I have advised Alan to wait his turn or be Bawumia’s running mate – Deputy foreign affairs minister

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Reginal Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, has said that he has advised New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential hopeful Alan Kyerematen to step down from the flagbearership race for the 2024 elections.

According to him, God has already ordained Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to lead the NPP and nothing can change it.

Speaking in an Okay FM interview monitored by GhanaWeb, Ampratwum-Sarpong said that Alan must wait his turn to lead the NPP or choose to be the running mate of Bawumia as a stepping stone to lead the party.

“I had a conversation with Alan and I told him plainly that this contest will not be good for him… I told him that maybe it is God’s will that he becomes vice president and from there, he will become the president.

“I told Alan that he should withdraw so that we will go and beg for the running mate position for him which will make it easier for the NPP to win the upcoming elections but he did not accept it.

“He (Alan) told me that he would not accept my proposal and gave reasons why he was the best candidate for the NPP. When we were having this discussion, a leading figure in the NPP was also present,” he said in Twi.

Ampratwum-Sarpong, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Mampong, reiterated that he is in politics to win power and the only way the NPP can retain their current power is when Dr Bawumia replaces President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the leader of the party.

He added that over 100 MPs, including himself, have declared their support for Dr Bawumia, in line with their constituents.

The MP cum deputy foreign minister also said that 38 out of the 42 NPP MPs in the Ashanti Region, the home region of Alan Kyerematen, have declared their support for Alan.

The likes of the former Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen Assin, Central MP Ken Agyapong, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the former Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, ex-Mampong MP Francis Addai-Nimoh, and former Regional Cooperation Minister Dr Kofi Konadu Apreku, are expected to face off in the race for the flagbearership position of the NPP.

Source: Ghana Web

In politics, 1 + 1 is not 2; it can be more or less – Frimpong-Boateng explains

Former minister of environment, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has compared his field of expertise, medicine; to his secondary area of interest which is politics.

He holds that there exists a fundamental difference between the two fields where medicine demands exactitude yet politics does not always do same and allows room for ‘manipulation.’

Frimpong-Boateng was speaking in an interview with UTV on May 5 when he made statements relating to the need to use merit instead of connections in matters to do with development.

“In my field of medicine, 1 + 1 is 2, in politics; 1 + 1 is 2 + x. X is unknown, it can be 0, it can be anything, it can be -4, in which case 1 + 1 will be -2.

“In politics, you can’t balance the equation, it is not that straightforward, sometimes you can balance it only when x is 0. But when x takes on a number other than 0, be it negative or positive, you cannot be sure,” he explained.

Asked to give further explanation, he retorted: “Let the viewers, journalists and the public at large decide or judge for themselves if 1 + 1 is indeed 2.”

“In medicine, you have to be right and truthful at all times…but in politics, it is not so…,” he stressed.

The neurosurgeon has been in the news headlines after a 2021 report he authored was leaked into the media, which content contained damning allegations against top government and party officials.

There is a groundswell for a formal probe into the report even though the presidency says it was not a formal report.

Source: Ghana Web

Ahafo Regional Minister implores stakeholders to prioritise mental health services

Mr George Yaw Boakye, the Ahafo Regional Minister, has emphasised the need to prioritise mental health care services to enable citizens to cope with the normal stresses of life to work and contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic development.

He reiterated mental health issues had been neglected and allowed to be suppressed by stigmatisation and discrimination for a long time, saying mental disorders had been responsible for about 30 per cent of the world disability burden.

This was in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a three-day Ahafo Regional Health Directorate inception meeting for the Ghana World Health Organisations (WHO) Director General’s Special Initiative for Mental Health (SIMH) at Goaso in the Ahafo Region.

The SIMH, launched in July 2022, is a five-year project funded by WHO to support system transformation and to scale up mental health services to attain Universal Health Coverage to ensure access to quality and affordable care for mental health conditions in 12 priority countries.

The initiative is envisioned to achieve the highest standard of mental health and well-being to ensure 5.2 million more Ghanaians had access to integrated, quality, person-centred mental health care and that their rights were upheld.

The project is being implemented in the Savannah, Western North, Oti and Ahafo Regions of Ghana.

Mr Boakye observed Ghana had the most comprehensive mental health legislation but its mental health care system is faced with many challenges, including infrastructural constraints, acute human resource shortages, social services challenges, research and information system, financial challenges and considerable institutional stigmatisation.

“Access to mental health care in Ghana was poor, with a treatment gap of about 72 per cent, relative to the WHO’s benchmark of one Psychiatrist to 100,000 population, Ghana’s Psychiatrist population ratio is 0.058 per 100,000 population, and 0.065 psychologists per 100,000 population,” he stressed.

Dr. Bernard Ziem, the Acting Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services said the psychiatric nurse-to-population ratio in the region was one to 8,000.

He added the region had one psychologist, with 75 mental health officers working in various facilities at varied levels of the health care system, saying this had led to the need for strict adherence to integration policy to be able to reach out to the needs of the people.

Dr. Ziem said most people including health care workers were exposed to stress which had a higher potential to trigger mental health conditions of which depression was a leading disability case worldwide.

He noted research indicated one out of every five people in their lifetime would develop mental health illness, hence individuals, communities and organisations must take keen interest in mental health issues to promote and enhance their holistic and general well-being.

Dr. Ziem said the region in its attempt to render quality mental health service was bedeviled with challenges such as the erratic supply of psychotropic drugs, inadequate motorbikes for community mental health activities and capacity building for mental health officers, while there was low support generally to carry out mental health activities.

Source: Ghana Web

Ashanti Region now epicenter of rabies – Ghana Health Service

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has identified the Ashanti Region as one of the epicenters of the rabies disease in Ghana.

According to GHS, the data available to them shows that Ashanti Region recorded the most rabies cases followed by the Greater Accra Region.

This was disclosed during sensitisation program for the media on rabies on Thursday May 3, 2023.

The event which was organized by the Ghana Health Service with support from USAID is aimed at equipping journalists in the region with the right information on rabies to help them in their reportage.

A presentation by GHS showed that a total of 4010 cases of dog bites were recorded with six of rabies notified in 2022.

The data further revealed that, victims of all the six cases of rabies died.

Speaking to OTEC News Jacob Agyenim Boateng at the sidelines of the event, the Ashanti Regional Vertinary Officer, Dr. Maybel Abudu said rabies is a deadly viral disease of warm-blooded animals which are transmitted through a scratch or bite.

She noted that all cases of rabies recorded in the region were from dog bites and urged all dog owners to vaccinate their animals.

She however called on the government to bring back the mass vaccination for dogs to reduce the menace of the virus.

For his part, the Dean of School of Vertinary Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST, Professor Ben Emikpe attributed the situation to urbanization and the fact that there are more dogs in both Ashanti and Accra.

He noted that poor waste management in these regions also contribute to the high cases of rabies recorded and called on authorities to help reduce the menace.

Source: Ghana Web

Ghana making strides in maternal and newborn health outcomes – GHS

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), on Friday, said through the collaborative sacrifices of stakeholders in health, Ghana has witnessed significant improvements in maternal and newborn health outcomes.

According to him, as of the close of last year, neonatal mortality decreased from 7.1 per 10,000 live births to 6.5 per 10,000 births, whilst institutional maternal mortality ratio decreased marginally from 111 per 100,000 live births to 102 per 100,000 live births.

Similarly, the total of maternal deaths decreased by some 70, moving from 875 deaths in 2021 to 805 deaths at the close of 2022.

The Director-General of GHS disclosed this at the launch of the 32nd International Day of Midwives (IDM) put together by the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA) in Cape Coast on Friday.

“Together again, from evidence to reality,” was the carefully chosen theme for the programme to draw attention to the need for Governments and non-state actors to invest in training more midwives for the improvement of maternal and newborn health outcomes.

“Haemoglobin checks at registration and the incidence of anaemia in late pregnancy as at 36 weeks have been on a decreasing trend over the past couple of years.

“Skilled delivery coverage and antenatal care (ANC) clients making 4th visits have been on an increasing trajectory over the past years,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye stated.

The Day was also used to honour some 22 Midwives drawn from health facilities across the country for their dedication and commitment to duty after a thorough selection process.

The awardees were presented with table-top freezers, tablets, and a plaque.

IDM is recognized around the world as a celebration of midwives and their contribution to women’s and newborns’ health and wellbeing.

It is also to recognize and appreciate the work of midwives and raise awareness of the essential care that midwives provide in the areas of maternal and newborn care.

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) formally launched the idea of the ‘International Day of the Midwife’ in 1992 after suggestions and discussions with Midwifery Associations around the world.

Celebrated globally on May 5, the annual programme supported by UNFPA and USAID was interspersed with cultural displays from the Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind and drew scores of health-related personnel, traditional and religious leaders.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the absolute number of the country’s midwifery workforce has also been increasing, positioning Ghana to surpass the WHO standard of 6–7 midwives per 1000 institutional deliveries, by almost two folds, to 13 midwives per 1000 institutional deliveries.

The Midwife to Women in fertility age (WIFA) ratio had equally been improving, moving from one midwife to 720 women in fertility age in 2017 to one midwife to 387 women in fertility age in 2021.

While highlighting the contributions of midwives which led to improved health outcomes, he indicated that they continue to work under harsh conditions, “oftentimes at the peril of their progress and cost to their families.”

That he said includes challenges relating to the pre-service training of midwives, in-service work environment and others associated with their continuous professional development.

“If, as a country, we intend to attain the maternal and newborn health outcomes we desire, we would need to come together once more and move from the glaring evidence that midwives indeed save lives to addressing the challenges that confront midwives in reality.”

He proposed a restructuring of Ghana’s health system to promote midwifery leadership at all levels, embrace midwifery innovation, encourage evidence-based practice, and institute the character of empathy in our midwives, allowing for the practice to be guided by the sensitivities of our clients.

“We must also begin to match the evidence of smaller class sizes, availability of preceptors and requisite faculty with the realities of larger class sizes and inadequate skill mix and number of faculty in the pre-service training and continuous professional development of our midwives.

“I have, as a result, in my own small ways, increased the study leave quota significantly for serving midwives of GHS who intend to pursue further studies and consulted the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives on proposed residency programmes for midwives,” he said.

Collectively, he urged GRMA and other Sister associations to set standards to maintain excellence, commitment to duty, and play the very critical role of identifying potential leaders to develop a critical mass of empowered midwives who will advocate for the profession, the mother, and the newborn.

Mrs Netta Forson Ackon, the President of GRMA called for better working conditions and remuneration for Midwives as they battle challenging times at work.

Mrs Tina Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health who launched the 32nd International Day of Midwives, commended them for going all out to save lives and pledged the government’s support for them.

Source: Ghana Web

‘Dismissed’ Effah Dartey uses ‘retired Captain’ without issues – Barker-Vormawor fights for NDC lawyer

Fix The Country convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor has taken on the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) over a recent demand that a former officer desists from using his last rank in the service in his civilian life.

The army via a statement this week asked Jamal Tonzua to desist from using his former title in his political communication and instances of his appearances in the media.

Tonzua is currently a lawyer who is vying for the parliamentary slot of Savelugu on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Barker-Vormawor described the military’s position as “Completely ridiculous and targeted,” in a Facebook post dated May 5, 2023.

He went on to ascribe a reason for the military’s move: “This is all because Former Captain Jamal Tonzua has been criticizing the Military’s for its disorganized approach to Operation Vanguard, in his recent media interviews. So they have released this to undermine him.”

He further cited the example of a former captain in the person of famed lawyer Nkrabeah Effah Dartey.

He wrote: “Now, if someone is introduced as a former military officer, does that mean he is using his military rank in civilian life? Is he not a former captain? Or resigning voluntarily means he was never a military officer? Being called Former or ex Captain is not a use of military rank in civilian life

“Besides, who hasnt heard of Captain Retired Nkrabeah Effah Dartey? Even he who was dishonorably discharged, has been using his title in civilian life for years. Like many other officers. Unlike Jamal. But when have you seen the military say anything about them?”

In a press statement, the lawyer in question explained that: “The statement falsely and misguidedly alleges that I have used my military rank in my civilian life.

“Under the circumstances, I am compelled to issue this public statement to deny the uninformed, misguided, and ignorance-laden allegation of the Ghana Armed Forces that I have used my military rank in media appearances.

“I have not, on any occasion, whether public or private, addressed myself or caused myself to be introduced as Captain Jamal Tonzua,” 3news.com quoted the lawyer to have said.

He further expressed his concern about the GAF’s disclosure of private information regarding his period of service, deeming it a flagrant violation of the law that should not be repeated.

He added that his dedication to strengthening the democratic control, accountability, and integrity of the Ghana Armed Forces remains his priority.

Source: Ghana Web

‘Wo sene wo y?nko a ?tan wo’ – Kente Otumfuo wore to meet King Charles III ‘unveiled’

Kente cloths are known for their bright and colourful outlooks but it is a fact that each of them aside having a unique design have their own significance and meaning.

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II on May 4, 2023 met with the new King of England, Charles III at a private audience.

He met the UK monarch hours after arriving in the country with his wife Lady Julia, who were guests of the Crown for the May 6 coronation of Charles and Queen Consort Camilla.

The Asantehene was clad in bright Kente whiles Lady Julia also wore kaba and slit sewn with Kente cloth. A photo of the couple with the King made it to the frontpage of a major UK daily, The Daily Telegraph.

The Manhyia Palace’s Twitter handle shared the meaning of the particular cloth the Asantehene wore to meent the King.

“The name of the Kente fabric Otumfuo is wearing is called ‘Wo sene wo y?nko a ?tan wo’ to wit ‘When you are better than your competitor, he envies you,’ the May 4 tweet accompanied by pictures of the trio read.

Find the tweet below:

The name of the Kente fabric Otumfuo is wearing is called ”Wo sene wo y?nko a ?tan wo” to wit “When you are better than your competitor, he envies you.”

His laughter even added more sparkling to the meaning ????????????.

Piawwwwwwww!! pic.twitter.com/rFjd6QElTw

— The Asante Nation (@Ashanti_Kingdom) May 4, 2023

Source: Ghana Web

10 facts about the Ghanaian scientist who led NASA to Mars

It’s no easy feat to climb the ladder in a foreign land but Ghanaian-born autonomous technology enthusiast defied all odds to become a renowned multidisciplinary engineer.

Born in Accra, Ghana, Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, was fascinated with space travel and aviation from a very young age.

In a report by dearblackchild.com, he spent the majority of his early years in his family’s Ghanaian house, which was conveniently located not far from a domestic airport. This might have sparked his first inclination in piloting aircraft and unmanned aerial systems. He is claimed to have had childhood fantasies of removing people from cockpits and controlling aeroplanes from a distance.

The Ghanaian genius’ dreams eventually came to life with the design and fabrication of a robotic arm that will deploy vital instruments and probes on the spacecraft hundreds of millions of miles away.

GhanaWeb has compiled some interesting feats about Dr

who was at the epicentre of the successful landing of InSight – a spacecraft developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):

1. Trebi-Ollennu completed his secondary education at the Ghana Secondary Technical School. He attended Queen Mary University of London to earn his Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) in Avionics in 1991. His thesis was titled “Review of 4-D guidance techniques and the simulation of 4-D aircraft guidance.”

He pursued his PhD in Control Systems Engineering from 1993 and 1996 at Cranfield University in the UK, where he published his dissertation on “Robust Non-linear Control Designs Using Adaptive Fuzzy Systems.”

Additionally, Dr. Trebi-Ollenu has a 2007 certification in project management from Caltech.

2. Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu has worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, since 1999.

He is the Product Delivery Manager for the InSight Mars Mission Instrument Deployment System, Instrument Deployment System operations Team Chief, and a technical group leader in the Robotic Manipulation & Sampling group.

3. The space engineer led a team of like minds on a project which involved designing and building robots for NASA missions at the agency’s laboratory in California, United States.

4. In his 20-year career, Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu has worked on flight projects, flight project review boards, mission formulation, technology tasks, writing technology proposals, and served as a reviewer for NASA Science Mission Directorate technology proposals and NASA Office of Education proposals.

5. He is the brain behind the Mars Exploration Rover in 2003 to weighing in with his expertise on the Phoenix aircraft that found water on the planet in 2008, and even putting in his shift at the Mars Science Laboratory in 2011.

6. The engineer has been the front liner of expeditions on Mars including the historic landing InSight – a spacecraft developed by NASA on the planet on Monday, November 26, 2018.

According to The New York Times, the spacecraft was anticipated to provide “insights” into the planet’s underground, look for tremors that could be indicative of “marsquakes,” and provide some information that might explain how the red, dusty planet came into being.

7. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu is the founder of the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation (GRAF) in 2011. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that has made it its mandate to pioneer science education in Ghana; by organizing practical robotics workshops and competitions for students at both the secondary and tertiary levels.

8. He has received multiple awards. Some of them are:

The JPL Mariner Award (2006) from MER “For outstanding leadership in the analysis and resolution of the IDD unstow anomaly on Opportunity Rover”,

Outstanding Engineer Award (2007), from IEEE Region 6 (12 states of the Western United States, “For exceptional technical leadership and ingenuity in diagnosing the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity robotic arm anomaly culminating in a successful resolution of the anomaly leading to the continuing successful exploration of the surface of Mars in the extended mission,” among

Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Silver Award Medal (2020) “for his contribution to the successful development and delivery of the Instrument Deployment System on the InSight Mars Mission. It enabled the first robotic deployment by NASA of a seismometer on another planet”

9. Trebi-Ollennu was nephew to barrister and judge, Nii Amaa Ollenu who was elected the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament during the Second Republic as well as served as the Chairman of the Presidential Commission and acting President of Ghana from 7 August 1970 to 31 August 1970.

10. Aside science and airspace, Trebi-Ollennu enjoys various sports like lawn tennis, table tennis, test cricket, and American football.

Source: Ghana Web