Upper West Regional Hospital not provided with seed money to operate- Medical Director

The Upper West Regional Hospital has not been provided with seed money and vehicles to operate since its inception in 2020.

Officers of the facility had no option but to always travel by public transport to perform official duties outside the region.

These notwithstanding, the management team of the hospital had been able to maintain all the machines and equipment provided and reduced electricity bills from 1.2 million cedis to 500,000 cedis per month through the provision of less energy consuming bulbs and air conditioners.

Dr Robert Amesiya, the Medical Director of the hospital, made these known before the Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu during a working visit to interact with the management team and unit heads to learn of the challenges and problems.

He announced that the authorities had planned to establish a Cancer Centre to add to its existing Dialysis Centre to provide efficient and effective healthcare services to reduce referral cases.

The Medical Director, however, identified ch
allenges in the area of specialists, saying, ‘The hospital has not fulfilled number of specialists needed but relying mostly on visiting specialists to carry out special medical functions, and this is a hindrance.’

Mr. Yakubu commended the management team, unit heads and the entire staff of the hospital for their passion and dedication to work while assuring that he would interact with the appropriate government officials and lobby others to help address some of their problems.

He said he was impressed with the adequate equipment and machines installed at the hospital’s laboratory but advised the workers that their dedication and efficient use of the equipment available was equally important to produce the best results.

He encouraged the staff to put in more effort to serve and address health issues affecting the development and productivity of the people in the communities.

Mr. Yakubu said the government was building five district hospitals in the region under the Agenda 111 Project and tasked the distri
ct assemblies to sponsor students to medical schools to study medicine and other programmes to come out and work in those facilities after completion.

He appealed to the Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Services to also carry out research in the communities to find out why there were many people having kidney problems in recent times and embark on public education to help address the situation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Nungua doesn’t have land for Agenda 111 Municipal Hospital

The lack of land is hampering the commencement of the Agenda 111 Project at Nungua in the Krowor Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.

The Agenda 111 is an initiative by the government to establish 101 District Hospitals, Seven Regional Hospitals and three Psychiatric Hospitals to improve healthcare in the Districts and the Rural areas.

Dr Nsiah Asare, Presidential Advisor in Charge of the Agenda 111 Project, said that the government had made frantic efforts for the commencement of the Project in the Krowor Municipality but had been unsuccessful as leaders had not been able to provide a piece of land.

‘We have engaged the leaders of the community for a possible piece of land for the commencement of the project but that was not forthcoming,’ he said.

Dr Asare said the Agenda 111 projects were at various stages of completion in the various beneficiary districts and regions across the country, however, some districts in the Greater Accra Region were struggling to provide land for the project.

The Krowor
Municipal Assembly is one of the Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region expected to benefit from the Agenda 111 project, however, the inability of local traditional leadership to provide a suitable land remained a concern.

Meanwhile, Nii Afotey Botwe II, a Divisional Chief of Nungua Otinor, has confirmed that Traditional leaders were unable to provide a piece of land for the project.

He expressed disappointment over the inability of the Traditional leaders to provide suitable land for the construction of the Municipal Hospital for the area under the Agenda 111 projects.

The Divisional Chief told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that the entire Nungua town was choked as the parcels of land had all been sold to private individuals and organisations and were being developed.

He said it was disheartening and a concern that no land had been left free for developmental projects just like agenda 111 and some other projects, adding, ‘It is so sad that Nungua has not been able to provide land for the pr
oject, our people have sold all the lands, not leaving any for future use.’

He feared that the Municipality would not benefit from the project due to inappropriate management of the lands.

‘Nungua had lots of land, we gave it out for settlement and within the last 40 years took over and mismanaged it. Now we do not know what is happening in Nungua, the government brought a lot of projects, but we have no land to execute them,’ he added.

He said they have some land which was acquired by the government for residential purposes and another vast piece of land given to State Housing, but such spaces are being encroached for development without authorisation.

Nii Botwe said the Lekma Polyclinic situated in Nungua was not spacious enough to serve the whole of Nungua and its environs.

The Divisional Chief expressed regret as similar developmental projects, expected to be situated in the Municipality, had not been possible as they lacked available land for the execution of projects.

He made it known that the Lek
ma Municipal Hospital, which is currently serving the people of Teshie, and its environs was supposed to be built in Nungua to serve the entire Township and its environs but was not made possible due to lack of space.

Nii Botwe II allegedly blamed the traditional leaders for their selfish interest in giving all the lands away without thinking about the future.

He suggested that while the authorities were struggling to get a suitable space for the project, some of the government-acquired lands should be used for the project.

‘Despite the fact that we have sold the lands, there are some lands that were taken by the government, and I think it is necessary to use such spaces once the project is still being executed by the government.

Some of the pieces of land are just there, there is so much encroachment and it is better to acquire those properties to benefit from the project,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ga East NCCE engages adolescent mothers and school dropouts

The Ga East Municipal Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has engaged some adolescent mothers and school dropouts to mark the Adolescent Mothers and School Dropouts Day Celebration held at Abokobi.

The aim was to educate and offer guidance to young adults on how to cope with life after childbearing and the need for them not to abandon their education.

Mrs. Jemima Abena Konadu Mensah, the Ga East Municipal Director of the NCCE, addressing them said the 1992 Constitution gave every child the equal right to education no matter their circumstances and therefore, having a baby whilst in school should not be a barrier to continue with education.

She indicated that there were many ways to upgrade themselves to become useful to their families and society.

She encouraged them not to be afraid to go back to school after childbirth, saying, ‘Education is the key to success in life and you must not joke with your education.’

Mrs Mensah advised them to also make good use of the Internet
by looking for sites that teach professions such as wigs and braids making, bridal make-up, pastries, beads making, soap making and many others that could help them to have something to live on.

The NCCE Municipal Director said being a woman did not mean one should not strive to become great in life, saying, ‘You can also make an impact in society if only you are ready.’

She said many of the youth in recent times had engaged themselves with unnecessary sites on the Internet, which were destroying their lives and the community and must not be encouraged.

She appealed to them to take advantage of some of the government and NGO interventions that come into their communities to build their capacity and empower their livelihoods.

Mrs Mensah said it was the responsibility of every parent to ensure that their children were being protected, monitored and always observed so that they would be able to detect friends who could influence them negatively both in the school and their community.

The director advised th
em to seek help from the Department of Social Welfare, DOVSU and the police for assistance if they sensed danger at any point in their lives.

‘The youth are our future leaders, which is our collective responsibility to ensure that they live a responsible life’ she said, and advised the female students never to allow men to entice them with gifts that would lure them into activities that would truncate their future.

Source: Ghana News Agency

MTN launches 2024 edition of SME Month to foster growth

MTN Ghana has launched the 2024 edition of SME Month to empower Small and Medium Enterprises within the business ecosystem and foster an environment of economic growth.

The objective is to empower them with digital transformation, access to financing, collaboration and partnerships, skills development, and market expansion.

The launch, which brought together officials of MTN Mobile Money, bankers, investors, business owners and insurance companies, was under the theme: ‘Doing Business Faster, Smarter and Better.’

Mr Mohammed Abubakari Saddiq, Head of SME, MTN, said, that SMEs and micro-SMEs are the backbone of the African economy with the potential to drive innovation, create jobs, and foster sustainable development.

‘These businesses had been the lifeblood of our communities, and their success was crucial for our continent’s future. We are to see these businesses thrive not just survive,’ he said

Mr Saddiq said July is MTN’s SME month and a series of activities, including the Africa Business Innovation
Conference in Accra, capacity training, women in business roadshows and SME fairs across selected regions had been planned.

‘We have decided to add a mini-fair to today’s launch to allow stakeholders to have a feel of what we have planned for the month. Let’s make time to visit the fair to support our SMEs, many of whom are our customers,’ he said.

Madam Philomina Dsane, Director, Policy Planning, Monitoring, Research and Evaluation, at Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), said, the Agency had an insatiable driving force in empowering Ghanaian businesses, especially micro, small, and medium enterprises to thrive in today’s digital landscape.

Speaking on behalf of Madam Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer, GEA, she said they recognize the immense potential of technology and were committed to unlocking its benefits for Ghanaian entrepreneurs and economic growth.

The Director said under their Digitalize for Jobs initiative, they had trained and supported over 600 women in digital literacy and business practi

Mr Tsonam Akpeloo, Greater Accra Chairman, Association of Ghana Industries, said SMEs had been at the heart of their policy advocacy work in AGI as they employed more than 80% of the workforce and contributed about 70% of the country’s GDP.

‘Our SMEs need to use technology alongside their current systems to automate processes. Technology helps increase the efficiency of systems, products and services. It helps to track and streamline processes, maintain data flow and manage contacts and employee records,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Reasons for increase in Supreme Court judges compelling-CJ

Chief Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo says there are compelling reasons for an increase in the number of Supreme Court of Ghana (SCOG) Justices from 15 to a minimum of 20.

These reasons are stand-alone or non-overlapping panels, delayed decision making and delivery and increases in Judges of lower courts vis a vis Justices of the SCOG, she said.

In a letter dated February 7, 2024, to President Nana Akufo-Addo and its accompanying justification, the Chief Justice stated that the number of justices of the Supreme Court had been increased to 15 Justices but more are needed.

The Chief Justice had also written separate letters to the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice and the Ghana Bar Association, seeking their opinion on the need for an increase in judges for the Supreme Court

Chief Justice Torkornoo in her brief, provided statistics covering a half-year period, from October 2O18 to October 2022, of cases pending at the Court at the beginning of each legal year, matters filed during each
legal year, matters concluded each legal year, cases pending at the end of each legal year and the rate of conclusion of cases.

She said in the 2018/19 legal year, more than double the number of cases, pending at the beginning of the legal year were filed and disposed off; while hearing as many as the numbers of new cases filed (539/559), the Court was unable to shift the number of backlog of cases it had at the beginning of the year (222 compared with 202).

She said at the end of the 2019/20 legal year, more than triple the number of cases pending at the beginning of the legal year were filed and disposed off.

The Chief Justice said while catching up with hearing as many as the numbers of new cases filed (667/653), the SCOG was unable to shift the number of backlog of cases it had at the beginning of the year (202 compared with 216).

The same pattern persisted by the end of the 2020/2021 legal year, the Court continued to catch up with hearing as many as the numbers of new cases filed (690/694), yet it w
as unable to shift the number of backlog of cases it had at the beginning of the year (216 compared with 221).

In the 2021/2022 legal year, the court fell behind in sitting on the number of cases filed in the year by almost one/third. 578 new matters were filed, and it sat on 385 matters. It ended the year with almost double the number of cases it started with in backlog (216 compared with 414).

This pattern persisted in 2022/2023 legal year. 525 new matters were filed, and the SCOG sat on 344 matters.

‘By July 2023, the backlog of the court exceeded the cases pending in October 2021 by almost two and half times (519 compared with 216),’ she said.

The percentage of concluded cases was higher with 18 and 16 judges than when the SCOG had 14 and 12 Judges.

It is posited that with the total number of 525 cases pending as at the end of July 2023 legal year, and 12 Judges from who only two sets of panels may be derived, each panel would have had to work to dispose of and render decisions in approximately 263 c
ases in the year (more than twenty cases each month), even excluding the pending cases from the previous legal year which was 414 cases leaving an inordinately doubled pattern of backlog of cases.

She said if the number of Judges of the Court were not increased, the untenable situation would be created where Justices of the Supreme Court had to sit every week, sit on multiple panels and on three times the numbers of hearings, just to end the year with the same number of backlog of cases as had become the situation by July 2021.

The Chief Justice said, as bad as these circumstances were in terms of delayed justice for those whose cases fall within the backlog, the worst effect was on the quality of work Judges of the highest court could produce with this sort of pressure.

Currently, three factors account for the delays in the production of final decisions in the court, firstly the number of times every Judge had to sit in a week, the conferencing of the different panels, because of the actual court room sit
ting times that Judges must engage in.

The rest is the time spent on writing decisions, because despite the pressure of sitting in court and on different panels, the requirements of independence, competence, integrity and diligence demand that every judge writes his or her own opinion or spends quality time reviewing opinions written by a member of the panel before concurring with.

Source: Ghana News Agency

LoGMe project Advisory Committee visits project sites in Sissala East

The Advisory Committee of the Land of Opportunity in the Sahel (LoGMe) project has visited the project sites in the Sissala East Municipality to assess the impact of the project interventions on the lives of the beneficiaries.

The sites visited were the dry-season garden project with a solar-powered mechanised water system, tree nursery and land restoration sites at Sakalu as well as a shea butter processing facility, bee farm, solar-powered water facility, tree nursery and land restoration sites at Nanchalla.

The LoGMe project also trained the beneficiaries, predominately women on energy-efficient cooking stoves and briquette charcoal production from clay and dry grasses respectively.

The Italian Ministry for Ecological Transitions funded the project through the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and implemented in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Niger by a consortium of organisations with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the lead implementing partner.

It was aimed to con
tribute towards meeting the land degradation neutrality targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking at the project site at Sakalu, Madam Felicité Chabi-Gonni, the IUCN Regional Coordinator of the LoGMe Project, said the implementation employed different approaches in the three countries to achieve the maximum impact.

She said in each country they embarked on land restoration and supported women’s groups to obtain economic opportunities, including shea butter processing in Ghana and moringa processing in Niger among others.

She indicated that the project implementation was a participatory approach in the three countries, focusing on community needs.

Madam Chabi-Gonni said the community members had assumed responsibility for the project and set up mechanisms to ensure its sustainability and long-term benefit to the community.

Mr Gilles Amadou Ouedraogo, the UNCCD Programme Management Officer of the Global Mechanism, expressed happiness about the project’s outcome, including the income-
generating activities for young people and women such as the beekeeping and shea butter processing.

He was enthused about the improved livelihood through the solar mechanised boreholes, knowledge of sustainable farming, and the women cooperatives the project had established.

‘It’s a game-changer because, obviously, you have youth engaged, and if they’re able to sustain this process, you’ll have a long-term impact for the entire communities’, he explained.

Mrs Dorcas Owusuaa Agyei, the Ghana National Coordinator of IUCN, said the project had impacted 102,000 people in the communities with the beneficiary communities trained to raise seedlings for the land restoration when the project elapsed.

‘What really touches our hearts is the impact it has made on the livelihoods of the communities, especially the women because the focus of the project was on women and youth’, Mrs Agyei stated.

Recounting the impact of the project, Mrs Agyei referenced a widow in one of the communities who said she, hitherto, could n
ot cook anytime it was raining because she did not have an enclosed kitchen and she relied on fuel wood to cook.

She, however, said with the introduction of the mobile improved cooking stove by the project she could comfortably cook in her closet using the briquette charcoal even when it was raining.

Dr. Joachim Ayiiwe Abungba, the Head of the Black Volta Basin, said the project restored 9.9 hectares of land in the Sakalu community last year with 30 hectares of land earmarked to be restored this year out of which 500 trees had so far been planted.

He said the intervention was to help save the water bodies in the area as the excessive land degradation around the water bodies caused them to dry up early.

‘This feeds directly into the national buffer zone policy of Ghana. That is what we are supposed to do as a country in protecting water bodies and protecting water catchments,’ Dr. Abungba said.

At the Sakalu community, Madam Osman Fati, a beneficiary, said they were benefiting tremendously from the 2-hect
arer fenced field and solar-powered borehole facility for dry season farming.

She said they were saving proceeds from the garden to procure additional water reservoirs for the garden to boost their dry-season farming.

Also, Madam Sahada Chanbua, a beneficiary at the Nanchalla community, said the bee farm and the shea butter processing facility were positively impacting her life.

She said the beneficiary women were making a living out of those economic activities and caring for the education and health of their children.

The project, called: ‘Creating Lands of Opportunity: Transforming Livelihoods through Landscape Restoration in the Sahel’ and known as: ‘Land of Opportunity Global Mechanism (LoGMe)’, was being implemented in eight communities in the Upper West and Upper East Regions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

MODEC, partners donate furniture worth $42, 000 to Anum Presby SHS

MODEC Production Services Ghana JV Ltd, operator of FPSO Prof John Evans Atta Mills in the TEN fields and its MV25 partners have donated furniture worth $42, 000 to Anum Presby SHS.

The items, which are to help improve learning outcomes, include 500 bunk beds, 300 mono desks, 10 dinning hall tables and 20 dinning hall benches and their equivalent cost in Ghana cedi is GHS 520, 000.

The donation is not only to create a positive learning environment and support the students to succeed but also in line with the organisation’s prioritises where they see education as a key area for their social investment.

Mr Theophilus Ahwireng, Managing Director, MODEC Production Services, who presented the furniture to the school authorities, said the gesture was their firm belief in the transformational power of education, the role it plays in uplifting communities and shaping a brighter future for all.

‘At MODEC, we believe that learning institutions, schools must have facilities that are well equipped and resourced to pr
omote student and staff well-being and to support comprehensive, well-rounded education and learning environment,’ he said.

The Managing Director said they selected Anum Presby SHS after considering the efforts of good education and life skills they had put in for its students, the progressive improvements in WASSE results, the persevering mindset and dedication of the School Administrators.

He urged the students to pay heed to instructions and take advantage of every useful opportunity provided to reach their potential, adding that they ‘have a responsibility to take good care of school property, be diligent steward of school and public property.’

Rev Richard Asafo-Adjei, Headmaster, Anum Presby SHS, commended management and staff of MODEC for their support, adding that the items would have a lasting impact on the school.

The items will enhance our educational experience and be a game-changer for our students’ educational journey. We look forward for such more support,’ the Headmaster noted.

Madam Ruby
Ohene-Adutwum, Deputy Director, Human Resource Management Development, Ghana Education Service, Asuogyaman District, admonished the students to see themselves as caretakers of the school properties.

‘Please, don’t destroy them and live these desks under the mercies of the sun,’ she said.

The Anum Presbyterian Senior High School, established originally as Anum Basel Mission Grammar School in 1897, by Rev Yakobb Lochman, has gone through changes until 1972, where the secondary school started.

It currently has a student population of 3,014, with 116 teachers and 53 non-teaching staff. The school faces perennial water problems that need urgent attention, lack of adequate security personnel, deplorable state of boys’ and girls’ dormitories and leaking staff bungalows.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kasoa Ritual Murder: Case adjourned to July 23 following jurors’ strike

Following a strike by jurors, the case in which two teenagers are being held for murder has been adjourned to July 23 by Accra High Court.

The Kasoa ritual murder case was due for summing up and judgement.

However, due to the strike, the trial judge, Mrs Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, had to adjourn the matter. Jurors have been on strike for more than two months over unpaid allowances for the past 10 months. Jurors have only received payments for four months, leaving six months in arrears.

When the matter was called on Monday July 7, 2024, the 18-year-old currently in lawful custody at Nsawam Medium Prison showed up in court.

The 15-year-old had not been brought to court by the personnel of the Ghana Police Service.

Lawyers for the accused persons namely, Samuel Atuah and Martin Kpebu, were present in court.

The 18-year-old accused and his accomplice, a minor, have been accused of killing 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdalla at Kasoa for rituals.

The teenagers are facing charges of conspiracy and murder.

urce: Ghana News Agency