Four robbers sentenced to 16 years in prison

The Gbetsile Circuit Court has sentenced four robbers, Richard Dzikum, Prosper Ahiadorme, Zorh Believe, and Frank Galley, to 16 years imprisonment each for engaging in robbery.

The court, presided over by Ms. Eleanor Kakra Banes Botchway, sentenced them after a full trial on two counts of conspiracy to commit crime and robbery.

The four, aged between 25 and 40, were sentenced to 10 years and 16 years, respectively, for counts one and two, which are to run concurrently.

Inspector Maxwell Ayeh, prosecuting, told the court that the complainant, David Liu, is a Chinese national and a sales manager of HDS Quarry Company Limited, Shai-Hills.

Inspector Ayeh stated that on December 19, 2020, at about 19:30 hours, the accused persons, together with the other four accomplices now at large, contacted one another on the phone, organised and armed themselves with guns and sticks, covered their faces with pieces of clothing, and met in the bush about 500 metres from HDS Quarry.

The court heard that they stormed the qu
arry’s yard and took hostage Mr. Brown Amponsah, Ms. Cassandra Amponsah, and Mr. Li Cai, respectively, security man, cook, and cashier of the company.

At gunpoint, the accused persons matched the cashier to the sales officer’s office and asked him where the money was kept.

The Cashier pointed at a desk drawer in the office, and they removed an amount of Gh?55,000.00 from it, some sales documents, a key to the sales office, one USB drive, and four assorted mobile phones, all valued at GHS2,715.00, before matching him to the manager’s office.

The facts stated that the accused persons, before bolting, also took an amount of GHS110,000.00 from a steel safe at the manager’s office, which they ordered the cashier to open.

On December 8, 2023, at about 20:00 hours, information was received from the Police Intelligence Department Headquarters, Accra, that the suspects involved in the robbery at HDS in the year 2020 had been apprehended.

It added that the accused persons who were brought to Afienya Police Station

On December 9, 2023, for further investigation, she admitted having robbed the HDS Quarry with four accomplices, including one Seidu Abubakari, who is currently on remand in Ho prisons on the charge of robbery and murder.

The facts added that investigations revealed that after the robbery, the accused persons shared the booty, and each of them had GHS 15,000.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Youths urged to shun social vices and embrace productivity

Togbe Dzogolo Atiamoah II, the Dufia of Mafi Dzogolokope and its allied towns in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region, has admonished the youth to avoid social vices and channel their energy into productive endeavours.

This followed Togbui Dzogolo’s concern about the alarming rate of drug abuse and other destructive behaviours among the youths in the district.

He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) about the importance of prioritizing the well-being and prospects of the youths since they would become the leaders of the country in years to come.

He lamented how many young people were engaging themselves into smoking marijuana, and sniffing unhealthy substances, which deteriorates their health.

The Dufia encouraged the youth to engage themselves in activities that promoted their personal growth, learning, and community development.

Togbe pledged his commitment to the well-being and success of the youth in the district and called on all relevant stakeholders to join forces to ensure that the future o
f the young people was protected.

Togbui Dzogolo called on individuals and corporate Ghana to support the youths in diverse ways to unearth their potential.

He encouraged the youth to make positive choices and strive for a brighter future.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government urged to deal with triple burden diseases

Professor Kwesi Torpey, Dean of the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana, Legon, has called on the government to be strategic in dealing with the triple burden of diseases which is currently plaguing the country.

This, he argued were the challenge communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the emerging infectious diseases, posing a significant threat to the health system.

Prof. Torpey was speaking at the 30th anniversary celebration of the school at Legon in Accra.

The year-long celebration is on the theme, ‘Three Decades of Public Health Education, Research, and Community Service: Strengthening the Global health System.’

Activities planned for the celebration are Health Walk, Fundraising, Alumni home-coming, Awards Night, Lecture/Webinar, Fundraising and Thanksgiving Service.

Prof. Torpey said while attention was being focused on health infrastructure, greater efforts needed to be channeled at equipping the citizenry to adopt positive health, seek behaviour to reduce morta
lity rate in the country.

He said although incidences of communicable and infectious diseases were on the increase, NCDs were claiming more lives in the country and must be prioritized.

Prof. Torpey advised the public to eat healthy food and exercise regularly as a means of building a healthier population and supporting the healthcare system to achieve its goals.

Prof. Isabella Quakyi, a former Dean of the school, said the school was mission-driven and that the achievements of the past would be consolidated while strategic plans were made for its future developments.

She said the school had not relented on research work as it had embarked on numerous research collaborations with local and international institutions, some of which had supported the school to expand infrastructure and diversify it training programmes and modules.

‘The school had developed new course modules to reflect the current orientation and departmental course objectives,’ Prof. Quakyi added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

ARHR/Partners, share key information for effective female participation in PHC services

The Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) and its Partners are working on an initiative to promote gender-equitable and intersectional approaches to policy implementation, programming, review, and accountability in Ghana.

This is to promote a better understanding of the situation of women and girls within the Public Health Care (PHC) system, beyond the data and assumption that there would be equitable access to institutional provisions and essential services for all sections of the population, including vulnerable group.

Ms Vicky T. Okine, the Executive Director for ARHR, said the initiative, supported by an entity called Co-Impact, had prioritised the areas for further action at the community, local and national levels, as part of the Alliance’s two-year agenda on putting women and girls at the centre of the country’s PHC system.

Its focus included policy implementation, building the capacities of frontline health care workers, ensuring that feedback mechanisms and accountability were accessible
to women and girls; empowering them to feel able to increase their participation in decision making around PHC, since the system offered them several opportunities to do so.

In view of this, the ARHR has recently undertaken two studies related to gender and intersectionality, as well as power and political economy issues.

At a stakeholder validation workshop on ‘Exploring Gender, Intersectionality, and Power in PHC in Ghana,’ Ms Okine said the emerging research findings and proposals would offer participants from academia, civil society, health professionals among other parties in the health sector, an opportunity to review the key issues related to gender, intersectionality, inclusion and responsiveness of heath care and essential services to persons with multiple vulnerabilities.

The study among others, explored what implications power, its location and exercise had on PHC delivery including women’s and girls’ access to these services and the knowledge shared would provide key information for in-depth di
scussions by the participants for onward application within their varied contexts.

Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, the ARHR Advisory Board Chair, who moderated the session said Ghana’s choice of PHC as a strategy for prosecuting the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda, required greater attention to ensure that people realised their health rights to access available services for improved health outcomes.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) had initiated several important interventions including the 2030 UHC agenda and embarked on the Network of Practice Framework, to ensure that various parties worked together at the sub-national and national levels for people to receive the health services they needed.

‘We appreciate what is in there for women by way of their Maternal and Reproductive Health (M and RH) services and the fact that the Ministry has just reviewed its Gender Policy and brought it up with current development in the country,’ she said.

However, the ARHR perceived PHC beyond M
and RH service, with dimensions that were promotive, preventive, and rehabilitative; involved several players and institutions aside those within the health sector due to government’s collaboration with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other players working within the system.

‘So, if we want to put women and girls at the centre, we must know where they are, their concerns and what is required,’ Dr Ofei-Aboagye said.

She explained that the women and girls in this context were not a homogeneous group, but varied in terms of age, economic activity, status, education and geographical locations among others, raising the notion of intersectionality and the differences in vulnerabilities, all of which come into play to impact on the ability of women and girls to access their health care needs.

‘Maybe the needs of an older woman living in a remote village who has suffered from various health challenges including fistula, will definitely not be the same as her younger counterpart in an urban area who is highl
y educated,’ she said.

She said the Alliance sought to unpack all these things, to make Ghana’s health systems and policies more sensitive.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General, GHS, said the concerns raised by the ARHR and its partners were of critical interest to the Service and health sector, particularly, the issue of power, where it was located, who was exercising it, and its effect on the service delivery, were key for better health outcomes.

He said, ‘We can put in the services and have the policies, but what happens in practice must be known.’

He said Ghana’s health sector compared to others in Africa, may seem to be doing relatively well with its 49 per cent coverage of UHC as of 2022, it was dangerous for any attempt to fall asleep with barely six years to reach the 2030 target, because the country had 51 per cent more to achieve.

He urged the participants to effectively engage on the study findings to fine-tune their proposals to inform health sector policy decisions.

There were thre
e study presentations by researchers from the University of Ghana (UG), Legon and ARHR involving topics on the: ‘Context of Institutional Arrangements and Relationships for PHC Delivery in Ghana,’ ‘Power and Political Economy analyses of PHC-related services and supply-side barriers to accessing these facilities,’ and ‘Gender sensitivity and intersectionality in PHC and related services in Ghana’.

Mr Benjamin Oppong-Twumasi, ARHR, considered what pertained on the ground in terms of the institutions, players, as well as issues of financing and the constraints.

The key findings and recommendations included improving financing for PHC, ensuring fair distribution of healthcare professionals, and empowering women and girls to participate in practices such as Community Health Management Committees.

Professor Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah, UG, also looked at the power and political economy of PHC-related services, drawing attention to the diverse sources of power flow, from national and sub-national levels, and considere
d how this influenced policy making or issues getting onto the agenda of policy makers.

He cited countries like Rwanda which had succeeded in having a coincidence of views and interests, enabling it to push through some of the reforms they wanted and drew some lessons for Ghana.

Prof. John K. Ganle, leading another research team from the UG, said Gender and Intersectionality were factors that impacted on both women and girls as well as men and boys differently, rather than an individualistic thing, but it must be looked at in terms of relationships, being relational at the family level, service delivery, institutional levels, and in the wider context.

Prof. Gale said both studies therefore indicated that at the household and community levels there were gender and power issues, and with these learnings the Alliance was going to apply them further to the Ghanaian context, unpack the issues and see how best to intervene.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Fourteen drug addicts voluntarily offered themselves for rehabilitation after counselling

About 14 drug addicts in Ahinsan and its environs in the Asokwa Municipality, have offered to undergo rehabilitation after receiving counselling from officials of the Narcotics Control Commission.

According to some of them, they had been rejected by their families and friends as a result of drugs and it was time they gave up drugs and undergo the processes to reintegrate themselves in their communities and live a normal life.

The Ashanti Regional Office of the Narcotics Control Commission in collaboration with FRHAH Rehabilitation Centre in Kumasi, on Wednesday July 10, 2024, visited some ‘ghettos’ at Ahinsan, where the addicts stayed and offered free counseling section for them.

The two-hour counseling was enough to convince about 14 of the persons suffering from substance use disorders to agree to be taken to the rehabilitation home for treatment and care.

Mr Samuel Yeboah, Ashanti Regional Commander of Narcotics Control Commission, speaking to the Ghana News Agency after the exercise, said it was the d
uty of the Commission to regularly visit people suffering from substance abuse and drug related challenges and give them counselling.

According to him, it had been a routine operation of the Commission to give these persons information and counselling sessions aimed at changing the lifestyle of drug addicts.

He said in 2021 and 2023, the Commission was able to convince few of them and they were currently doing well at various rehabilitation centres.

The difficulty, he said, had been how to integrate them into their families after their discharge from the rehabilitation centres.

Mr Ken Hammond, Manager of the FRHAH Rehabilitation Centre, said it was the duty of all meaning citizens to help and ensure that drug addicts were rehabilitated and integrated fully into society.

He said currently the Centre had over 100 inmates undergoing rehabilitation and called on philanthropists and benevolent organizations to support it work in catering for them.

The Commission made some donations to support the rehabilitat
ion centre by providing them with toiletries, bags of rice, water, and other assorted items.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Okrakwajo youth plant 150 trees in support of green Ghana

More than 150 Cedrela, mahogany, and prekese seedlings have been planted by the youth of Okrakwajo in the Okere North District, led by Mr Samuel Obiri, a former Assembly Member.

The gesture forms part of efforts to complement the government’s Green Ghana project targeting 10 million trees for 2024, unveiled by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, he said the community had set aside a communal labour day every Friday to involve community members in the exercise and to help maintain the trees.

He condemned the illegal felling of trees that had become a common thing in the community and warned the youth against the menace.

Mr Obiri said championing development in the area was his major concern and called on the youth to rally behind him to enable him to fulfil his obligations to society and cautioned inhabitants to adhere to rules and regulations put in place by traditional authorities by attending important gatherings and participating in communal

He outlined some developmental projects executed under his tenure in office, which include the provision of teachers’ bungalows, three-unit classroom blocks, and an astroturf.

Also, he said over 50 youths were employed to cultivate oil palm through the Okere North District Assembly.

Mr Ofori, therefore, urged the youth in the area to be committed to managing, protecting, and nurturing the trees until they reach maturity, and to desist from immoral activities that could damage their future.

Source: Ghana News Agency