TB patients to take less medicines for treatment come October 2023


The National TB Programme (NTP) will from October begin the implementation of a new Multi-Drug Resistance (MDR) treatment regimen for TB care in Ghana.
The new World Health Organisation (WHO) Drug Resistant (DR-TB) treatment regimen, Bedaquilin, Protomanid and Moxifloxacin (BPal M) would provide patients with a shorter treatment period of six months as against the previous treatment regimen of nine to 18 months.
It will also reduce the pill burden on patients from the current seven groups of medicines of more than 14 tablets, to three medicines daily.
This follows an approval from the National TB Advisory Board’s satisfaction with the WHO implementation arrangement by the Ghana Health Service through its implementation agency, the TB Programme.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Dr Yaw Aduse-Poku Programme Manager for NTP said the new drugs quantified, and procured were expected in the country by September 30, 2023.
He explained that the newly recommended BPaLM regimen offered better outcomes, remarkably shortens the duration of treatment, and thus, significantly improves quality of life for people with MDR/RR-TB.
The Programme he noted would begin the implementation plan with national, regional and district consultations with external technical assistance who will help the programme with a country specific implementation approach.
He said a national guideline, training manual and desk aide were being developed adding ‘logistics in terms of the new drugs have been quantified and procured, and they are scheduled to be in country by September 30, 2023.’
Dr Aduse-Poku explained that with the new WHO DR-TB treatment regimen [Bedaquilin, Protomanid and Moxifloxacin (BPal M)] as compared to the old regimen, which has commonest side effects such as gastritis, vomiting, reduced appetite, peripheral neuropathy, depression, and suicidal tendencies, the new regimen has a reduced side effect less stressful to patients’ family and health workers.
According to the WHO, TB it is one of the top 10 causes of death and in Ghana, and it is estimated that about 30 people lose their lives each day from TB and 125 people fall ill daily.
Globally, it is estimated that each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to it globally and close to 30,000 fall ill with TB disease.
‘Currently, Ghana has 169 GeneXpert, 79 digital x-rays in 260 districts and there should be deliberate efforts to provide diagnostic tools for TB diagnosis.’
According to the WHO Report, 2022, Ghana recorded 12,000 TB mortality with 45,000 TB incidence with childhood TB recording 6,500 cases.
‘The Programme is currently involved in contact tracing, diagnosing and treating Paediatric TB, intensifying case finding in all facilities, embarking on community outreach programmes, actively involved in TB prevention and treatment, as well as embarking on active screening at mining and prisons to increase detection cases in the country,’ Dr Aduse-Poku noted.
TB is transmitted from a sick TB patient as a droplet infection through coughing, singing, and sneezing. Inhalation of these droplets by an uninfected person may cause infection. TB mostly affects the lungs but can also affect other organs in the body such as the pleural cavity, liver, scrotum, kidney, intestine, and womb. This is known as extrapulmonary tuberculosis. In addition, tuberculosis may also occur in animals such as cattle and this is referred to as bovine TB.
Symptoms of TB include Cough weight loss (poor weight gain in children), fever, tiredness, night sweats, chest pain. and cough with blood-stained sputum. However, TB is a preventable and curable disease. Diagnosis and treatment are available free of charge in all public and accredited private health facilities.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Arise for Ghana: How Fiifi Kwetey is steering the NDC to victory 2024

In Ghana’s vibrant political arena, where politics often dances to the rhythm of passion and entrenched party traditions, there emerges a figure who has become synonymous with transformative leadership: Fiifi Kwetey.

His story isn’t just about political triumphs or strategic maneuvers; it’s a tale of a boy from Ketu South who dreamt big and then turned those dreams into reality. Imagine a young Fiifi, walking through the streets of his hometown, absorbing the hopes and struggles of his people. These early experiences, these echoes of aspirations and challenges, I am sure shaped his vision for a brighter Ghana.

It’s no wonder that as he grew, so did his determination to make a difference. But who is Fiifi Kwetey beyond the titles and accolades? He’s a man of diverse talents and roles. His tenure as Ghana’s Minister for Transport, Deputy Finance Minister, and later the Minister for Food and Agriculture, showcases a leader who isn’t confined to a single domain.

Instead, he’s someone who, with each role, seeks to understand the intricacies of governance and then applies this knowledge for the greater good.

His background in Economics and investment banking isn’t just a testament to his academic prowess but speaks volumes about his ability to navigate the complex world of finance. It’s one thing to understand numbers, but it’s quite another to use this understanding to bring about macroeconomic achievements that benefit an entire nation.

Yet, amidst all these achievements, Fiifi remains grounded. His connection

to his roots, to the very soil that nurtured his dreams, ensures that he never loses sight of his primary goal: to serve the people of Ghana.

A resounding vote of confidence: Fiifi Kwetey’s Ascendancy in the NDC:

The December 2022 NDC national delegates congress at the Accra sports stadium wasn’t just another event; it was a defining juncture in the party’s history. Delegates from across the nation, with a burning desire to see the NDC’s resurgence, congregated with a singular purpose: to elect a leader who would

steer the party toward a promising future. And the choice was Fiifi Kwetey.

This decision wasn’t made lightly. Fiifi Kwetey’s dominance and subsequent election as the General Secretary was a strategic masterstroke.

Representing the largest demographic voting bloc of the party, his election was not only apt but also resonated with the core of the party’s base. It was a clear message that the party was aligning itself with the aspirations and hopes of its most significant constituencies.

Today, as the days unfold, the wisdom of that choice becomes increasingly evident. The delegates, having placed their trust in Fiifi Kwetey, now watch with pride as he exemplifies sterling leadership, earning admiration and respect from party loyalists and sympathizers alike. His leadership style, vision,

and unwavering commitment to the NDC’s ideals has reinforced the belief that the future of the party, under his guidance, is not just secure but also poised for unparalleled success.

Quietly making waves: Fiifi Kwetey’s unseen efforts

Beyond the limelight, Fiifi Kwetey has been tirelessly working to strengthen the party’s foundation. His media tours, spanning the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Graphic Communication Group, Media General, and Multimedia Group Limited, have been instrumental in building robust partnerships. These engagements, marked by mutual respect and a shared vision for Ghana, underscore the NDC’s

commitment to media freedom and the collective interest of the nation.

Furthermore, his strategic appointments to the NDC leadership have been nothing short of masterful. By placing competent, hardworking, and dedicated party faithful in various directorates and administrative positions, he has ensured that the party’s leadership remains in full control, from Parliament to the

grassroots ready to secure victory come December 2024.

Arise for Ghana series initiative: A game-changer for NDC:

Perhaps the most groundbreaking of Fiifi Kwetey’s initiatives so far is the “ARISE FOR GHANA SERIES INITIATIVE”. Coined brilliantly from the NDC’s National Anthem, this initiative is not just about politics; it’s about patriotism. It’s a clarion call for Ghanaians to rekindle their spirit of nationalism, to rise above partisan lines, and to prioritize the nation’s well-being.

Every week, the series promises to delve into non-political topics aimed at elevating the consciousness of the people, making them fall in love with Ghana all over again. The initiative’s brilliance lies in its ability to reach beyond the party’s boundaries, appealing to the floating and new voter population. By

Embedding the words of the NDC Anthem into the minds of Ghanaians can subtly shift their interest toward the NDC, potentially translating into a massive vote bank.

Moreover, the initiative’s presence on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook aligns perfectly with the youth, ensuring that the NDC’s message resonates with this crucial demographic.

The brilliance of the “Arise for Ghana” Series idea: A masterstroke by Fiifi Kwetey

In the annals of Ghana’s Fourth Republic, political initiatives have come and gone, but few have the potential to leave an indelible mark on the nation’s psyche as Fiifi Kwetey’s “Arise for Ghana” series. This initiative launched on 5th September 2023, is not just a campaign strategy; it’s a clarion call for national unity, patriotism, and a renewed sense of purpose. The “Arise for Ghana” series stands out as a beacon of innovation in political engagement. While most political campaigns are transient and often mired in partisan rhetoric, this initiative transcends party lines, speaking to the heart of every Ghanaian.

It’s not about the NDC; it’s about Ghana. This distinction is what makes it a masterstroke. Historically, no General Secretary in the Fourth Republic has conceptualized an initiative that so seamlessly melds political strategy with genuine nationalistic fervor. Fiifi Kwetey’s vision is clear: to rekindle the spirit of patriotism among Ghanaians and to remind them of the collective responsibility they hold towards the nation’s progress.

Sustaining the momentum till December elections

For the NDC, the “Arise for Ghana” series should be more than just an initiative; it must be a movement. With new engagements promised every week, it must offer a consistent touchpoint for the party to connect with the masses. Its regularity will ensure that the message remains fresh in the minds of the

electorate, building momentum as the December elections approach.

The party must throw its full weight behind this initiative. From the grassroots to the top echelons, every member of the NDC should champion the series, ensuring its widespread reach and impact. The party’s communication machinery should be aligned to amplify the messages from the series, ensuring that its essence resonates with every Ghanaian, irrespective of their political affiliation.

Conclusion:

Fiifi Kwetey’s visionary leadership, underscored by his eight-point action plan he campaigned on to become the General Secretary, stands as a beacon of hope for both the NDC and Ghana. As the 2024 December elections loom, his steadfast dedication to party interests, grassroots commitment, and a nation built on courage, patriotism, and trust positions the NDC for not just electoral victory but transformative governance.

This promises a brighter future for Ghana, with leaders like Fiifi Kwetey

steering the ship. The “Arise for Ghana” series exemplifies Kwetey’s innovative approach, offering a timeless initiative in a political realm often dominated by fleeting strategies. This initiative is more than just a campaign; it’s a clarion call to every Ghanaian, reminding us of our nation’s vast potential.

On behalf of the NDC and its myriad supporters, we express our deepest gratitude to Fiifi Kwetey. His unwavering commitment to both the party and the nation is truly commendable. As we strive towards the upcoming elections, we are bolstered by the belief that the “Arise for Ghana” series will light our path, resonating deeply with Ghanaians everywhere. To Fiifi Kwetey, our heartfelt thanks: your visionary leadership is the guiding light we’ve been seeking.

Source: Ghana Web

‘Dee bee’ Alan Kyerematen was relaxed, ‘sluggish’ – Afia Pokua on politician’s defeat, unpopularity

Afia Pokua, popularly known as ‘Vim lady’ has expressed that Mr. Alan Kyerematen is partly to blame for his frustrations and ‘unpopularity’ in his party.

Mr. Kyerematen, as part of the reasons why he ditched the NPP flagbearership race, said everything seemed to be deliberately structured to favour one of the candidates.

Alan, who placed third in the party’s August 26 special delegates conference said he opted out of the competition due to intimidation and sabotage.

However, dissecting the situation, Afia Pokua opines that Mr. Alan Kyerematen’s campaign strategy wasn’t aggressive and radical enough.

According to the popular broadcaster, in as much as Alan was sabotaged by his own party, he did not hit the road running after his failure to secure this same slot in 2007.

“As much as Gabby and co plotted mafia against Alan, Alan himself is to be blamed for his woes. Alan failed to cultivate the party members. From 2007 onwards, you were the favourite, why are you now an underdog? When you couldn’t secure the presidential slot in 2007, you relaxed. Instead of continuing your campaign. You did a dada bee campaign and you can’t win elections with that. Nana Addo did dadabee campaign in 2008, 2012 and lost. He re-strategized and resorted to Atta Mills’ formula; door-to-door, room-to-room, and won the 2016 elections. You can’t win an election in Africa with dadabee campaign.

“Come down to the level of the people. If they’re eating kenkey, eat with them. I sympathize with Alan but part of the reason why he failed, his frustration was from him. How much did he influence the special voting?” she stated during her show on OkayFM.

She said Alan started politics long before Bawumia, adding, realistically, the latter isn’t supposed to have an advantage over him.

“Alan, you were in the game long before Bawumia. You started politics in 1992, there is no reason why Bawumia should even have an edge over you. But you are laid back, you are not aggressive,” she added.

Source: Ghana Web

Boxing Olympics Qualifiers: Janet Acquah progresses to quarterfinals; Freezy Macbones eliminated


Ghana’s men’s and women’s national boxing teams got their Olympic qualification journey underway in Dakar as some boxers featured in the round of 16.
Ghana’s Olympic hopeful Seth Gyamfi, aka Freezy Macbones, suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Seydou M. Konate of Senegal in the men’s heavyweight division.
It was a dominant performance from the Senegalese, as he won 4:0 on points, with the Ghanaian boxing sensation struggling to contain his opponent’s decisive moves and power punches.
Ghana’s Janet Acquah delivered a stunning performance as she defeated her Swaziland opponent, Siphamandla Veliswa, by 5:0.
There was further bad news for the Ghanaian contingent as heavyweight boxer David Bawah Akankolim was knocked out in round two by Algerian boxer Mourad Kadi.
The Algerian delivered a stunning boxing masterclass as he dropped the Ghanaian with some heavy punches, with the referee stopping the bout.
Ghanaian lightweight middleweight boxer Alfred Kotey lost 5:0 on points against Mozambique boxer Osorio Muxanga to culminate a bad start for Ghana at the start of the African Boxing Olympic qualifiers.



Source: Ghana News Agency

African Para Games: Ghana Amputee football ousts Liberia 5-0 to book semi-final slot


The Ghana National Amputee football team hammered their Liberia counterparts 5-0 in the last group stage game in the ongoing African Para Games to book a ticket to the semi-finals.
After securing a 7-0 victory against Uganda and succumbing to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Morocco in their first two games, the hosts, Ghana needed a positive result to qualify to the next round.
Mohammad Mubarak continued his fine form for Ghana in the tournament, adding to his goal-tally just four minutes into the game to give his side a deserving lead after-which teammates Hamza Mohammed and Collins Gyamfi added the second and third respectively, to give Ghana with a commanding 3-0 lead into the break.
The Black Challenge continued to exhibit their attacking prowess in the second half with two more goals from Ussif Yahaya and Mohammed Mubarak to take the scoreline to 5-0.
Ghana secured six points to finish behind leaders Morocco in Group A.
Speaking after the win, Stephen Richard Obeng the Head Coach for the Ghana Amputee Football team said, ‘The win means a lot to me and every Ghanaian because the Black Stars
also qualified [to AFCON 2024] just like we did. We had to put yesterday’s loss behind us and bounce back in this one’.
The coach anticipates a significant game in the next round, aiming to become champions by Sunday.



Source: Ghana News Agency

President Akufo-Addo commissions six new vessels into Ghana Navy Fleet


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned six new vessels into the Ghana Navy Fleet as part of government’s commitment to resource the Navy to effectively secure the country’s maritime domain.
The vessels are two Boundary Class ships, donated by the United States (US) government and christened the Ghana Navy Ship (GNS) Half Assini and GNS Aflao, two Defender Class boats, an Oil Spill Response Vessel, christened Esther Afua Ocloo, for the Ghana Maritime Authority, and a locally manufactured Landing Craft.
Speaking at a ceremony to commission the vessels at the Sekondi Naval Base in the Western Region, President Akufo-Addo said the move was a manifestation of his government’s commitment to retool and re-equip the Ghana Armed Forces to enable them to perform their duties of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
He said the addition of the new vessels symbolized government’s resolve to safeguard Ghana’s maritime sovereignty.
The President said he was committed to resourcing the Navy and other relevant agencies in the maritime sector to help guarantee the sustainable exploitation and benefits the ocean offered.
President Akufo-Addo noted that, ‘I am aware of the enormous responsibility on the Navy in seeing to it that the maritime spaces of Ghana are safe and secured. That is why we are taking steps to retool the Ghana Navy.’
According to him, the government’s retooling of the security services including the Navy had yielded positive results in the maritime domain saying; Ghana had not recorded any attacks or kidnappings on ships in the last two years.
‘This is a significant achievement considering that the country experienced several attacks on ships including the kidnapping of nine crew members from a Ghanaian vessel in 2021,’ he said.
The President urged the Navy officers to continue to safeguard the country’s maritime boundaries from any external aggressions, adding, ‘As we protect these maritime territories there is the need to maintain significant Naval presence so as to prevent criminals from exploiting any contested area.’
President Akufo-Addo expressed gratitude to the US government for donating the GNS Half Assini and the GNS Aflao to the Ghana Navy as part of their support to augment government’s commitment in ensuring the maritime security on Ghana’s territorial waters.
‘The USA has supported Ghana’s military revitalization programme through capacity building and enhancements of our capabilities.
The donation of these two 12-metre Boundary Class boats would greatly enhance the operations of the Navy in dealing with sophisticated operations when the need arises,’ the President stated.
Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Minister for Defence, said the importance of a well equipped Armed Forces could not be overemphasized, ‘that is why the President Akufo-Addo-led government has made the retooling of the Ghana Armed Forces, including the Navy a priority.’
Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister for Transport, said the commissioning of the Oil Spill Response Vessel marked a significant milestone in the country’s maritime sector as it provided a major boost to efforts towards creating a vibrant, safe, and secured maritime ecosystem for economic growth.
Madam Virginia Palmer, the US Ambassador to Ghana, indicated that the donation of the boats was the latest in the United States’ long-standing support for the Ghana Navy, including training, technical assistance, and naval infrastructure projects.
She said maritime security was critical to the country’s sovereignty and prosperity, adding that piracy and illegal fishing in the Gulf of Guinea were a persistent menace, threatening the livelihoods and traditions of Ghana’s fishing industry.
She noted that ‘These vessels are the newest component of U.S. support to protect and regenerate these fragile fisheries and we are providing $24 million over five years to help the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture install electronic monitoring systems on trawlers licensed to fish in Ghana and to assist the Ministry, working with the University of Cape Coast, to designate Marine Protected Areas that restrict fishing and other activities to protect fragile ecosystems and species found there.’
Madam Palmer added that the vessels would help to deny pirates, traffickers, and other criminals the use of the sea for their illegal activities, making Ghana and the region not just safer but more prosperous.
Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, Chief of Naval Staff, thanked the President and other partners for the immense efforts in retooling the Ghana Navy to carry out their mandates diligently and effectively.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Humanitarian Awards Global unveils 2023 honorary awardees


The 2023 batch of honorees for the highly anticipated Humanitarian Awards Global has been announced.
In their quest to inspire the next generation of change-makers, honorees from dozens of different countries will be recognised at the awards ceremony on Saturday, October 28, 2023, in Accra, Ghana.
The awards ceremony, which is held annually, is aimed at recognizing change-makers, NGOs, SDG advocates, volunteer leaders, donors, organizations, philanthropists, corporations, social impact companies, and professionals who are advancing the important work of charity each day.
Through the awards, the organizers honour and celebrate the honorees and awardees’ incredible contributions of resources, leadership, and financial support made in inspiring generosity and giving hope to humanity.
The theme of the award, dubbed ‘Celebrating Change Makers’ would be putting the spotlight on these individuals and organizations which will not only be celebrated, but also build a strong platform for them by giving them a voice and opportunities while they continue to impact the world positively.
The Honorary Awards are given to honour distinctive works of service, humanitarian impacts, consistency, excellence in leadership, performance, personal accomplishments, commitment to sharing knowledge, lifetime achievements, and the ability to challenge the status quo.
This year’s list has a broad representation, including diplomats, board chairs, CEOs, scholars, chancellors, professors, and philanthropists who have influenced society positively.
The 2023 honorees include the late Ghanaian author and poet Ama Ata Aidoo, Ghanaian musician Okyeame Kwame, Kobby Kyei (blogger), Dr. Abigail Wilson (Pharmacist) and Elijah Amoo Addo (Executive Director Food for All).
Others include Betty Adera (Kenya), Dr. Geetanjali Chopra (India), Dr.Tristaca McCray (USA), Fatima Mohammed Habib (Nigeria), and award-winning journalist Stephanie Busar, among many others.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Children chefs showcase cooking skills


Rosharon Montessori School in Tema Community 12, has ignited the culinary talents of its Junior High School Two pupils with a cooking competition.
The event was part of the Career Technology Education (CTE) programme introduced by the Ghana Education Service (GES), to enhance the appeal of technical and vocational subjects in basic schools.
The Career Technology Common Core Programme Curriculum, a recent addition by GES, aims to harmonise learning across classrooms, workshops, laboratories, and communities to foster effective career skills acquisition.
The curriculum is being studied by pupils in basic levels seven to 10 throughout the country.
The cooking competition specifically targeted basic seven and eight pupils, providing them with hands-on training and assessment in the vocational aspect of the Career Technology Programme.
The students were divided into six groups and each group balloted the meals to prepare.
The six groups were to prepare a full meal, commencing from starters to the desserts, where the first group picked waakye with all its accompaniments, the second, Banku and okro stew and grilled tilapia pepper, the third, fufu with goat light soup and chicken light soup.
The fourth group picked jollof rice, fifth group was to prepare fried rice and the sixth group, ampesi with kontomire and garden egg stew.
For those who were unfamiliar with cooking, it was a valuable learning experience, while those already skilled took the chance to demonstrate their prowess to their peers and teachers.
Teachers from various subjects supervised the six groups of 10 pupils each, as they prepared a diverse array of dishes.
Mr Samuel Donkor, the Career Technology Teacher, said they decided to organise the competition to introduce kids to food preparation, harnessing their talents for the future.
He encouraged parents to engage their children in the kitchen to help them grasp the basics of cooking, especially local delicacies, emphasising on the importance of practical knowledge in food preparation.
The judges commended the students for their efforts and encouraged them to explore local dishes further in their future exhibitions.
In the end, group six emerged as the winners, impressing the judges with their preparation of ampesi with kontomire and garden egg stew.
The jollof rice group secured second place, and the fufu and goat light soup’s group claimed the third position.



Source: Ghana News Agency