The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) Ghana has bemoaned on the abuse by some employers of section 75 of the labour Act, 2003, (Act651).
Speaking at the maiden observation of the ‘World Precarious Workers Day’ in Sunyani, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Officer of ICU, Bro. Ernest Otu-Addo indicated that the abuse of Section 75 of the labour Act, 2003, (Act 651) that grants employers the privilege to engage casual and temporary workers is reaching an alarming proportion.
According to him, some employers are casualizing and/ or contractualizing a whole department or section of existing permanent workers in an organization under the guise of outsourcing with diminution in their pay, value and dignity.
He disclosed that some precarious workers have worked in some organizations continuously for ten (10) years without being confirmed as permanent workers in blatant breach of Section 75 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651).
Bro. Ernest Otu-Addo continued that by virtue their stratification as precarious workers, they are discriminated against, ostrcised from the facilities and benefits enjoyed by their permanent colleagues and denied their future security as workers.
He indicated that the Multi-national companies are also deep in the ‘sin’ of outsourcing, casualization and contractualization of labour to save cost and maximize profits at the expense of the precarious workers.
The ICU Regional Officer reiterated that the precarious workers’ rights are abused with impunity by some employers, especially Indian, Chinese and Lebanese employers, whilst a sizeable number of companies, particularly the Multi-national companies are employing new methods of outsourcing such as casualization and contractualization of labour to save cost and maximize profits.
Bro. Ernest Otu-Addo added that the permanent work is becoming slimmer as against casual and contract work which is increasingly pervasive.
He said the new forms of employment are done without adherence to the spirit and leter of casualization and contract work as spelt out in the labour Act, 2003 (Act651).
“The casual and contract workers are exploited to the extent that they are paid low wages/salaries, sometimes without medical and non-payment of social security contribution.” He stressed.
The ICU Regional Officer noted that worse of all the challenges, the fact that majority of casual and contract workers are not unionized because their employers would not allow them to exercise their rights to freedom of association.
He noted that all these are seen as nothing more nor less than exploitation of labour and it must stop forthwith.
The Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Justice Samuel Adjei has noted that the economic prosperity of rural farmers is achievable only with an effective integration and synergy between agriculture and agro based industries.
Mr. Samuel Adjei indicated that agro processing plays a strategic role in pro-poor growth strategies, particularly in developing countries where about 75% of the poor live in rural areas.
He was speaking at the launch of ‘KIDIFEED’ a product of YEDENT Agro Group of Companies in Sunyani.
According to Mr. Samuel Adjei, Agro processing is an important factor of the economy in view of its large potential for growth and socioeconomic impact on employment generation and exports, stressing that it is also one of the most important sectors contributing to the country in terms of GDP.
The deputy Regional Minister reiterates, agriculture has been considered the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy, adding that the strategic importance of the agricultural sector is a propeller of Ghana’s industrialization and overall economic development.
He said Ghana has pursued industrialization vigorously as part of her developmental plan over the years, which has given rise to a lot of commercial agriculture where agro-industries are concerned.
Mr. Samuel Adjei noted there are various multiplier effects of agro processing industry, such as spread of industrialization, improved livelihoods and nutritional supplements.
According to him, in today’s global economy characterized by fierce competition, it is becoming extremely difficult for producers of agric products to focus solely on producing primary commodities and still expect to realize a decent standard of living.
“Adding value to agric produce is a logical way to stem the decline in farm income by processing raw materials and branding them before sending them onto the market.” He advised.
Mr. Samuel Adjei called on Ghanaians to reverse dependence on exporting primary agricultural products and raw materials but rather embrace industrialization and modern agriculture.
He commended YEDENT Group of Companies for choosing to invest in Brong-Ahafo region which has given jobs to the people, especially farmers and the youth, leading to the improvement of income and poverty reduction.
Also the deputy minister acknowledged the efforts of the company for the foresight in initiating the process of introducing ‘Kidifeed’, which is fortified with essential nutrients that will help in addressing the nutritional needs of children in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of YEDENT Group of Companies, Mr. Samuel Kwame Ntim Adu indicated that statistics of malnutrition in the country is dangerous, as 32% of children in Ghana are malnourished, which makes them less productive at their adulthood.
Mr. Ntim Adu disclosed that good nutrition is the cornerstone to the development of every child, particularly at the early stages, so kidifeed has come to support deal with malnutrition in the country.
A Board member of YEDENT Group of Companies, Mrs. Nana Ama Ntim Adu disclosed that the activities of the company over the years have had positive impact to the economy of Sunyani and Ghana as a whole.
She said YEDENT has serve as a source of market to maize and soya beans farmers within Sunyani and its environs as well as other regions of the country.
Mrs. Ntim Adu added that YEDENT as a source of employment generation has help to reduce the unemployment situation in Sunyani, and has contributed in generating revenue to the country by paying its taxes.
Additionally, YEDENT’s corporate social responsibility has enjoined it to give back to society by adopting six orphanage homes in the Brong-Ahafo region and supporting them every quarterly with food and assorted drinks.
Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, founder of Breast Care International (BCI) has bemoaned on the lack of syllabus on oncology (the study on cancers) in any of the Nurses’ Training Institutions in Ghana.
She stressed lack of syllabus on oncology in the Nurses’ Training institution has become a major bane to the fight against gynecologic cancers, hence the government in collaboration with the Ministry of Health device means of inculcating the studies on cancer in the syllabus.
Dr. Wiafe Addai was speaking at a training workshop organized by Breast Care International in collaboration with Peace and Love Hospitals under the sponsorship of Roche Products Ghana for Journalists from within the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions, in Kumasi.
The purpose of the workshop was to whip the interest of Journalists and also increase their knowledge in order to improve the coverage of issues around cancers as a way of down-staging the stage at which women cancers are identified and diagnosed in Ghana.
The training focused on breast cancer and gynecologic cancers including prostate cancer, where journalists received briefing from cancer experts about the latest statistics and discuss ways in which they can broadcast and write more clearly about cancer prevention, screening, treatment and the social issues that surround cancer.
According to Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, gynecologist cancer impacts women worldwide, accounting for 19% of the 5.1million estimated new cancer cases each year, according to the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer.
“We are excited to gather the mass media in Ghana together to join the Globe-athon and raise awareness of breast and below the belt cancers, which is on the rise throughout the world” says Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai.
She continued that, educating and whipping the interest of journalist about women cancers, wass a unique opportunity to empower women to learn about breast and gynecologic cancers, speak with their doctors and get tested because with early detection and prompt action, these cancers are often treatable.
Dr. Beatrice Wife Addai emphasized that the rate at which breast and gynecologic cancers are increasing worldwide is alarming; adding that in Ghana breast and cervical cancer are the two leading causes of death among women, which works against the socioeconomic development of women, families, the society and the nation.
She said most patients with breast and gynecologic cancers usually present with advanced stage diseases, adding “a lack of awareness is a major reason for concern; many women don’t recognize the symptoms of these cancers and are diagnosed at advanced stages.”
Professor Seth Wiafe, a USA based Ghanaian lecturer at Loma Linda University who is currently in ghana conducting research on breast cancer with the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom reiterated that with access to knowledge about these diseases and with the help of the media, more women would get the right information and therefore report changes to the hospitals for proper management before it is too late.
He said the training workshop would help improve the quality of breast and gynecologic cancer service in raising awareness about modifiable cancer risks and counteracting fatalistic cancer attitudes.
A fourth year Medical student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology from Gyedu, Beatrice Obeng Konama, has received GHC15,000.00 as contribution to her under graduate studies after winning the 2014/2015 NADeF/Liebherr Excellence Scholarship Award.
The scholarship is a partnership between Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) and Libherr Mining Limited and covers academic user fees, accommodation, stipend and allowance for books, to help highly motivated, -driven and brilliant science students from the ten Newmont host communities attending various tertiary institutions, to overcome the key challenge to undergraduate studies.
The Board Chairman of NADeF, Kwame Saarah-Mensah advised her to resist peer-pressure and complacency and rather strive for excellence.
“You must study hard, knowing that the whole community looks up to your return as an excellent medical doctor” he said.
The Social Responsibility Manager of Newmont, Kojo Bedu-Addo reiterated NADeF’s commitment to improving the Human Resource base of the people of Ahafo which according to him is manifest through NADeF’s own scholarship scheme and this special partnership NADeF/Liebherr Excellence Scholarshipinitiative.
He expressed happiness at the presence of last year’s winner of the Award, Elijah Boateng a student of Mining Engineering at the University ofMines and Technology, (UMaT) who was at the event to support this years’ winner, adding that, they should serve as good ambassadors for the programme to encourage the younger generation.
The Project Manager of Liebherr Mining Limited Ahafo who represented the company, Barend Henrik Verhoef said that Liebherr is inspired to be contributing to the development of the people and called on the winner to take advantage of the opportunity given to achieve her goals.
Beatrice who also applied for last year’s award said she was happy to have won this year’s award and expressed gratitude to NADeF and Liebherr for the opportunity and promised to continue to excel in her studies in order to help her community in the future as a medical doctor.
In an effort to help address the several challenges bedeviled by Ghana’s Prisons, Jastar Motors Investments as part of its corporate social responsibility has donated assorted items worth GH₵15,000 to the Sunyani Central Prisons.
The items presented included assorted drugs, toiletries, bags of rice and sugar, sanitary pads, and boxes of washing soaps for the upkeep of the prison’s inmates.
Mr. Charles Asum, Chief Executive Officer of Jastar Motors Investment presenting the items noted that Government alone cannot shoulder the problems faced by inmates and authorities of the country’s prisons, hence benevolent individuals and organization must assist in the reformation of inmates through their corporate social responsibilities.
According to Mr. Asum, the inmates of the prisons still remain brothers and sister irrespective of their current predicament, they need physical, spiritual and material support to enable them complete their prison terms well reformed.
He further disclosed that, the services of two renowned Lawyers would be sought to assist those inmates who have been on remand for a longer time in order to review the merit of their cases for justice to be done.
Earlier, a cash donation of GH₵6, 200 was made to the Regional Fire Station in Sunyani to assist in the establishment of an IT department, where he assured the donation was not going to be a onetime incident, but on would continue if the company has the capacity.
The Second In Command at the Sunyani Central Prisons, ACP Abraham Allotey who received the items on behalf of the prison services, commended Jastar Motors Investment for the support and assured that they could be put into good use as expected.
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across Africa has been called to pressurize their respective governments to decriminalize abortion to provide access to safe and affordable abortion services to women who need it.
The call was made by the Founder/CEO of Global Media Foundation, human rights advocacy organization, Raphael Godlove Ahenu Jr. when addressing Chiefs and people of Awisa in the Wenchi Municipality at a community durbar to commemorate this year’s Global Action Day for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion.
The durbar which was sponsored by Safe Abortion Fund was attended by more than 200 people including the Chief of the Awisa, Nana Takyi Boateng.
Mr. Ahenu urged CSOs in Africa to join the “International Campaign For Women’s Rights to Safe Abortion” to help save lives of millions of women who died in the name of unsafe abortion.
According to the CEO, although Ghana’s abortion law is considered relatively liberal, the criminalization of abortion, coupled with traditional values, social perceptions and religious teachings, has created a situation where quacks and charlatans carry out abortion in clandestine and dangerous ways.
Mr. Ahenu Junior observed that over the years, Ghana’s reproductive health policy on the reduction of unsafe abortion only dwelt on the promotion of family planning, contraception and post-abortion care, not the provision of safe abortion within the confines of the law, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.
He therefore called on government to take a second look at the abortion law in the country and review it to make safe abortion more access to women.
The Chief of Awisa, Nana Takyi Boateng called on his fellow traditional leaders to promote women’s reproductive rights in the country to help reduce teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
Nana Boateng urged parents who encourage their teenage girls to go out in the evening stop the practice and rather encourage girls to concentrate on their education which will guarantee them a better future.
The September 28 Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion has its origin in Latin America and the Caribbean where women’s groups have been mobilizing around September 28 the last two decades to demand their governments to decriminalize abortion.
In 2011, Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights took September 28 to the global level in solidarity with the women’s movement in Latin America and in recognition of the fact that that access to safe and legal abortion continues being denied for too many women in too many countries.
In 2012, the Day receives a global recognition and is being collectively commemorated across the globe.
A similar durbar was organized at Droboso and Subinso Number two all in the Wenchi Municipality.
Jasta Motors and Investments limited in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) office at Nkoranza has registered 1000 people within the Nkoranza area.
The beneficiaries included orphans, widows, the less privileged in the society and the aged at a cost of GH₵10, 000.
Speaking to the Media during the registration exercise, Chief Executive Officer of Jasta Motors and Investment Limited, Mr. Charles Anum noted that the initiative forms part of the firms’ Corporate Social Responsibility of ensuring that the vulnerable and less privileged persons within the Nkoranza society receive free medical care.
Mr. Charles Asum noted this would go a long way in promoting good health and by extension, sustainable national development.
He further disclosed that Jasta Motors and Investment considers it necessary and relevant to take on such an initiative which is aimed at easing the burden the beneficiaries has to endure to acquire NHIS cards.
Mr. Asum who is also the CEO of Jerryson FM, and Nkoranza based radio station added that as corporate entity Jasta Motors and Investments has outlined several measures to help ease the suffering of the vulnerable in society.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to Moonlite News after their registration commended the CEO and management of Jasta Motors Investment for the support given them to have access to free medical care, with the hope that the company would grow to embark on more of such interventions.
The plight of the people of Dinkra in the Nkoranza North District of Brong-Ahafo in accessing healthcare delivery has been eased by the timely intervention of MTN Ghana for providing the community with a Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compound.
It is to liberate the over 5,200 people within the catchment communities of Dinkra, Kunsu, Betoda, Padol One and Two, Asugya, Benfrano and Agege who have to travel in the mercy of the deplorable road for 20kilometers before reaching the nearest health facility, Dromankese Health Centre.
Some of the Residents in their ecstasy recounted their ordeals that when patients are to be sent to Dromankese during emergencies, vehicles are normally difficult to come by and the roads from the hinterland communities are rugged and not motorable for cars.
MTN Manager for the Northern Business Sector, Mr. Samuel Sarpong during the commissioning of the CHPS compound noted that access to healthcare had been a bane to delivery of healthcare to people in rural communities.
Mr. Sarpong said there was a great disparity in healthcare delivery status between the urban and rural areas that needed to be addressed and because of this disparity there was an urgent need to pay attention to the critical needs of the communities, hence the provision of the GH¢216,000.00 CHPS Compound built by MTN Ghana Foundation for the chiefs and people of Dinkra.
The facility has an Out-Patient-Department (OPD), delivery room, consulting rooms, nurses’ station, labour ward and accommodation for the staff.
He said the facility was in line with the Foundation’s health focus area since it was committed to improving health care delivery in the communities MTN is operating and assist Ghana to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6 by 2015.
Mr. Sarpong said he was optimistic that the facility would help reduce maternal and infant mortality, provide preventive and promote such services as child welfare, ante-natal and post-natal care services, health education and counseling services.
He said since the Foundation was established in 2007, it had spent over GH¢15.5 million on community development projects in health, education and economic empowerment.
Some of the projects in the region are the construction of a 30-bed female ward for the Sene District Hospital, six-unit classrooms with office for Saunders Community School and Atuna District Assembly Community School and a three- unit classroom block for Adamsu, as well as donating neonatal incubators to Goaso Government Hospital and ventilators to the Sunyani Municipal Hospital.
The Nkoranza North District Director of Health Service, Mr. Donatus K. Achisiba, receiving the keys to the facility said it would bring relief to the people because aside patience travelling from 20kliomenters to access healthcare delivery, health personnel has to travel long distances daily to render health services.
According to Mr. Achisiba, in terms of health outcomes available records indicate that 90 per cent of still births are from these communities, a situation which showed women in labour reported late to the health facility.
He said there are 26 CHPS facilities, seven of them have permanent compounds, six have temporary compounds and the remaining 13 are in operation without compounds.
A group within the New Patriotic Party (NPP) calling itself “Alan for President 2016” has called on the National Executives Council (NEC) of the party to take the Northern Regional Chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu on, on his own account of testimony.
At a press conference held in Sunyani, the group “Alan For President 2016” indicated that the timely testimony of Mr. Bugri Naabu vindicates them on the alarm raised before, during and after the super delegates conference that there was so much intimidation and threat of act of violence from the camp of Nana Akufo Addo.
They cited that in an interview with Citi FM, Mr. Bugri Naabu admitted haven forced delegates to swear all sort of item including Bible, Quoran and Idols before the super delegates’ conference, which such kind of act is unconstitutional, undemocratic, and highly condemnable.
Spokesperson for the group, Nana Yaw Sarpong, emphasized that the act of Mr. Bugri Naabu was against the constitution under the rule and guidelines set for the 2014 presidential candidate race of the NPP.
Nana Sarpong also called on the council of elders of the NPP to call to order such individuals who are using their positions in the party to harass and intimidate others, stressing that it has happened severally and no action seems to have been taken, which could affect the trust the group have in the leadership.
The group rhetorically asked, “Why the call for all to pull out but one? Describing such act as a calculated attempt by some of the leadership to breach the NPP’s constitution.
According to “Alan for President 2016” those calling on Mr. Kyeremanteng to pull out have a hidden agenda; one of which is to make the party a laughing stock in Ghana and across the world, saying, “We in the NPP have always stated we are the front runners of the rule of law and pace setters in democracy in Africa, why then do we not practice what we preach?”
They continued that the NDC made such a mistake in 1999 when the then Vice President Professor Mills was presented to the congress of the party as presidential candidate, it made the NDC a laughing stock in Ghana, which has always been used against them as being communists and dictators.
The group alleged that those in NPP who want the other qualified round two candidates to pull out are the same persons behind the “No Nana No Vote”, adding that those persons are unpatriotic and undemocratic.
Nana Yaw Sarpong claimed that the recent happenings in the NPP compelled the “Alan For President 2016” believe that those persons fear that with the new wind of change blowing they would be affected, hence the fear of insecurity within the party by such persons.
He alleged that some of the big men have turned the NPP into a milking cow and draining it of all resources, and the fear that with the new proposal by Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng to deal directly with the polling station and not give monies and logistics to the “big men” , their days of bumper harvest would be over.
Thirty-seven opinion leaders from 21 communities in seven districts of the Brong-Ahafo region have been trained as Safe Abortion Advocates as part of the Safe Abortion Project which is being implemented by the Safe Abortion Fund (SAAF) and Global Media Foundation (GLOMeF).
Under the project, the opinion leaders are expected to engage religious and traditional leaders, Local Government Officials and their Members of Parliament on safe abortion related issues and help drum home safe abortion campaign in their communities.
They will also hold quarterly engagement meetings with Safe Abortion Service Providers on the need for them to provide friendly and quality services to those who need safe abortion related services.
In her address, the Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Board of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Esther Munufie, attributed women’s involvement in abortion to lack of access to affordable family planning services especially in remote communities.
She further mentioned restrictive abortion laws and policies, wrong use of contraceptives as well as the lack of proper counseling as some of the factors fueling unsafe abortion across the world including Ghana.
Miss Munufie, who is also a tutor at the Ntotroso Community Nursing Training School, urged the trained opinion leaders to advocate change of some negative social-cultural and religious practices that continues to beset women and increase their vulnerability.
The CEO of Global Media Foundation, Raphael Godlove Ahenu Jr. said effective advocacy programmes are needed to address the negative social-cultural practices and economic vulnerability of young women to abortion related services.