COVID-19 vaccination campaign underway

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has begun another phase of national COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country from July 3, 2024.

The Service targets to deliver at least 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines in this nationwide campaign to all persons 18 years and above, as part of periodic intensification of COVID-19 vaccination.

A statement signed by the Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said vaccination teams would be available at various hospitals, clinics and health centres to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines to the target population.

It said, the team would move from house-to-house, market centres, churches, mosques, workplaces and many others to make the vaccines readily available to all eligible persons.

The Director General said the COVID-19 vaccine was now a routine vaccine for adults and available at all vaccination centres across the country, adding that although the country had made some significant progress towards vaccinating the target population, there were still seg
ments of the population that had received only partial doses or had not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and so remained vulnerable to the disease.

He said children below 15 years of age who were not eligible for COVID-19 vaccination per the national policy also remained vulnerable and needed to be indirectly protected through the high vaccination uptake by the adult population in ensuring herd immunity.

The GHS indicated that as at 28 June 2024, a total of 29,191,110 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to the population and about 56 per cent of the targeted population had completed the primary series.

‘As the country strives to increase the population’s immunity and break transmission of the disease, within the contest of gradual increase in cases, it is imperative that all unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals prevent any potential surge in the disease incidence and associated ill health and or deaths,’ the statement said.

‘The recent increased number of COVID-19 cases
in in April and May, 2024, in Ghana is an ample evidence that the disease is not over, we are, therefore, calling on all stakeholders to support this effort by making sure that all eligible persons avail themselves to be vaccinated with the primary series and the boosters to ensure maximum protection.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana Health Service targets 500,000 doses delivery in Covid-19 vaccination

The Ghana Health Service is targeting the delivery of at least 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in a nationwide campaign from July 3, 2024.

Persons from 18 years and above will be vaccinated.

A press release signed by Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of Ghana Health Service said vaccination would be available at various hospitals, clinics and health centres.

It said the vaccination teams would also move from house to house, market centres, churches, mosques and workplaces to make vaccines available to eligible persons.

The release said Covid-19 vaccine was now a routine vaccine for adults and available at all vaccination centres across the country.

It said although the country had made some significant progress towards vaccinating the target population, there were still segments of the population that had received only partial doses or have not received any dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and so remain vulnerable to the disease.

The release said children below 15 years who were not eligible for
Covid-19 vaccination per the national policy also remained vulnerable and needed to be indirectly protected through the high vaccination uptake by the adult population (herd immunity).

‘As of 28th June 2024, a total of 29, 191,1 10 doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered to the population and about 56 per cent of the target population had completed the primary series’.

The release noted that as the country moved to increase the population immunity and break transmission of the disease, within the context of gradual increase in cases, it was imperative that all unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals were reached to prevent any potential surge in the disease incidence and associated ill health and or death.

It said in recent past (early April – May 2024) the increased number of Covid-19 cases in Ghana was an ample evidence that the disease was not over.

‘We are therefore calling on all stakeholders to support this effort by making sure that all eligible persons avail themselves to be vac
cinated with the primary series and the boosters to ensure maximum protection.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Gov’t statisticians must strive to be independent – Chief UNECA Statistician

Dr Oliver Chinganya, Director, Africa Centre for Statistics, has encouraged government statisticians to be independent in the performance of their duties.

He said though the activities of statistical organisations were funded by the State, leaders of the institutions should strive to dissociate themselves from political interests.

Speaking at the launch of Amaris Statistical and Research Institute (AmariStat) in Accra, Dr Chinganya noted that political affiliations ‘take away’ the objectivity required in the function of statisticians.

‘We should not allow ourselves to be aligned to any political connotations or appointments…What we should be striving for is to be independent as much as possible…Let’s be independent but with enough authority to be able to do our job properly,’ he stated.

AmariStat, among other objectives, seeks to offer timely technical support to National Statistical Offices in Anglophone African countries.

The Institute will also ‘help disseminate data through an open data platform, and
provide just-in-time thematic reports to inform policy decisions as needed’.

Dr Chinganya, Chief Statistician at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), stressed the importance of accurate and timely data for governments, businesses, and civil society, and urged experts to tailor information to the needs of clients.

‘…You can’t expect the Minister of Finance to read a 44-page document of tax and make a decision and go to Parliament in an hour…He is looking for a one-pager infographic, quick to make decisions and go to Parliament,’ he said.

Despite financial challenges, he advised statisticians serving in different nations to continue producing quality work for policy makers, and identify ‘trusted partners’ they could work with.

Dr Chinganya described the establishment of AmariStat as ‘a significant journey’ towards enhancing the quality and reliability of statistical systems across Anglophone African countries.

Calling for more support for statisticians, he cited lack of skilled human
resources, low appreciation of the value of statistics, poor data quality, and inadequate ICT infrastructure, as some factors affecting the implementation of statistical programmes.

The Director emphasised investment in education and continuous professional development to help build skilled workforce for statistical services.

He was confident that the Institute would serve as ‘a beacon of excellence in statistics and economic research and empower a new generation of statisticians, economists, and researchers with the skills and knowledge needed to contribute effectively to national and regional development’.

Making some proposals, Dr Chinganya tasked AmariStat to collaborate with academic and research institutions, adopt modern technology for data collection and analysis, retain talents, and advocate policies that ‘prioritise statistical capacity building’.

Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim, Government Statistician, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), highlighted some successes and strategies, and called on institut
ions to improve turnaround time between data collection and dissemination.

He recommended that National Statistical Agencies analysed issues such as poverty, agriculture, unemployment, and strive to clarify information when data was not being ‘used properly’.

Dr Emmanuel Fiadzo, Founder, AmariStat, said the Institution would live up to its mission and collaborate with relevant organisations to achieve its mandate.

The launch brought together heads of National Statistical Organisations from countries, including Gambia, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Axim holds symposium on youth empowerment

The Paramount Chief of Lower Axim Traditional Area, Awulae Attibrukusu III, has stressed the need to empower the youth in Axim in a bid to contribute their quota to the development of the community and society.

He said the youth held the key to the future and as such they needed to be well-equipped with education, knowledge, skills, discipline and traditional values.

Awulae Attibrukusu III was speaking at a Symposium on ‘Youth Empowerment’ at Axim in the Nzema-East Municipality of the Western Region.

It was initiated by the office of the Paramount Chief of Lower Axim Traditional Area and organized by ENEA Motivational Group under the theme: ‘Axim We Can.’

It was attended by school children, traditional rulers, politicians, staff at the Ghana Education Service, students, Immigration officers, Ghana Police Service, Forestry Commission, the media and a cross section of the public.

Awulae Attibrukusu III said he initiated the symposium with a heart full of hope and determination to confront the challenges fa
cing the community and to pave the way for a brighter future for the youth.

‘Today, we face significant issues: social and cultural indiscipline, economic stagnation, academic struggles, and a growing disconnect between our leadership and the youth. These challenges have cast a shadow over the potential of our community, but I firmly believe that together, we can turn this tide.’

The Paramount Chief said education was the cornerstone of development, however, the community seemed to be witnessing a decline in academic performance among the youth.

He called on the Ghana Education Service to ensure that schools were well-equipped, teachers well-trained, and students motivated and supported.

The traditional ruler urged students to embrace their education with all their might, seek knowledge, ask questions, and strive for excellence.

He reminded the youth that education was their passport to the future, and it was the most powerful weapon they could use to change the world.

Addressing Unemployment and Econom
ic Empowerment, he said the issue of unemployment among the youth was deeply troubling.

‘Our educational system must align with the job market, and we must create opportunities for our young people. Vocational training, apprenticeships, and support for entrepreneurship are crucial steps towards this goal.’

He said the traditional council was committed to working with local businesses, industries, and governmental bodies to create a vibrant job market and foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth.

The Paramount Chief encouraged the youth to think creatively, take risks, and seize the opportunities that came their way.

On Rebuilding Trust and Respect in Leadership, Awulae said respect for leadership and community values was essential for progress.

‘It is disheartening to hear that trust in our leaders is waning. As your Paramount Chief, I am committed to restoring this trust. Leadership must be transparent, accountable, and in constant dialogue with the people it serves.’

The Cath
olic Archbishop of Cape-Coast, Most Reverend Charles Palmer Buckle asked students of the town to be proud of their roots and emulate the shining examples of prominent indigenes from the town such as George Paa Grant, Dr Ephraim Amu and Dr Kwame Nkrumah from Nkroful not far away from Axim who have contributed their quota to Ghana.

He told the students and youth of the town that with zeal and determination, they would make their mark to put Axim on a higher pedestal.

Archbishop Palmer Buckle advised parents in the town to take care of their children in school and nurture them to become responsible in future.

Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Nzema-East, Mr Eric Essien said the Assembly had made plans to bring parents, teachers and the Community on board to enact a legislation to regulate the conduct of school children to stay indoors and learn at home in the evening.

He said the Assembly would continue to partner stakeholders to fashion out human-centered policies which inured to the development of studen
ts and the youth.

Mr Essien hinted that the Assembly had decided to award dedicated indigenes, who have contributed to the development of Axim and Ghana at large.

Nzema-East Municipal Director of Education, Mr Daniel Kofie Effin said youth education was a tool for improved performance and development and advised students in the town to take their studies seriously.

He said the youth needed to be empowered through quality education and skilled training and urged parents to partner school authorities to nurture and instill discipline in their children to grow into responsible adulthood.

The immediate past Municipal Chief Executive for Nzema-East, Madam Elizabeth Amoah, an indigene of Axim, advised students and youth to venture into entrepreneurship in addition to acquiring education.

She said education equipped people with knowledge and skills but one needed entrepreneurial mind to make it in life.

Madam Amoah said apart from her political and other careers, she had ventured into entrepreneurship to make
a meaningful living.

The former Vice-Chancellor of University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Sagary Nokoe also encouraged students and youth of Axim to pursue education to the highest level.

He said education provided a lot of avenues and opportunities in life and hoped the symposium would go a long way to challenge students and youth of Axim to push harder to the top in society.

Source: Ghana News Agency

African Parliamentarians meet to discuss future of agriculture development

About 20 Members of Parliament (MPs) from different African countries converged in Accra to discuss and make input towards implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in the next 10 years.

The two-day forum on the theme: ‘Envisioning MP’s Leadership in Agri-Food Transformation’, among other objectives, sought to rally the law makers to increase advocacy and help achieve the objectives of the programme in their respective countries.

CAADP is an Agenda 2063 continental initiative that aims to ‘help African countries eliminate hunger and reduce poverty by raising economic growth through agriculture-led development’.

Through the initiative, African governments agreed, among various commitments, to allocate at least 10 percent of national budgets to agriculture and rural development to ‘achieve agricultural growth rates of at least six percent per annum’.

African leaders first met in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2003, to endorse and launch the initiative. In 2014, the frontr
unners met again in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to evaluate the programme, and came up with a framework called the ‘Malabo Declaration’.

After 10 years of the Malabo Declaration, CAADP is set to enter another ten-year phase of its implementation. The meeting on Wednesday, July 3 to Thursday, July 4, 2024, was to lay the foundation for the launch of other strategies in 2025, to give a new direction to the programme.

Focusing on seven priority areas, part of the CAADP commitments include targets for ‘reducing poverty and malnutrition, increasing productivity and farm incomes, and improving the sustainability of agricultural production and use of natural resources.’

Speaking at forum, Ms Panduleni Elago, Senior CAADP Advisor, said the initiative, in the last 20 years, had ‘grown into a beacon of hope and progress’ for the Africa continent.

She stressed the importance of taking stock of the progress and challenges faced in implementing the programme, which sought to ‘revolutionise the agricultural landscape, a
nd pave the way for sustainable economic growth.’

Ms Elago explained that the discussions were to ‘strengthen mutual accountability to actions and results’ pertaining to various aspects of the CAADP commitments.

‘CAADP’s journey has been one of resilience, perseverance, and adaptation. Over the two decades, lessons were learned from the transformation of our agricultural sector through CAADP, and one of the good lessons is that of inclusivity, ensuring that no constituency is left behind,’ she noted.

Ms Elago said ‘only a handful’ of African countries had ‘managed’ to achieve various targets under CAADP.

To that end, she emphasised adherence to the aspect of the programme which required governments to allocate 10 percent of national budget to agriculture.

‘The journey of CAADP is far from over, and we must remain committed to its principles and objectives. As we stand at this juncture, we have the opportunity to set new and ambitious goals for the next chapter of CAADP,’ she noted, and stressed the advoc
acy role of Parliamentarians at the national level for CAADP.

Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, MP for Keta, speaking to Ghana News Agency, urged African countries to collaborate and increase food production on the continent.

He called for more intervention from governments in agriculture, and a conducive environment for the private sector and young people who wanted to venture into the sector.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Provide land for premix automation – minster tells Tema fishermen

Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), has reiterated a request to the leadership of the Tema Canoe Beach to provide land to facilitate the automation of pre-mix fuel distribution to fishermen.

Madam Koomson said the failure of the leadership to provide the land would force the ministry to stop supplying the Tema Canoe Basin with the pre-mix fuel.

She said this when some fishers raised concerns over the alleged unavailability of the pre-mix fuel when she visited the basin to distribute some food items to the fishers to cushion them during the close season.

She said places such as Nungua, Chorkor, Anomabo, and Elmina where automation was being used for distribution had no challenges or issues of hoarding, and artificial shortages did not exist.

‘If you won’t give me land for the automation, very soon I will also give you premix,’ she stressed.

The supply and distribution of pre-mix fuel was introduced in 1994 with the objective of powering outboard engine
s and helping artisanal fishermen increase their catch;

however, due to it being subsidised, there had been issues of artificial shortages and hoarding as people want to cash in.

To help solve this problem, the automation of the distribution process was introduced by the ministry in 2023 for the pre-mix to be provided to those who needed it for its intended purpose.

Meanwhile, Nii Adjeirteh Mator, Tema Ashaman Chief Fisherman, responding to the minister’s request, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that they located a site that would be suitable for automation, but unfortunately it belonged to a food vendor.

Nii Mator added that the leadership of the canoe beach was still looking for a good place and would ensure they got one immediately.

Source: Ghana News Agency