Volta GJA and Miracle Life Clinic intensify campaign on Breast Cancer


Ho (VR), Oct. 21, GNA-Members of the Ghana Journalists Association, Volta/Oti, and Miracle Life Clinic, a Ho-based healthcare services provider, have called on members of the public to have regular screening for the prevention of breast cancers.

Dr Seyram Letsa, the Medical Director of Miracle Life Clinic, in an address during a free breast cancer screening exercise held at the Clinic, appealed to women and individuals, regardless of gender to have regular checks on their breasts for early detection of the disease.

He said the disease if detected early, could reduce the rise in deaths as a result.

Mr Emmanuel Agbaxode, Chairman of Volta and Oti Chapter of the GJA indicated that, the media could no longer continue to wait and report on issues and that “the times we are in require that the media builds good collaboration to contribute to the resolution of problems.”

He expressed appreciation to the gender committee of the GJA and Miracle Life Clinic for an excellent exercise that recorded hundreds of residents within Ho and outside to have their breasts screened.

“I am happy to hear that since we joined in, the public has been responsive and Miracle Life is seeing a lot of people screening their breasts, so all of us must see the media as a partner for development at all times,” he added.

Shallom Abla Lumor, Volta/Oti GJA Gender Committee Chairperson, assured that the exercise would be replicated yearly to also ensure media practitioners remained healthy and sound.

The exercise was also extended to Aflao within the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region by the Gender Committee, where residents are participating in the free screening at the Ketu South Municipal Hospital.

It is on the theme “Big or Small, let’s Save Them all.”

Some beneficiaries that interacted with the GNA expressed appreciation to the organizers of the event.

According to statistics, breast cancer was the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women worldwide and accounted for 29.5 per cent of cancer incidence and 22.1 per cent of cancer deaths in Africa.

In Ghana, breast cancer accounted for 31.8 per cent of cancer incidence.

Globally, breast cancer awareness campaigns is observed in October.


Source: Ghana News Agency


FDA, Blood Service outdoor haemovigilance documents to ensure safety of blood products


Accra, Oct. 21, GNA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the National Blood Service (NBS) have launched two Haemovigilance documents towards ensuring the safety of blood and blood products.

The two documents – the National Haemovigilance Framework for Ghana and Guideline for Haemovigilance in Ghana – will enable health workers at all levels to report safety issues to the FDA for appropriate regulatory action.

Haemovigilance is the organised system for observing, recording, analysing and reporting whenever something goes wrong with blood donation and blood transfusion and using lessons learnt to prevent future occurrences.

The two documents were launched with assistance from Paul Ehrlich Institute and funding support from the Global Health Protection Programme from the Federal Ministry of Health Germany.

Dr Baffour Awuah, Director, Technical Coordination, Ministry of Health (MOH] who performed the launch, said the outdooring of the two documents constituted another milestone in promoting safety of blood and blood products.

Dr Awuah who spoke on behalf of the sector minister, said blood and blood products were essential in the treatment of blood and bone marrow disorders, immune deficiency condition, bleeding in women associated with pregnancy and childbirth, severe anaemia, among others.

He explained that Universal Health Coverage meant that all individuals and communities must have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products.

“To ensure that Ghana achieved Universal Health Coverage, systems and structures have to be put in place to address causes of morbidity and mortality, including timely access to safe blood and blood products and their appropriate use.”

Dr Awuah said it was in that regard that the government was in partnership with Zipline – the world’s largest autonomous medical drone delivery service – to improve access to lifesaving products, including vaccines, whole blood and blood products “even remote areas”.

He noted that the Haemovigilance Framework outlined all steps involved in haemovigilance processes, reporting of adverse events and roles and responsibilities of all relevant stakeholders with an action plan.

The purpose of the guidelines is to create a document for all health workers involved at the various stages of blood transfusion chain to follow standardised activities.

Mrs Delese A.A. Darko, Chief Executive Officer, FDA, said blood transfusion and blood products were essential therapy that saved lives, improved quality of life and enabled complex medical and surgical procedures to be undertaken.

She said the FDA was mandated by the Public Health Act 2021 Act 851 to regulate whole blood, blood components and blood products as products.

She said one of the major action plans outlined in the National Haemovigilance Framework to be completed over the next three years was training on the haemovigilance systems for all stakeholders and development of online reporting to complement data collection at all levels to improve the current national haemovigilance system and ensure timely reporting.

Mrs Darko said the guidelines were also targeted at all stakeholders in the haemovigilance system, including health care professionals, regulatory agencies, blood donor organisations, patient groups, scientific and professional bodies, development partners, hospitals, blood banks and health facilities where transfusion took place.

The guidelines provide important information in detail covering key activities in haemovigilance, including reporting and investigations of adverse reactions, haemovigilance data collection, data management, haemovigilance methods and its rapid alert system.

Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori, Acting Chief Executive Officer, National Blood Service, said blood transfusion was a necessary medical intervention that saved lives and improved the life expectancy and quality of patients with various acute and chronic conditions.

Dr Owusu-Ofori said, however, risk of adverse events associated with blood donation and transfusion existed.

They are reactions, incidents, errors and accidents, which occur during blood donation and transfusion.

She said despite the critical role of haemovigilance in ensuring a comprehensive quality system in blood establishment and hospitals, only 40 per cent of countries in African had a national Haemovigilance system compared to 83 percent of European countries, as reported in a 2015 WHO Global Database on Blood Safety.

According to her, even where haemovigilance systems were in place, opportunities existed to raise the bar in safety and quality by expanding the scope of those systems.

Dr Owusu-Ofori said Ghana had made history by joining other countries in Africa, which had developed Home-grown haemovigilance systems.



Source: Ghana News Agency

NGO secures GHC100,000.00 funding to promote SMNH project in Ada West

Sunyani, Oct. 21, GNA – The Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (IWEN) Ghana, an indigenous women’s right non-governmental organisation has secured GHC100,000.00 funding from KGL Foundation to promote sexual, maternal, and newborn health (SMNH) project in the Ada West District of Greater-Accra Region.

The 12-month project dubbed “Improving Sexual, Maternal and Newborn Health through Social Accountability and Community Mobilization” targets to reach out to and benefit 2,500 women of reproductive age in the District.

A statement issued and signed by Mrs. Celestina Maame Esi Donkor, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of IWEN Ghana said the project sought to inform, empower, and mobilize the beneficiaries to manage pregnancy and childbirth.

“This will improve health outcomes within the project lifetime by reducing maternal mortality and morbidity and related costs of emergency health care,” a copy of the statement made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) indicated, saying health for women would increase women’s productivity.

It explained the project would also ensure provision of essential SMNH care to women, new-born, and children at all levels by adopting a public-community partnership approach.

“IWEN Ghana support programmes and services aimed at reducing preventable deaths through a high-impact, evidence-based child survival project that helps to increase access to quality maternal, neo-natal and sexual reproductive health services,” the statement added.

“Ada West is one of the most deprived districts in Greater-Accra bedeviled with many social challenges including health care delivery.  The district recorded the highest teenage pregnancy cases in the region in 2021 and performed poorly over the years in terms of its health indicators especially around maternal, neo-natal and child health services (GHS Report, 2020)”, it stated.

The statement added the implementation of the project remained necessary, saying it would improve access to quality sexual, maternal, newborn and child health care services to help reduce newborn and maternal deaths in the district, accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goals Three of reducing maternal mortality ratio by 2030.

Mr. Edward Ayabilah, the Project Manager, said improving access to skilled delivery care at the time of childbirth and in the event of a complication remained critical to tackling maternal deaths in the country.

“The project will therefore use social accountability and mobilization approach to promote citizen’s awareness on maternal and child health rights through sensitization and advocacy as well as building citizen capacity to monitor progress on addressing identified maternal health related challenges,” he added.

Community Accountability Committees (CAC) would be established in the beneficiary communities to monitor financial allocations and spending on maternal health, quality, and effectiveness of service delivery.


Source: Ghana News Agency

About 230,000 Ghanaians are blind – GHS


Sunyani, Oct. 21, GNA-About 230,000 Ghanaians representing 0.74 per cent of the total national population are blind, a national population-based prevalence survey has revealed.

Dr. Hornametor Afake, the Head, Eye Care Unit of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) who disclosed this said the survey was conducted in the country in 2015 for various eye diseases.

This was in a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Louis Oteng-Gyimah, an Ophthalmologist at the Sunyani Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Hospital at the opening of the 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Optometric Association (GOA), underway in Sunyani.

The three-day Meeting is on the theme “Eye Care for All by 2030: Harnessing the Optometry Potential in Ghana”.

In a breakdown, Dr. Afake enumerated the causes of blindness to as 127,000 (54.8 per cent) cataract, 45,000 (19.4 per cent) glaucoma and other causes including posterior segment diseases and corneal opacity.

About 332,000 Ghanaians representing 1.07 per cent of total national population have a severe visual impairment with refractive error 44.4 per cent and 42.2 per cent cataracts, he said.

Dr. Afake explained in 2021, the 74th World Health Assembly adopted two new ambitious eye health targets for 2030 to address the huge unmet eye care needs, adding the targets included achieving 40 per cent increase in effective coverage of refractive error and 30 per cent increase in effective coverage of cataract surgery by 2030.

He emphasised the role of the optometrists remained key to the achievement of the targets, regretting that about 67 per cent of people with vision impairment and about 95 per cent of those who needed glasses in the country did not have access.

Dr. Afake said the National Eye care Unit would continue to work with all eye care professional groups, including the optometric association to deliver comprehensive and quality eye care services to the national population.

“Currently, we have about 506 optometrists in the country and this gives a ratio of 1 optometrist to about 62,000 Ghanaians which is acceptable by WHO standards, but the real issue is the regional distribution”, he said.

Available figures he added indicated that 229 (45 per cent) optometrists were in Greater Accra, 110 (21.7 percent) in the Ashanti, and only 167 (33.3 per cent) were spread across the other 14 regions.

Dr. Afake therefore called on members of the Association to accept postings to all districts in the country to make eye care available, accessible and affordable for everyone.

Dr. Mahama Asei Seini, a Deputy Minister of Health underscored the need for everybody to be conscious and take good care of their eyes, saying the government would also ensure that Ghanaians access quality eye care services as well.

He commended the Association for its efforts in ensuring quality and prompt eye care services in the country, and assured government’s commitment to support the Association in the implementation of policies and programmes to improve on eye care services delivery.

Superintendent Dr. Ninkpe Remi, the out-going President of the Association said the GOA had bounced back onto the international optometry platform in their last four years, saying Ghana was now the Secretary-General of the entire African Optometry Community.

He urged members of the Association to safeguard its reputation and decency on the professional stage, saying “the good people of Ghana will not smile on us if we fail to make them see well but rather neglect their sight needs and concentrate on our parochial professional differences”.

Dr. Remi called on the Ghana Health Service eye care secretariat to do its best in making “this union of inter-professional practice work well for our mutual benefits”.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Normalise seeking help for mental health issues

Accra, Oct. 21, Dr Joel Agorinya, a psychiatrist at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, has advised the public to normalise seeking help for mental health issues.

He said there were a lot of people walking on the streets who had mental health issues but were shy to seek help even though there is help.

“There are patients who will invite you to their homes in Ghana to attend to them or those who would like to come to the hospital early in the morning around 5AM because they do not want to be seen entering the psychiatric hospital,” he said.

Dr Agorinya gave the advice when he trained selected member of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) and some Social welfare officials on mental health issues.

The training organised by Basic Needs Ghana, an NGO with a focus on mental health issues was supported by Ghana Somubie Dwumadie, a disability focused programme on mental health and the UK Aid.

The training is expected to enhance participants’ knowledge on mental health and to help them understand persons with mental health issues.

Dr Agoriyna said there was a need to desist from stigmatising persons with mental health issues and encourage them to seek help.

“Elsewhere, there is nothing shameful about seeking help for one’s mental health issues, you see some celebrities take to social media to announce that they have depression or they are taking a break to enable them go through rehabilitation,”

There is nothing shameful about mental health, it is also a kind of illness that can happen to anyone but in Ghana people tend to hide or sneak into the Psychiatric hospital whenever they need help,” Dr Agoriyna said.

He said that now psychiatry care has been decentralized and every health facility in Ghana, even the CHPS compound has someone who is a trained mental health care professional.

Dr Agoriyna said mental health care if not well handled could cost the country billions of dollars because people with mental health issues tend to be non-productive at work.

Estimating the cost of mental healthcare in Ghana, Dr Agorinya who had an interest in global mental health issues, said it could cost a family about GHS4000 monthly to provide care for their loved one with mental health issues.

He urged Ghanaians to stop stigmatising and abusing persons with mental health conditions, saying, “There is never any justification for abusing any person with mental illness.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Call off strike — National Labour Commission directs UTAG

Accra, Oct. 21, GNA – The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to call off its industrial action.

The directive was issued after the NLC met with UTAG, the Ghana Association of University Administrators, Tertiary Education Workers Union of Ghana and Senior Staff Association – Universities of Ghana over their strike and impasse with government on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

This is in a press release from the NLC signed by Dr Bernice Welbeck, Director of Administration and Human Resource.

The complainants were represented by leadership of the Unions, whereas, government was represented by the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Deputy Minister of Finance, officials from the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission.

The NLC gave the parties two weeks to conclude their engagement and report to it, adding that, the engagement should be held in good faith.

The Commission urged the parties to engage further on the terms of payment and other related matters.

It asked both parties to bring to the engagement table, people with mandate to take and/or make decisions.

The NLC adjourned the meeting to Wednesday, November 02, 2022 at 1530hours.

Meetings by the parties among themselves to resolve the matter ended inconclusive prior to meeting the NLC.

The national leadership of the four labour unions declared strike beginning Monday, October 17, 2022.

The Unions intimated that the government, employer, had failed to honour the terms of payment for their Fuel, Vehicle Maintenance and Off-Campus Allowances, instead, it had formed a 10-member committee to address only the Off-Campus Allowance.


Source: Ghana News Agency


SSNIT hands over ultramodern library to Ghana Library Authority

Accra, Oct. 21, GNA – The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has completed and handed over an ultramodern computerised library and mobile library to the Ghana Library Authority suitable for the pre-primary, primary and Junior High School levels.

The library which enables access by visually impaired children, has facilities like multipurpose conference halls for programmes, first-aid room, internet, offices, library for pre-teens and teens, children’s playground, cafeteria and waiting area for parents.

The library also provides print and books, magazines, pamphlets and newspapers online for learners.

The interior walls of the library has inscriptions like: ‘Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation – Walter Cronkite,’ ‘The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library – Albert Einstein,’ ‘Feed your brain, grab a bite to read’, ‘A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life – Henry Ward Beecher,’ and ‘Plug in for a read to recharge your mind – Shilpika Bagh’.

Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, Director General, SSNIT, said the library was one of its kind in the sub-region and would promote learning, reading, computer literacy and creativity among children who would be the future of the country.

Apart from providing financial security for pensioners, he said SSNIT also prioritised education and supported in numerous ways such as pioneering the students’ loan scheme and building community schools, among others.

“Our interest is not only to foster national development but to make sure the young ones are also educated about social security and retirement planning and that’s why we’ve launched the supplementary readers that the Ministry of Education has introduced in its curriculum,” he said.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang urged the Ghana Library Authority to ensure that the library was put to good use and advised children to use the library productively, adding: “We believe we need to get an educated population to get a good workforce.”

Mr Kofi Osafo-Maafo, Deputy Director-General, Investments and Development, SSNIT, said the mobile library was conceptualised as an information centre and an e-library that delivered to the doorstep of children who did not have easy access to the main library.

The library, he said, would enable children and the entire nation to celebrate books as an instrument for cultural and economic progress and as it gave children access to a world class library facility.

“Literacy is the means by which every child can realise his or her potential. Let’s continue to help our children rediscover the joys of reading. Once they learn to read and discover the love for books, they will forever be free. May the children who use the library go forth like a living water to a thirsty land,” he added.

Mr Hayford Siaw, the Managing Director, Ghana Library Authority, said for a long time now the culture of reading and expansion of the footprint of library had not been a focus for policy making.

Since 2018, he said, the ultramodern library was the 53rd public authority library opened by the Ghana Library Authority nationwide and the 14th in the Greater Accra Region.

The focus of expanding public library access was critical especially as every country known to develop had a high level of literacy rate, he said.

Mr Siaw said as Ghana’s current literacy rate was only 69.8 per cent according to a Ghana Statistical Service’s report from the 2021 Population and Housing Census, it was very important that efforts were strengthened to enhance it.

Giving SSNIT an assurance that the Authority would manage the library efficiently, he admonished the public to search for Ghana Library Authority on play store or app store to register and get library a pad number to make access to the library faster and easier.

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, in a speech read on his behalf, expressed contentment that SSNIT had constructed such a modern edifice for children.

He urged all stakeholders to make conscious efforts to run the library to serve Ghana, adding that the Ministry would offer support to ensure the quality of the library was maintained

He urged children to take advantage of the library to broaden their understanding of issues and well shape their future.



Source: Ghana News Agency


University of Cape Coast confers an alumni award on Abeiku Santana

Accra, Oct. 21, GNA – Renowned Ghanaian broadcaster, Mr. Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey, popularly known as Abeiku Santana, has received an alumni award from the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

Abeiku Santana, who has a Master’s Degree in Tourism Management from the UCC, was honoured for projecting the name of the institution in various endeavours.

He currently works with Despite Media and has had a distinguished career in radio broadcasting spanning over two decades, and is one of Ghana’s most popular radio presenters.

Abeiku Santana, after receiving the award, said: “I deem it a great honour to receive this great recognition from my alma mater, and it further encourages me to do more for the betterment of humanity.

“This honour means a lot to me and I want to dedicate it to my family, especially my wife, who has been supportive of the numerous successes I have achieved over the years.”

Abeiku Santana, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Kaya Tours, has contributed to the growth of Ghana’s tourism industry as he was adjudged the Tourism Oriented Media Personality at the 2020 National Tourism Awards.

In 2020, he gained a special recognition award as the Exclusive Man of the Year for his exploits in tourism marketing and promotion, using his platform to promote Ghana’s tourism.

The 2021 Radio and Television Personality of the Year is one of the topmost personalities in Ghana’s music space, having contributed to the unearthing of numerous musical talents over his over 20 years in the music industry.



Source: Ghana News Agency