A UK based Health Scientist; Mrs. Marian Adjei-Daquah has indicated that though the evolution of EBOLA Virus disease is an albatross on African countries, there is no need to instill fear and panic in people but the awareness should be created on its prevention.
According to Mrs. Adjei-Danquah, World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor the evolution of Ebola virus disease outbreak has so far discovered that it is pandemic in three West African countries, whilst Nigeria is gradually getting into the picture.
She disclosed that as of 23 and 25 July this year, WHO and African Health Statistics still unveils that the cases attributed to Ebola are more in three African countries namely Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where suspected cases stands at 1201.
Mrs. Adjei-Danquah reiterated that call to avoid raw or uneven cooked meat, and the consumption of bush meats at least for now, particularly, bats and apes meats.
She also called for the avoidance of unnecessary handshakes or better still wash hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet, handling sick patients and dead bodies.
Speaking to Moonlite News in an interview, the Health Scientist emphasized that Ebola attacks are gradual but kills up to 90% of the people infected according to research, however “We do not have to instill fear and panic in the people but the awareness should be created since one person in Nigeria has been attacked and Nigeria is not far from Ghana.”
According to her, Ebola is contagious therefore spreads like bushfire: the Liberian and Nigerian seaports have begun screening international arrivals from Ebola symptoms, and Arik Nigeria (a major carrier in the country) has suspended flights between Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
She said those countries are seriously taking quarantine actions but asked whether the bats and monkeys who are the hosts can be screened.
Mrs. Adjei-Danquah indicated that Research and recent statistics explains that out of the 1201 cases in Africa, there have been 672 deaths, and out of the deaths, 427 cases were suspected in Guinea and 319 people have been reported dead out of the attack.
She continued that Liberia has detected 249 cases with 129 deaths while Sierra Leone suspects 525 cases with 224 deaths recorded, and one person has died in Nigeria recently.
The health scientist worried what the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health doing to save Ghana, since Ebola has no cure or vaccine as it stands now, whereas it is reported that only 4 out of Ghana’s 42 legitimate boarders; Aflao, Kotoka, Elubo, Paga. are secured.
She bemoaned that Ebola kills in just a week and the astonishing part of the whole thing is that it keeps attacking and killing the health practitioners and paramedics more.
Mrs. Adjei-Danquah revealed some of the symptoms of Ebola as headache, sore throat, impaired kidney functions, bleeding without cause, muscle aches, diarrhea, central nervous system damage, vomiting and dehydration.
She advised that Ebola may be transmitted through an infected person’s excreta, urine, body fluid or any item used by the infected person so all must beware.
However, the medical Director of the Brong-Ahafo Regional hospital, Dr. Jacob Abebrese has assured that the facility is well-prepared/ positioned to deal with any suspected case that may be reported.
According to Dr. Abebrese, the regional hospital has Personal Preventive Equipments (PPE) available at the facility to handle suspected cases of Ebola, so Ghanaians should calm down whilst the practitioners and experts work along the clock to device ways of preventing the disease from entering the country.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Eric Opoku has called on Muslims to desist from acts forbidden by their religion and be abide by the tenet of Islam which is for peace to contribute to sustain the peace the country is enjoying.
Speaking at this year’s celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr at the Sunyani Coronation Park, Mr. Opoku urged Muslims to continue living in harmony with people of other faiths in order to maintain the relative peace.
He said as Moslems have successfully completed the Ramadan which is a significant pillar in Islam, it is the hope that the spirit of commitment and honesty would be deepened to ensure peace and development of the country.
“The Ramadan was a stage to aspire for rightness; therefore it is believed that the spiritual gains received during the fasting period will transform the relationship of Moslems with other people with different faith.” Mr. Opoku said.
He called on Ghanaians to eschew enmity towards each other as the country is currently going through some socio-economic challenges, adding they should rather strive to live in unity as one people with common destiny and support government to deliver as expected.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Umar Abdul Khadir urged Moslems to seek repentance to seek forgiveness of sins from Allah to live decently for prosperity and development.
He urged Moslems to be law abiding and hardworking to help in the development agenda of the country, without any acrimony, adding “We are Ghanaians and must work to put Ghana forward.”
Sheikh Umar Abdul Khadir assured that with honesty, dedication and hardworking Ghana can move out of its current economic challenges.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Eric Opoku has noted that Africa could be peaceful if its youth are managed and empowered economically.
Mr. Eric Opoku explained that the youth could not be manipulated to engage in violence if they are empowered economically to effectively work to improve their livelihood and contribute to the rapid growth of the continent instead of being used as tools for violence and destruction.
The regional minister said this when a delegation from Namibia’s National Youth Service paid a courtesy call on him at his office as part of their visit to the country to share knowledge and learn from the Ghana National Service Scheme which is the longest on the continent.
According to the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, the engagement of tertiary students to do their National Service is one way of dealing with unemployment and a perfect transition of students into the world of work.
He said if a nation fails to harness the natural gift in its youth who can use their energy to work for productivity, then that nation put itself in danger, because the little inducement could trigger them to foment chaos.
Mr. Opoku said Ghana has devised a strategy to manage its youth very efficiently with the National Service Scheme after investing in the education of the youth through tertiary level.
He said the state benefits immensely when its youth are educated, however the burden of education must be a shared responsibility with government taken the huge responsibility.
According to Mr. Opoku, Ghana’s National Service Scheme has been successful after 41 years because government after tertiary thinks it has invested so much in the education of the youth, so it compels the youth to sacrifice towards serving the country by serving for a year.
He said the National Service Secretariat ventured into agriculture to erase the mentality that after tertiary education the youth cannot venture into agriculture, but have to search for a “White color job”.
Leader of the Namibian delegation, Mr. Charles Kabajani indicated the critical point of their visit was to learn how Ghana has been able to programmed its Youth Service and made it compulsory to the advantage of the entire country’s socio-economic development.
He said that of Namibia’s Youth service is voluntary, but have realized that the participation of the youth in national development is critical so have to learn from Ghana on how it can make the Namibia Youth Service compulsory and efficient.
Mr. Charles Kabajani said the delegation has learnt and gathered valuable lessons that would help Namibii to manage it youth service properly.
They visited Branam, where the National Service Scheme has an agriculture project to witness how it was being managed.
The Brong-Ahafo Prebytery Choirs’ Union of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has celebrated its Golden Jubilee Anniversary in Sunyani under the theme; “The Fruit of the Holy Spirit and the Believer, Music as a Tool for Evangelism in the Church”.
During the celebration, Rev. Kwadwo Owusu Sarpong, Brong-Ahafo Presbytery Chairperson commended the Choirs’ union for their remarkable achievements during the long period of existence.
According to Rev. Owusu Sarpong the role of music in the entire worship life of the church has never been in doubt; and the choirs unparalleled performance in that aspect of life and work in the Presbytery cannot be challenged.
He urged them to watch out against complacency, adding that at age fifty (50) one would ordinarily, expect the choirs to be adding to its achievements in the areas of how it organized itself, increase in membership through music evangelism, providing the avenue for music education among others.
Rev. Owusu Sarpong noted that in this era when Music directors/Choirmasters are in scarce supply, the dream of the Brong-Ahafo choirs union must take care of these important and crucial needs.
Furthermore, the Regional Presbytery chairperson said, with the dwindling membership of church choirs’ across the Presbytery, the choirs union have to mobilize and encourage many other talented members of the congregations to enroll so as to strengthen the various choirs to be able to fulfill their God-given task.
In his address read on his behalf, Brother Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah, President of the Brong-Ahafo Presbyterian church choirs union on behalf of the current executives and the entire membership of the union, paid a glowing tribute to these gallant forerunners who have blaze the trail to us to nurture the union to its present level.
He said the seed that was sown on September 12, 1964 and nurtured over the years in Sunyani has grown fully and it is the duty of all executives and members to work hard to chart a new path into the next 50 years.
According to Mr. Adu-Gyamerah, on that day, nine branches, Sunyani, Berekum, Dormaa-Ahenkro, Duayaw-Nkwanta, Bechem, Nsoatre, Wamfie, Techimantia and blaze the trail and seceded from the Asante Union even though the church had not created the Brong-Ahafo Presbytery.
“We celebrate their vision and commitment and hope that we the latter day saints will struggle as we celebrate this anniversary in order not to leave here newly-born choristers.” He said.
He noted that the major challenge of the union is the need to have more choirmasters as the union journey into the next 50 years, adding that the union has grown from the initial nine to over 50 notwithstanding the splitting of the original presbytery that formed the union.
Mr. Adu-Gyamerah noted that the establishment of a music school has long been on the agenda of the Presbytery, with some efforts been made and some workshops organized over the years to beef up the knowledge of some choristers to enable them take charge of their choirs.
Think Health, a Non-Governmental Organisation, is calling for a more coordinated, integrated and inter sectorial approach in Ghana in the fight against Hepatitis B in view of the devastating effects of the disease on the socio economic fortunes of the country.
A statement signed by the Executive Director of Think Health, Richard Kofi Boahen, further called for intensive education on the disease, especially in the media, to drum home the need for all hands to be on deck in dealing with theHepatitis B virus which, according to the WHO, is hundred times more infectious than the HIV virus.
The statement, which was issued in Sunyani, to commemorate this year’s World Hepatitis Day, appealed to the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and other stakeholders to step up their efforts at controlling the disease.
As a result of the high prevalence of the Hepatitis B in Ghana, Think Health is proposing a free Hepatitis B test in all public health facilities across the country as a way of encouraging more Ghanaians, especially the poor, to know their status as far as the disease is concerned.
This would further encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles and avoid acts that could put them at a higher risk of being infected with the disease. The results of the free test would also ensure that those who test positive would be put on treatment.
Think Healthis also of the view that government should set up a special fund to financially support organisations which are into Hepatitis B control programs in the country.
According to Think Health, Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease, adding that the virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
It continued that more than 780, 000 people die every year due to the consequences of hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is an important occupational hazard for health workers. Hepatitis B is preventable with the currently available safe and effective vaccine.
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is a major global health problem. It can cause chronic liver disease and chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
More than 240 million people have chronic (long-term) liver infections. More than
780 000 people die every year due to the acute or chronic consequences of hepatitis B.
In addition, the Hepatitis Society of Ghana also reports that out of every hundred Ghanaians, 13 may test positive for Hepatitis B, which is far more prevalent than HIV/AIDS.
The Banda District in the Brong-Ahafo region is to benefit from the first batch of the 200 Senior High Schools promised by the NDC government during the 2012 General Elections.
A sod has been cut for the construction of a twenty- four unit classroom block and auxiliary facilities at the Bandaman Senior High Technical School to improve upon accessibility and quality of education in the District.
Bandaman Senior High Technical School established twenty-three years ago through the community’s own initiative has very limited infrastructure facilities.
Speaking at a sod-cutting ceremony of the project, the deputy Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for Techiman North, Alex Kyeremeh narrated that government was committed to expanding infrastructure and increase access to secondary education.
According to him, government did not borrow money to buy sanitary pads as a major priority to be distributed as portrayed by a section of the public, but the vision of government was to ensure that every Ghanaian should have at least secondary education and students are retained in classroom without any impediments.
Mr. Alex Kyeremeh noted that students at the second cycle level are increasing at a faster rate, hence government’s decision to increase access by building two hundred schools.
The Member of Parliament for Banda and the deputy Majority Chief whip in Parliament, Ahmed Ibrahim paid a glowing tribute to the citizens of the district who had the vision to start the school.
He charged the students to eschew indiscipline and study hard to justify government’s expenditure in ensuring infrastructure and teaching and learning materials.
According to Mr. Ahmed, with determination and hard work and the level playing field, everybody can reach his or her full potential in academic that was why he uses his share of the Ghana Education Trust Fund to sponsor students in the district up with the payment of school fees to up to the tertiary level.
He appealed to the teachers to work hard to improve the performance of the school, whilst parents play their part in their wards education and not look up to government alone.
The Tuduhene of the Banda Traditional Area who represented the paramount chief Nana Kwadwo Sito II thanked government for the projects and other development initiatives in the District.
He was however quick to ask government to ensure that the main road passing through the District is tarred.
The Brong-Ahafo branch of Organized Labour has demanded an immediate downward review of prices of petroleum products and a halt to the lazy and facile reflex of simply increasing the prices of the products as the Cedi depreciates due to the mismanagement of the economy and poor fiscal policy.
These was contained in a petition given to the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, after a peaceful demonstration through the principal streets of Sunyani attended by members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), CLOSSAG, GRNA, GNAT, and Coalition of Concern Teachers (CCT) and some members of the society who feels the economic situation of the country is worsening.
Presenting the petition, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Secretary of TUC, Mr. Joseph Ankamah called on government to put immediate action to halt the depreciation of the cedi and rising cost of living.
According to Organized Labour, government must come out with policy initiative and measures to ensure the requisite infrastructure, including putting on stream the gas pipeline and efficiency the production and distribution of electricity and water, and to assure citizens against price hikes in these essential services due to the inefficiency, lack of infrastructure and the headlong depreciation of the cedi.
Mr. Ankamah on behalf of Organized Labour demanded an immediate and effective policy measures to ensure that, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) operates at full capacity, whilst concrete measures to ensure that the railway sector is revamped and the plight of the workers addressed.
He demanded action by government and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to address the challenges in the implementation of the new pension scheme, whilst an immediate stop be put to the attempt by government to impose a pension’s trust on public sector workers.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Eric Opoku received the petition on behalf of Government and assured to forward it quickly to the appropriate authority for redress, but entreated workers to collaborate with the government in resolving the issues raised.
Though the demonstration was peaceful, it was nearly mud by a pocket of incidents resulting from a misunderstanding between the leadership of Organized Labour and their membership, when the decision to present the petition was taken.
Some of the members wanted to follow their leaders with the demonstration to the Regional Coordinating Council, whilst the leaders insisted that leaders of the various unions must go to do the presentation on behalf of the members.
In an attempt to resolving the situation, some of the protestors in disagreement with their leaders started throwing stones, whilst the police in their quest to ensure peace and security fired tear gas to control the situation thereby injuring four people including a Journalist of a Berekum based Radio Station, Nana Opoku, a staff of Ghana Commercial Bank, and a hospital administrator of Owusu Memorial hospital in Sunyani.
The police also arrested four of the irate protestors who were caught through stones, but were later released.
According to the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police PRO, ASP Christopher Tawiah, a contingent of 250 police personnel were detailed to ensure safety and security for the demonstration.
Airtel Ghana has unearth budding talents to be groomed to refill the national teams in both men and women categories.
At this year’s edition of the National Airtel Rising Stars football fiesta held in Sunyani, some talented young footballers from within all the ten regions were zoned into four to compete and exhibit their talents for a technical team of coaches headed by Mr. Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie and Ibrahim Sunday to select the most talented to represent Ghana in a tournament scheduled to take place in Gabon.
During the closing ceremony of the Airtal Football Fiesta, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Justice Samuel Adjei called on the selected players to remain focus in training regularly to replenish and maintain the standard of the various national teams.
According to Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the role of sports, particularly football in ensuring unity and accelerated national development could not be underestimated; hence the need to unearth and train young people to be readily available to sustain the national teams.
He continued that aside its vital role towards international unity, sports especially football, ignites the spirit of oneness and togetherness among Ghanaians which promote peace for rapid socio-economic development.
The deputy regional minister commended Airtel Ghana for their initiative and effective collaboration with the Government and other stakeholders such as the Ghana Football Association, Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Education Service to organize such a fiesta to unearth and train young talents to fill the various national teams.
Madam Lucy Quist, Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, indicated that the 2014 edition of Airtel Rising star had about 20, 000 young people applying to participate when it was launched in May 28, 2014, which demonstrates that Ghana is blessed with many talented footballers.
She assured that as part of its social responsibility programme, Airtel Ghana would continue to partner with the GFA to promote the development of football and make significant impact in the life of the younger generation.
Madam Lucy Quist continued that the selected players will represent Ghana in the Airtel’s impending regional tournament to be held in Gabon, which in all, 17 countries are expected to participate in the tournament slated for August, and wish the Team Ghana success.
Mr George Afriyie, member of the Executive Committee of the GFA said the GFA appreciated and recognized efforts being made by Airtel Ghana to help promote and develop juvenile football in the country.
He said aside the Airtel selected team to represent Ghana in Gabon; another selected side would also represent the country in an invitation tournament in South Korea in August this year.
Mr Afriyie commended the participating teams and players, and asked those who were not selected not to lose hope, but continue to train hard as many opportunities were available for them.
The Zone four team made up of Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo emerged winners in the men category after beating by beating Zone Two, made up of Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions 3 goals to nil.
Zone ‘One’ team made up of players selected from the Greater-Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions, placed third, with a 1-0 victory over Zone ‘Three’ team, which comprised players from the Western and Central Regions.
However, in the women category, Zone One team emerged winners after beaten Zone Two by a loan goal, whilst Zone four beat Zone three to take the third position.
The call on healthcare service providers to test all suspected malaria cases using microscopes and Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) before malaria treatment has been emphasized, to help succeed in the fight against malaria.
Mr. Andrew Yilob Chireh, Brong-Ahafo Regional Coordinator of Hope For Future Generations, reiterated the call at a day’s stakeholders workshop on Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) for Malaria Diagnostic in Sunyani.
The workshop is BCC initiative for the promotion of RDTs or Microscopes for Malaria diagnosis funded by the UK Department For International Development (DFID), with the aim of reaching out to healthcare providers, and the general public with information on the correct diagnosis of malaria before treatment, in line with the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP)’s overall malaria control strategy and the National Malaria Behaviour Change Communication Strategy for Ghana.
According to Mr. Adrew Chireh, Malaria remains a serious public health problem affecting all population groups in Ghana, with children under five years and pregnant women mostly at risk in Ghana.
He disclosed that records show that between 3.1 and 3.5 million cases of clinical malaria re reported in public health facilities each year, of which 900,000 cases are in children under 5 years, whilst the Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) for 2011 also revealed that malaria prevalence among children under five stood at 27.5%.
Mr. Chireh continued that substantial evidence indicates that malaria prevention, accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria with the recommended drugs are needed to effectively control the disease.
He noted that in Ghana, malaria diagnosis is being shifted from clinical or presumptive to laboratory confirmation as the basis for treatment, which implies that in patients with suspected cases of malaria, a confirmed diagnosis is recommended before given antimalaria treatment.
The Regional Coordinator of HFFG indicated that the rationale being that treatment based on diagnosis testing is good clinical practice and has many advantages over presumptive treatment of all fever episodes.
Madam Jane Addae-Kyereme, Sunyani West District Disease Control Officer indicated that malaria continue to lead OPD cases within the district despite the numerous sensitization and public education on the prevention of malaria.
She disclosed that during the first half of the year 2014, a total of 33, 794 cases of suspected malaria was recorded, out of which 14, 313 were tested and with the number of the tested cases 9, 687 were positive malaria.
According to Madam Addae-Kyere, healthcare seekers must demand to be tested with the use of microscopes or RDTs before treatment for malaria.
She however indicated that some of the challenges facing the fight against Malaria and its effective control include most cases being treated without testing, testing with RDT Kits not properly done, poor documentation and shortage of RDT at times, as well as funds to accomplished plans.
Madam Addae-Kyereme again noted that late and inconsistency in data reporting from facilities and ineffective data reconciliation at the facility level are all a bane to the fight against malaria.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) has said that the regular intermittent power outages in parts of the country are not a load management or shedding exercise or a deliberate attempt by the authority.
It explained that the irregularities in the national power supply was due to the rampant stealing of its copper cables and appealed to the public to help arrest perpetrators, who cut the cables at night.
Briefing the newsmen on the operations of the Authority in Sunyani, Alhaji Mohammed Siam, Head of Public Relations of the VRA, however said it is imperative for all and sundry to support and protect the transmission lines “if we want to enjoy regular power and water supply”
He expressed regret that cable theft has assumed alarming proportion in the country.
Alhaji Siam explained that though the Authority had strengthened its internal security apparatus, perpetrators operated and cut the cables at night, and community members ought to serve as watch dog and help apprehend them.
He said with the support from the police and the public 30 people were arrested in the Northern Region and prosecuted.
Alhaji Siam said unpredicted natural disasters also contribute to power blackouts while sometimes faults could be traced from the source of power generation, transfer and distribution.
To improve on power reliability in the Sunyani Municipality, Mr Joshua Koranteng, Sunyani District Supervisor of the Northern Electricity Distribution Company, explained that demand for electricity had increased and the company had expand its activities to meet the demand.
He said it had improved on its capacity systems, upgraded power lines, and sub stations in the Sunyani Central Business District and replaced obsolete equipment.