We need skilled health professionals to combat rising cancer cases – Sam Pyne

Mr Samuel Pyne, Mayor of Kumasi, has called for the need for the country to build a network of skilled health professionals to help in the effective management and treatment of rising cancer cases.

This, he said would help reduce mortalities in cancer cases, which was increasing at faster rate in the country.

Addressing the opening session of a three-day basic oncology training for physician assistants and nurses in Kumasi, he said health professionals must be well equipped with the needed skills, and knowledge to provide quality care to help strengthen the country’s healthcare system.

It was organized by Breast Care International (BCI) as part of efforts to broaden the skills and knowledge of the participants on the various cancer diseases, and how they could help treat and manage these diseases to reduce mortality rates in Ghana.

The training programme, which was on the theme: ‘Enhancing the Knowledge and Skills of Healthcare Professionals in the Field of Oncology,’ was sponsored by Kempisnky Hotel.

was to help bridge the knowledge gap on cancer treatment among professionals in health facilities across the country and empower them to provide the best professional care and practice in oncology.

Mr Pyne noted that the responsibility of providing health care rested on the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, adding that there was the need to work towards a future where quality cancer care would be accessible to all.

Dr Baffour Awuah, Consultant, Clinical and Radiation Oncologist, attributed the rising cases of sudden deaths in the country to the inability of many people to easily detect non-communicable diseases.

He said regular health check-ups should be the concern of everybody to help identify hidden health issues for early treatment to prevent strokes and others, which were killing many young people.

Dr Afua Commey, Head of Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), advised nurses to treat all manner of patients with respect and compassion.

Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai, Presi
dent of BCI, said the training was to create the needed awareness of cancer diseases among health professionals and provide them with the skills to treat and manage the diseases very well in their health facilities.

She said breast cancer was treatable and what was needed was for women to be aware of the disease and undertake regular check-ups and report any issues early for medical attention.

Dr Wiafe Addai said among the areas that would be looked at during the training were Prostate Cancer, Oncoganaecology, Radiotherapy Oncology, Cervical cancer, Counselling, Breast cancer and other virtual training from California and other developed countries.

She said other diseases that affected cancer patients would also be tackled, adding that the training would give the participants knowledge and skills on the various stages of cancer diagnosis and when necessary to make referrals.

She said the training when done consistently and replicated in the other regions, would help in the early stage diagnosis, which was
the key to cancer treatment.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Journalists urged to prioritise conversation around climate change to mitigate impact

Experts in climate change and the agriculture value chain have urged Ghanaian journalists to as a matter of urgency prioritise and increase conversations around climate change to help mitigate its impact on vulnerable communities and strengthen food systems.

According to them, threats of climate change were real and becoming more pronounced as temperatures continued to rise, leading to prolonged drought while erratic and poor rainfall distribution were being recorded each year, thereby, adversely affecting agriculture production, food security, and systems and many sectors of economies.

They, therefore, urged the media to play a critical role in influencing policy direction that would help farmers adapt to the changing climate as well as help them especially smallholder farmers to adopt climate-smart activities to increase food yields while preserving the natural resources.

The experts, Professor David Millar, President of the Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies, Professor Albert
Luguterah, Vice Chancellor of C.K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Mr Roy Ayariga, Chief Executive Officer of Green Planet Consult and Mr Yunus Abdulai, Country Lead, Feed the Future Policy Link Activity made these observations at a public lecture in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

The theme; ‘The effects of climate change on agriculture in Ghana: the case of Upper East Region,’ the lecture was organised by the Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with Feed the Future USAID/Policy Link.

The occasion was also used to launch the third edition of the regional GJA awards.

Professor Millar indicated that vulnerable communities particularly those in Northern Ghana continued to suffer the brunt of climate change impacts although they contribute little to the phenomenon, however, these vulnerable smallholder farmers over the years have not benefitted from climate financing.

He said apart from educating farmers to adapt to emerging technol
ogies that help mitigate the impact of climate change, especially on agriculture, there was a need for the media to work with stakeholders to monitor climate financing and advocate its decentralisation to farmers.

‘The money keeps coming and keeps disappearing, so, we want the media to monitor to find out when we are getting our share of the climate financing and ensure accountability and inform us accordingly,’ he said.

Professor Luguterah noted that climate change was real, and it was affecting every aspect of the economy and underscored the need for journalists especially those who were working in Northern Ghana to lead the fight.

Mr Ayariga, who gave the lecture, noted that human activities such as deforestation, bush burning, illegal mining, poor farming practices and charcoal burning among others were major contributors to climate change leading to multifaceted challenges such as erratic rainfall and prolonged drought.

He said apart from intensifying education on environmental protection by helping
communities to adopt alternative livelihood interventions, farmers should be assisted with early maturing and drought-resistant crops to adapt to the changing climate.

Feed the Future Ghana USAID/Policy Link Country Lead noted that climate change was part of life of the people, affecting agriculture, health and water among others, threatening the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and noted that his outfit had been working with stakeholders in Ghana to support policies that transform the agriculture sector and improve food security and called on the media to support the drive.

Mr William Jalulah, Regional Chairman, GJA, said the Upper East Region due to its closeness to the Sahel Region was experiencing more of the climate crisis and admonished journalists to develop an interest in climate change reporting and help contribute to helping farmers mitigate the impact on production.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Revealing whistle-blowers bread police-community mistrust – Chief

Naa Wasa Roger Yirzagla, the Chief of Chetu community in the Sissala West District, says the action of some personnel of the Ghana Police Service in revealing of the identities of whistle-blowers is breeding mistrust between the police and community members.

He said the police ought to desist from that act if it would build trust with the community members in the fight against crime in society.

Naa Yirzagla said this at Fielimuo in the Sissala West District during a dialogue between the Ghana Police Service in the district and the community members to enhance their collaboration in promoting peace in the area.

The dialogue was organised by the Sissala West District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) under the ‘Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism action in the Northern Regions of Ghana’ project funded by the European Union.

Traditional leaders and elders, assembly members, unit committee members, women leaders, religious leaders, youth representatives and members of t
he community attended the dialogue facilitated by the Ghana Police Service.

Naa Yirzagla urged the police ‘to immediately put a stop to the practice of revealing the identity of people who volunteer information on criminal issues happening in the community especially those committed by wealthy individuals in the community.’

He also appealed to the police to desist from what he described as ‘unnecessary harassment and extortion of monies from business people in the name of enforcing the law on wearing of crash helmets by motor riders.

Naa Abu Nuri, the Upper West Regional Programmes Officer of the NCCE, said the activity was aimed at improving police-community relations and building confidence for collaboration in promoting peace.

He added that it was to create a platform for the police and the communities to interact to defuse suspicion and build trust needed for effective law enforcement and community safety.

Mr Mustapha Iddrisu, the Sissala West District Director of the NCCE, stressed the importance of
community resilience and joint efforts in preventing violent extremism.

He emphasised that building trust and understanding between security agencies and community members was necessary for building resilience against that phenomenon and said the dialogue session formed a significant step towards achieving that.

‘It is a platform for open and constructive conversations between the police and community members towards deepening understanding, fostering collaboration, and developing proactive strategies to promote peace and security’, Mr Iddrisu explained.

He urged community members to exhibit shared determination to civic responsibility and dedication to community welfare to safeguard the peace and security of the country.

On his part, Mr Kobzie Abdul-Kayum, the Assembly Member for Filemuo Electoral Area, appealed to the District Police Command to increase its personnel in Fielmuo to enhance police visibility in the area.

He noted that as a border community, Fielmuo had many unapproved roots to Burkina Fa
so and needed more police officers to man those borders.

The discussions at the dialogue centered on issues, including local factors contributing to vulnerability to extremism and the role of the police and communities in preventing violent extremism in the area among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency

SSNIT Hotel Sale: Rock City Hotel withdraws bid

Rock City Hotel, the highest bidder for the six Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) hotels, says it will not proceed with the transaction.

The Company in a letter dated July 12, 2024, and addressed to the Director General of SSNIT, said the decision to withdraw the bid was due to stakeholder concerns over the sale of the hotels.

It said ‘negative’ public commentary about the transaction indicated that SSNIT did not ‘engage stakeholders enough’ on the decision to sell its 60 percent stake in the six hotels.

‘At all material times, we believed that we had participated in an internationally competitive bid and we were happy to have learned of our success, having edged out the 15 other organisations in the process.

‘It, therefore, came as a surprise to us that some of your stakeholders have raised concerns about your decision to seek a strategic partner for these hotels.

‘Following for the commentary monitored…We believe that such negativity is not only injurious to our brand but also jeopar
dises the success of the investment we intend to make in these hotels,’ Rock City said in the letter.

Rock City also gave consent to SSNIT to publish ‘all or parts’ of the bid documents for public scrutiny, ‘in the interest of accountability and transparency when it becomes necessary’.

The hotels in which SSNIT is offloading its assets are the Labadi Beach Hotel, La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Ridge Royal Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, Trust Lodge and Elmina Beach Resort.

The National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) had previously asked SSNIT to suspend its negotiations with Rock City, pending further evaluation and engagement.

At a press conference in Accra, last Monday, Mr Kofi Osafo-Maafo, Director General (SSNIT), said the decision to sell the Trust’s sixty percent stake in the hotels was to ‘improve profitability’ and ensure that the SSNIT scheme was sustained in the long-term.

He explained, among other things, that the move was ‘consistent’ with the strategy and investment policy of the Trust.

In the
wake of public concerns, SSNIT said discussions regarding the sale of the hotels began in 2018, with the bidding and evaluation processes gone through ‘transparent and lengthy processes’, stressing that the Trust was engaging stakeholders on various negotiations regarding the sale of the hotels.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GJA urged to establish mid-career training centre

Professor Kwame Karikari, Communications Lecturer and Media Freedom Advocate, has called on the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to consider establishing a mid-career training centre for practising professionals to help promote professional standards in the future.

He said the Institute would work to upgrade the knowledge and skills of middle to upper-level editorial management personnel.

Prof Karikari, delivering a lecture in Ho as part of the 75th GJA Anniversary Public Lecture series, noted that the Institute would also organise periodic sessions for the exchange of experiences, ideas and seminars for the introduction of new ideas, skills and technologies.

He said the GJA’s work in policy advocacy appeared rather ad-hoc and spontaneous, adding that it tended to be reactive to events and developments which needed to be improved.

Prof Karikari said it could be improved by setting up units or departments headed or run by persons with appropriate professional’ backgrounds and capacities to promote its i
ntervention or participation in policy decision-making.

He said the Association also needed to strengthen the structures of the organisation, adding that from the outside, the GJA’s structures for promoting the welfare and professional interest of members of the profession appeared ‘non-existent or at best, weak.’

Prof Karikari said the Association’s day-to-day administration of people and things had been devoid of professional personnel for a considerable time.

He said considering how rapidly and complex media were developing, GJA might consider establishing structures or units staffed by full-time professionals who led programmes for the provision of a variety of services to members, including legal, welfare, labour rights, improvement in wage skills and professional counselling.

Prof Karikari called on the GJA to strengthen its activities and be more vocal in protecting members’ rights and security including finding the means to promote legal defence of members facing the law for defensible acts.

He s
aid the Association could seek cooperation with existing press freedom advocacy organisations with the expertise and experience such as the Media Foundation for West Africa.

The lecture was on the theme: ’75 Years of Excellence in Journalism: Shaping the Future’.

Dr Akofa Segbefia, a Media Consultant, implored every journalist to register as a member of the GJA, adding that ‘let no journalist see themselves as bigger than our professional body’.

He said journalists must be bold to speak truth to power, be bold and fearless in the pursuit of truth, equity and justice in the discharge of their professional duty.

‘But I caution that being bold and fearless should not make the journalist reckless. First be sure that what you want to put out there is newsworthy, true and in the public interest.’

Dr Segbefia said in an election year, it was likely that politicians would want to use journalists to prosecute their political agenda, but journalists must preserve their integrity and image by always being professio

He said he supported calls for a review of the composition of the National Media Commission to make it more responsive to the needs of the time.

Dr Segbefia noted that the dynamics of the media space had changed substantially and that called for the Commission to work full time in addressing the expanding media focus to achieve optimal results.

He advised young compatriots desirous of becoming journalists to imbibe the maxim that ‘you can only give what you have’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Homowo clean-up: All shops must remain closed from 0600 hours to 12 noon – AMA

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has directed that all shops and markets in the Central Business District are to remain closed from 0600 hours to 12 noon on Saturday, July 13, 2024, to make way for the Homowo clean-up exercise in the area.

‘Within the AMA, all shops and businesses in and around Makola, Okaishie, Kantamanto, Rawlings Park, CMB, as well as Korle Gonno and Korle Bu are required to remain closed on Saturday for the exercise.’

The clean-up, which is dubbed: ‘Homowo Clean-up Campaign’ was initiated by the Ga Traditional Council, led by the Ga Mantse, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II.

It is being organised in collaboration with the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development, the Ministry of Interior, Local Government Authorities, and the Zoomlion Ghana Limited.

Mr Gilbert Nii Ankrah, the Head of the Public Affairs of the AMA reiterated the closure of the shops in an intervie
w with the media at a clean-up exercise at Avenor and the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange enclave in Accra.

He said so far, Sempe, Gbese, Abola, Asere, Dogo Beach, Otublohum, Akumanjen, Ngleshie, and June 4th Market, had been cleaned, adding that sustaining the cleanliness would depend mainly on residents.

He said the clean-up exercise was aimed at enhancing environmental cleanliness across the city and transforming Accra into one of the cleanest cities in Africa.

Mr Ankrah mentioned that businesses exempted from the closure were pharmaceutical and health facilities, as well as financial institutions, stressing that this was to ensure the safety and efficiency of the clean-up activities and facilitate the full participation of all stakeholders.

He called on residents, departments, agencies, corporate organisations, businesses, market leaders, transport unions, opinion leaders, teachers, and students within the jurisdiction to come out in their numbers with their tools to clean the area in compliance with the AM
A Sanitation, Cleaning, and Communal Labour Bylaws 2017.

He pointed out that the exercise would be strictly enforced by the Environmental Health Officers, and residents who failed to partake would be sanctioned in accordance with the bylaws.

Source: Ghana News Agency