up for his efforts to elevate gender, and counted several top women appointments he made while in office.

“Professor Mills was passionate about women and women development, and during his time a lot of women had opportunities,” she said.

Rev. Gabriel Akwasi Mante, Catholic Bishop of the Jasikan Diocese, said the life of the late President should “apprise us to change and adopt the process of attitudinal change we all need.”

He urged us to consider the principles and values of integrity, which Prof. Mills upheld, and said it would help strengthen the foundations of the nation.

The lecture was titled “the Man John Evans Atta Mills, 10 Years On,” and was attended by management and faculty of the University, past and present political leaders, students, and the public.

Prof. Lydia Aziato, Vice Chancellor of the University, which was few months into its establishment, when the President passed on, said all must support the full realisation of the vision.

She therefore commended successive governments for helping make the University an object of repute and jealousy and appealed to provide the needed infrastructure including internal roads and accommodation.

“The University’s values of service and care is most congruent with the values of President Mills, and we will make sure we stick to them,” she assured.

Alex Segbefia, Chairman of the memorial heritage, said it was established as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent organisation” aimed at preserving and promoting the ideologies of Prof. Mills.

“We work and incorporate the values and principles that President ills lived for,” he said.

The event had poetry recitals, and cultural displays to spice.

A video documentary showcasing his legacy was screened, and a book named “Atta Mills Speaks,” which contained his speeches including State of the Nation Addresses he delivered, was launched, and auctioned at the event.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Beneficiaries of Competency-based training urged to impact positively on TVET

Kumasi, Sept. 30, GNA – Beneficiaries of the Competency-based Training (CBT) programme, have been urged to maximise the skills and opportunities offered by the programme to impact positively on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the country.

As facilitators who have received the needed competencies through the CBT programme, which is being implemented by the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Development (AAMUSTED), they have the onerous responsibility to ensure that learners put in their care, were trained in TVET for the world of work.

Professor Fredrick Kwaku Sarfo, Vice Chancellor of AAMUSTED, made the call at the graduation of 150 tutors of TVET colleges of education, who have completed the diploma in CBT programme at the university, in Kumasi.

The CBT programme is a partnership between AAMUSTED, GIZ and the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) to provide extensive training on competency-based training to CBT facilitators as part of efforts to support quality CBT delivery in TVET institutions across the country and to sustainably anchor the inclusion of CBT education in TVET teacher training.

So far, a total of 1,476 facilitators selected from a wide range of relevant TVET institutions all over the country have been trained since the programme started in February this year.

They include 120 workplace facilitators from industry, 100 in CBT programme development from industry, 500 master craft persons in workplace facilitation and supervision, and 400 CBT facilitators, assessors, and internal verifiers from technical institutes and technical universities.

Others are 100 external verifiers from technical institutes and technical universities, 50 CBT programme managers from technical institutes and technical universities and 50 disability and gender inclusiveness participants from technical institutes and technical universities.

Prof. Sarfo pointed out that, if all the beneficiaries would maximize the competencies and expertise gained from the training, they would be making a significant impact on Ghana’s socio-economic situation not too long from now.

He said AAMUSTED as the foremost TVET and entrepreneurial development teacher education University in Ghana, would continue to discharge its mandate to provide competent human resources for the TVET sector to help create employment for the youth and improve the lives of the people.

Prof. Sarfo charged the beneficiaries of the programme to put in practice the authentic training they had received and make exemplary outputs reflect positively on all partners who supported and funded the training programme.

Mr Paul Akwasi Agyeman, Chairman of the Council of AAMUSTED, commended the government for placing greater emphasis and strengthening the TVET sector in the country.

This, he said, would help solve the increasing unemployment situation in the country.

Mr Sampson Damptey Tettey, Deputy Director in charge of CBT at the CTVET said competency-based training was necessary to provide quality standards in the industry.

He said the CTVET was working to provide documentation such as licensure and accreditation for TVET facilitators as a way of strengthening professional competence in the area.

Ms Ulrika Schimt, Head of the TVET Unit of GIZ, said competency-based training was a mark of the good quality TVET system.

She charged the facilitators to be agents of change in the country’s TVET landscape and support the training of their colleagues and people in their localities.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

BECE: T.I Ahmadiyya JHS tops public schools in Bolgatanga

 

Bolgatanga, Sept. 30, GNA – The Teaching Islam (T.I) Ahmadiyya Junior High School (JHS) in the Bolgatanga Municipality has consistently topped all public schools in the Municipality in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) for the past four years.

The School recorded 91.4 and 97 per cent passes in 2018 and 2019 respectively in the BECE and in 2020, it had 100 per cent pass, which subsequently declined to 86.4 per cent in 2021, with the School still in the lead in the Municipality.

Mr Hamid Abdul-Wahab Adam, the Headmaster of the School, said despite the decline in 2021, “We were still the best public School in the entire Bolgatanga Municipality because we came out top among all the public schools even though we had 86.4 per cent.”

The Headmaster in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, after the School’s Performance Appraisal Meeting (SPAM), said the management of the school would continue to work to improve its performance with the aim to top all Public Schools in the Region.

He said SPAM afforded teachers, parents, pupils, and other stakeholders in education the opportunity to discuss the academic performance of the school and strategize on how to further improve discipline and its performance in subsequent BECEs.

“We had the opportunity to analyse the results from grade one to grade six, we analysed the performance of female and male pupils, looked at the subject base analysis and arrived at the total percentage of 86.4 in the 2021 BECE results,” he said.

Mr Adam said as part of strategies to improve the academic performance of the School, management from 2015, organised free extra classes for pupils prior to the normal contact hours.

He expressed concern that some pupils did not patronise the extra classes and urged parents of BECE candidates to encourage their children to attend school early so that they could part take in the extra classes which started from 0700hours to 0800hours before normal academic activities.

Mr Adam said the School registered a total of 50 candidates comprising 33 females and 17 males for the 2022 BECE and was confident that with the calibre of dedicated and experienced professional teachers, it would improve on its performance and maintain the top position.

Mr Peter Asunsua, the School Improvement Support Officer, noted that the T. I Ahmadiyya JHS was the first School in the Bolgatanga Municipality to organise SPAM for the 2021 BECE results.

He commended the management and staff of the School for their dedication, which had over the years translated into the School’s performance, and urged them to continue to impact discipline and academic excellence in the pupils.

Mr Asunsua also admonished parents and guardians to take a keen interest in the education of their children, insisting that they must ensure activities including the use of smartphones which drifted the attention of pupils from their books, were not encouraged.

Some parents who spoke to the GNA after the meeting acknowledged the efforts of the management and staff of the School in their quest to achieve academic excellence, and pledged not to overburden their children with household chores so that they would have enough time to concentrate on their studies.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency