IMaH Optometrists warn against patronage of wayside spectacles

Dr. Isaac Asirifi, the Resident Optometrist at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) has revealed that patronage of wayside spectacles is dangerous and must be discouraged. ‘You buy a cheap product that could jeopardize your eye conditions tomorrow, ‘Dr Asirifi stated at the weekly ‘Your Health! Our Concern! A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting communication on health-related and setting the medium for the propagation of health information to influence personal health choices. ‘You will find street vendors and pharmacies vending spectacles. However, these outfits do not have the required professionals and training necessary for dispensing spectacles, so it is improper to select such places as the place of choice for acquiring spectacles,’ he warned. The IMaH Resident Optometrists described spectacles as visual aids used to enhance the quality of vision and protect the eyes from exposure to direct contact with several environmental factors, which could be detrimental to the eyes of the individual. ‘They can also be used for the correction of several conditions including the doubling of vision and latent and manifest deviations of the eyes, therefore, acquiring it from the wayside can rather endanger your eyes,’ he said. Dr Asirifi urged the public to acquire spectacles from either an eye clinic or an optical shop, ‘the eye clinic usually has departments that test for the spectacle prescription, display the spectacle frames and fit the lenses into frames’. He explained that to acquire a spectacle, one must go through several tests performed by the optometrist for a prescription to be arrived at. ‘A proper eye examination will not only give the spectacle prescription but can also expose other conditions that could be present but showing no symptoms like glaucoma, hypertension, and diabetes,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Vice President pays tribute to Dr Akoto Osei

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has paid tribute to Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, a former Member of Parliament for Tafo, who passed away on Monday. Dr Bawumia said: ‘His dedication to serving mother Ghana was unpaired and his fidelity to the country’s development was unquestionable.’ Mr Akoto Osei, who was a former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, was 69 years. Born on 18 April 1953, Dr Osei Akoto was elected as the MP for the Old Tafo for the first time in the 2004 general election. He went on to retain the seat three consecutive times. The Vice President said: ‘Dr was a very good friend and one of the people I worked closely with as a Deputy Governor and Vice President of the Republic.’ He said the news of his passing had come as a complete shock as a few weeks ago he visited him and ‘he was doing much better’. ‘The Lord gives and the Lord takes away,’ the Vice President said. He added: ‘I am happy to have had a brother in you and to have worked with you. Rest in peace, my brother.’ From 2017 to January 6, 2021, Dr Akoto Osei served as Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation in the first administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. He also served as Minister of Finance and Economic Planning under former President John Agyekum Kufuor from 2007 to 6th January 2009. Before that, he worked as a Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning from May 2003 to 2007. Dr Osei Akoto also served at the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA), Accra; and was a consultant to the World Bank (Korean Division), in 1987. He was an Associate Professor in Economics at the Howard University from 1984 to 1995.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Koforidua Technical University holds its 27th matriculation ceremony

Koforidua Technical University (KTU) has matriculated 5143 students for regular and weekend programmes for the 2022/2023 academic year. Speaking at the ceremony, Professor David Kofi Essumang, Vice Chancellor of KTU, emphasized the importance of early students registration, stating that early registration allowed schools to plan appropriate spaces, classroom resources, staff, and have appropriate budgeting. ‘Registration is the first step of actualizing your admission into the University. By now, most of you are supposed to have completed or are about completing the registration exercise. ‘It is hoped that you will all conclude soonest. ‘Any student who encounters any challenge in the course of the registration, should not hesitate to seek assistance from the Registration Officer in the Academic Office or Office of the Dean of Faculty or Head of Department.’ The Vice Chancellor stated that the University was committed to providing university education to as many qualified applicants as possible, and that it was also making significant strides in infrastructure development. ‘Our Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure has witnessed some modest improvement over the past few years because of the massive infusion of investment resources into the project and we therefore expect all freshmen to be computer literate before their graduation.’ he said. He stated that KTU had a well-equipped state-of-the-art E-Library that could provide access to many knowledge networks around the world, which was an essential component of any research experience, as well as well-equipped laboratories to support teaching and research. The students were administered with the matriculation oath and honour code as Prof. Essumang delivered the matriculation pronouncement. He explained that matriculation was an important ceremony in the life of every tertiary institution because it conferred full membership of the institution on the participating candidates who had met all of the necessary requirements. The university was established in 1997 as a polytechnic with 47 students and now has a student population of approximately 8719. It currently offers both Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor’s Degree programmes with four-year Bachelor of Technology degrees in Renewable Energy Systems, Civil Engineering, Welding and Fabrication Engineering, Hospital and Tourism Management, and others. Prof. Essumang said the university had international collaborations with universities such as Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences, Dusseldorf University of Applied Sciences, and Berlin University of Applied Sciences. Ghana Statistical Service, Koforidua Regional Hospital, Biogas Technology Africa Limited, Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, and others are among the local partners. He mentioned that two students from the Renewable Energy System Department were currently enrolled in the Erasmus+Exchange Program at Dusseldorf University of Applied Sciences.

Source: Ghana News Agency

DTI partners SIPA of Columbia University on Labour Market Information Systems

The Design and Technology Institute (DTI) has partnered with the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University (SIPA) on a project for the establishment of Labour Market Information Systems (LMIS) and/or Alternative Models in Ghana. The research component of the project will examine the current state of LMIS in Ghana as well as relevant types and examples of LMIS around the world. A statement issued in Accra said the partnership was as a result of the for a real-life LMIS in Ghana and as part of preparations for the 4th annual National Precision Quality Conference. It said the partnership would look at the context of alternative LMIS models for Ghana and in selected countries of the world and see how these are used to anticipate needed skills for industry. The statement said after undertaking desk reviews as well as interviews and discussions with stakeholders in Ghana, the DTI-SIPA team would focus on alternate models with the aim of prioritizing a set of 2-3 alternate models using case studies from Ghana and other countries for possible consideration. It is envisaged that these discussions on LMIS and Alternative Models for labour market information would be discussed and considerations on the options available for adoption for Ghana. The statement said a future of work that provided decent and sustainable work opportunities for all is of major concern to academia, private sector and the Government of Ghana. It said under the auspices of the Skills Initiative for Africa (SIPA), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) worked with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to prepare a national action plan on the skills that industry required and the right curriculum to train people with the skills they needed to access those jobs. The plan proposed targeting a Skills Development Policy towards three main objectives: matching supply to current demand for skills; helping workers and enterprises adjust to change; and building and sustaining competencies for future labour market needs. It said the action plan employed a stakeholder participatory methodology where industry players and experts were actively engaged in developing the road map for strengthening Ghana’s labour market information and skills anticipation system. The statement said DTI and its stakeholders were keen to work on ways of improving Ghana’s LMIS within the informal sector and to strengthen it. ‘An improved LMIS will also feed into DTI’s collaboration with the National Development Planning Commission for policy options that address skills acquisitions gaps, job creation, and business development, among others for socio-economic development,’ it said. Specifically, the action will enable the strengthening and expansion of Ghana’s Human Capital Development Strategy. The strategy seeks to prioritise an improved value chain in employment creation both in the formal and informal sectors as the country pursues its industrialisation agenda. It said it was the aim to be part of the move to create a globally competitive workforce, equipped with the skills and competencies in preparation for the ‘future of work ‘in the fourth industrial revolution.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Profile: Dr Anthony Akoto Osei – deceased

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei was born in Sunyani to one Mr. Osei a distinguished statesman on April 18, 1953. He was a Member of Parliament for Old Tafo in the Ashanti Region, Ranking Member for the Committee on Finance, and member of the committee on Interior and Defence. Dr Akoto Osei obtained a PhD from Howard University in 1987, a Master of Arts degree in Applied Economics from the American University in 1980. He had earlier obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Economics from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1978. He attended Achimota and Opoku Ware Secondary Schools, where he obtained his G.C.E Advanced and Ordinary levels respectively. Dr Akoto Osei was considered as one of the finest Economist in recent years, acquiring his experience from providing consultancy services for the World Bank (Korea Division) in 1987, teaching at Dillard and Howard Universities from 1984 to 1995 as an Associate Professor in Economics and as a Research Fellow for the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) from 1996-2001 in Ghana. He had many academic publications in the area of Monetary, International and Quantitative Economics to his name. In the erstwhile Kufour Administration, he was made first, (from 2001-2003) a Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and later appointed a Deputy Minister of the same Ministry in 2003. He was elevated to Minister of State at the same Ministry, a position he held until his party lost power in December 2008. Dr Akoto Osei’s undying interest for monetary Economics, International Economics and Quantitative Economics distinguished him as a fine Economist in his time, and earned him honours’ and accolades. He strived continually to alleviate poverty in the society and was involved in high level negotiations to secure funding to support micro projects, including road construction, electrification, agricultural projects, sanitation and others. In addition, he was involved in charity work, which entailed providing food and shelter for the less privileged. In 2006, he founded the Wealth Creation and Social Development Skills Training Center which trains about one hundred youth every year.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dr Anthony Osei Akoto passes on

Dr Anthony Osei Akoto, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo and Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, has passed away. A post on Parliament’s Facebook announced this on Monday. He was 69. Born on 18 April 1953, Dr Osei Akoto was elected as the MP for the Old Tafo for the first time in the 2004 general election. He went on to retain the seat for three consecutive times. From 2017 to January 6, 2021, he served as Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation in the first administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. He also served as Minister of Finance and Economic Planning under former President John Agyekum Kufuor from 2007 to6th January, 2009. Prior to that, he worked as a Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning from May 2003 to 2007. Dr Osei Akoto also served at the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA), Accra; and was a consultant to the World Bank (Korean Division), 1987. He was an Associate Professor in Economics at the Howard University from 1984 to 1995.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana is in a state of ‘hopelessness’- NDC

Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), says the country is in a state of ‘hopelessness’ characterised by leadership ‘paralysis’ and ‘corruption ‘. He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament only deepened the anxiety, despair and the uncertainty about the future of the country. Mr Nketia said this when he addressed NDC supporters on the ‘True State of the Nation’ at a forum in Accra. The presentation is in reaction to President Akufo-Addo’s SONA to Parliament on March 8, 2023. Mr Nketia said the President in his address had failed to convince the Ghanaian people that there was any end in sight to the suffering and pain that his government had brought to the people. He said the continuous attempt by the Government not to accept responsibility for the economic mess had led the county to a depressing point, with Ghanaians having to deal with the daily consequences of the collapsed economy. ‘The true state of our nation is well known to all of us. As the legendary Bob Marley noted in one of his songs, ‘he who feels it, knows it best, ” he added. Mr Nketia said though the Akufo-Addo led administration was the luckiest and most resourced government in Ghana’s history, it had the least to show in terms of socio-economic development. ‘This is because they have used all the monies mainly for consumption contrary to the claim by the President that his government has used a large amount of the monies borrowed for road construction.’ Mr Nketia said the NDC as the viable alternative would continue to engage its Members of Parliament (MPs), Civil Society Organisations, Religious Organisations, Organised Labour and all stakeholders to fashion out a feasible and sustainable distinct strategy to save Ghana’s economy and democracy.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana needs national oral health policy – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the country needs a national oral health policy to improve access to quality dental care. Dr Wallace Odiko-Ollenu, the Deputy Director, Non-Communicable Diseases, GHS, said this was important to guide the country to effectively treat oral diseases because over 60 per cent of Ghanaians did not have access to any dental care. Dr Odiko-Ollenu said this during a free dental screening exercise by the Ghana Armed Forces to commemorate World Oral Health Day in Accra. He said recent investigations conducted in some communities outside Accra indicated that the only people who provided oral health services were unprofessionals and often with outmoded and unhygienic equipment ‘So the main issue with oral health is the need to improve access, especially in rural areas and this can be done through the use of even non-dental staff to educate the people about the importance of oral health,’ he stated. Dr Odiko-Ollenu advised Ghanaians to go for dental check ups at least once a year to know their status to avoid losing their teeth. World Oral Health Day is observed on March 20 annually and seeks to create awareness about the significance of oral health and educates individuals about the different oral hygiene practices that one should be followed daily. The 2023 celebration, on the theme: ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth For a Lifetime of Smiles’, emphasises the need for people to focus on the importance of caring for their mouths at every stage of life. ?It is estimated that oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide. In Ghana, some studies suggest that at least 80 per cent of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 years were affected by gum diseases while 40 per cent of 12-year-olds suffering from decayed, missing teeth, stained teeth, and bad breath. Col Halidu Salifu Ayinga, the Officer-In-Charge of Dental Division, 37 Military Hospital, said oral diseases negatively impacted people throughout their lives, causing pain, discomfort, social isolation, and loss of self-esteem even though most of those conditions were largely preventable. ‘It is, however, regrettable that there is a lack of coordination between Oral Health Education and Public Health as far as policy is concerned,’ he said. Col Ayinga said ‘there are opportunities for prevention to significantly reduce the morbidity associated with oral health diseases if we synchronise policy and work together’. He urged parents to start taking their kids to the dentist at early ages to ensure that preventive measures were put in place to protect their primary teeth as well as early detection of orofacial deformities. Mrs Afia Asante-Adipah, Physician Assistant, Dental Division, 37 Military Hospital, educating participants on oral health, advised parents to limit the number of sugary foods they gave to children. She said that was crucial as the hospital had recorded a high number of dental caries (tooth decay) in children in recent times. Dr Louisa?Ansong-Satekla, a Dental Surgeon, said even though Ghana had made strides in improving the overall health of the population, much needed to be done, especially in the unserved communities. Dr Ansong-Satekla pledged the World Dental Federation as well as the Ghana Dental Health Association’s commitment to work with the government to ensure that every Ghanaian had access to quality dental care.

Source: Ghana News Agency