Unsafe abortion continue to harm maternal mortality in Accra

Haemorrhage, hypertension and unsafe abortion seem to be running through all the causes of maternal mortality in the major hospitals in the Greater Accra Region.

Other causes such as Sepsis, Ruptured Uterus and Sickle Cell related diseases also contribute to the high causes of maternal deaths.

These came out in the annual reports of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ridge Hospital, Tema General Hospital and the La General Hospital, at the opening of a four-day Greater Accra Region Review of 2009 Health Sector Performance in Accra.

Korle Bu Teaching Hospital last year recorded 10,673 maternal cases with 86 deaths out of which 18 were due to haemorrhage and 15 were induced abortion. Hypertensive-related cases accounted for 15 deaths, five were for Sepsis, five for ruptured uterus and 10 for sickle cell cases.

Dr Nelson Damale, a Consultant at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Korle Bu, said almost half of the deaths occurred within the first 48 hours of arrival, with the age ranging from 25 to 30 years.

He explained that most of the cases were referred cases and the late arrival contributed to the early deaths soon after admission.

Dr Damale complained about the referral system and the processes and called for a better system that will incorporate feedback system.

“We should find a means of communicating with the Greater Accra Region, our main referral source, influence resuscitation before transfer of these cases to Korle-Bu and, if we can, detect hypertensive disorders early to avoid several deaths.”

Dr Emmanuel K. Srofenyoh, head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Ridge Hospital, said it recorded a decline in maternal deaths for three continuous years and that showed a sign of improvement in their health delivery.

Ridge hospital in 2007 recorded 30 deaths out of 6,049 deliveries, 29 deaths out of 7,465 deliveries in 2008 and 26 deaths out of 2,825 deliveries in 2009.

It also recorded 216 HIV positive mother deliveries with one death and 199 deliveries in 2009 with three deaths.

Dr Srofenyo complained of shortage of all categories of staff: orderlies, health aides, midwives, doctors and specialists as well as shortage of blood products.

Issues of laboratory support, he said, were generally weak, he said, adding that the theatre “is too distant from the labour ward and antenatal area is a corridor which is too congested and stuffy”.

He said, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on health, there was the need to act now to address these pertinent issues.

Dr Irene Agyapong-Amarteyfio of the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) commended the region for the progress made as compared to that of last year and urged them to keep up the good work, and be more innovative with public health programmes.

She said the region should also endeavour to continue efforts to improve primary and referral clinical care and Emergency and Obstetric Care (EOC).

Causes of neonatal deaths were attributed to sepsis and birth asphyxia.

Dr Agyapong-Amarteyfio expressed concern about the inadequate human and other resources, and said the region would be investigating the issue of the withdrawal of the workers, who were assisting the hospitals under the National Youth Employment Programme.

“These people were contributing immensely to improved maternal care and delivery and we should not allow them to be taken away,” she added.

Source: GNA

Millennium Development Authority to fully exhaust in five years – CEO


The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) is on course to fully exhaust the entire programme budget of 547 million dollars within the five-year period, the Authority said in a statement on Monday.

Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, said the authority had at the end of 2009, committed 67 per cent of Compact Funds (367 million dollars) and re-disbursed 23 per cent (127 million dollar) through the Bank of Ghana.

Mr Eson-Benjamin was speaking at a press soiree organised to mark the third anniversary of MiDA and the entry into force of the Millennium Challenge Compact, Ghana programme in Accra.

He gave an update on the status of the programme under the three thematic areas – agricultural productivity and value-added development project (six projects); transformation infrastructure development project (three projects) and rural services development project (three project activities).

Mr Eson-Benjamin revealed that 47,000 farmers had received free technical and business skills training and inputs as “starter packs”.

He enumerated several other initiatives in irrigation development and land tenure facilitation that were transforming the face of agriculture in the intervention zones in the Northern Region, the Afram Basin and the beneficiary districts in the Central, Eastern, Greater Accra and the Volta Regions.

Mr Eson-Benjamin also spoke about the progress of work on a number of sub-projects under the transportation project, such as 14.1 km N1 Highway – Tetteh Quarshie-Mallam Highway – and other trunk and feeder roads in all the intervention zones, ferries, ferry terminals and the rehabilitation of the floating dock at Akosombo.

On the rural services development leg of the programme, Mr Eson-Benjamin spoke about the building and rehabilitation of schools, provision of water and the construction of 230 kms of power lines to connect several rural communities.

The statement said under this component, MiDA was assisting several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to build their capacity to provide more efficient services.

One key project under the component is that of the financial services, which involves collaboration with the Bank of Ghana, the ARB Apex Bank and 121 rural banks to extend the depth and value of financial services to rural Ghana.

Source: GNA


Ghana Tourist Board urged to add other tourism activities during paragliding festival

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has called on the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) to include other tourism activities in the Kwahu area during the paragliding festival.

He explained that, such a move would expand the festival to cover the whole of the Kwahu ridge and help improve upon the standard of living of the people.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo gave the advice when a delegation of the GTB, led by its Chief Executive, Mr Julius Debrah, paid a courtesy call on him in Koforidua at the weekend, to brief him on the plans and programmes for this year’s paragliding festival.

He said the highest habitable place in Ghana is cited in the Kwahu area, “that is the Ramseyer Centre at Abetifi within the Presbyterian Church yard”, which could serve as an interesting place for people, who are religiously inclined.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said there are beautiful houses in the area, which were not being used and the GTB could negotiate with the owners to rent it out during the peak of the festival.

He was happy that the paragliding festival was named after Ferdinand Ayim, to assure the youth of the country that when they give off their best for the country, they would be recognized.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo called on Kwahu citizens to partner the government to develop the tourism potentials in the Kwahu area.

Source: GNA

MTN introduces electronic self service

Ghana‘s number one telecommunications service provider, MTN, on Monday introduced a new Electronic Self service platform dubbed “E-self Care” onto the Ghanaian telecommunications market.

This forms part of new, exciting and innovative telecommunication products and services it plans to roll out for the convenience of subscribers.

The company said in a statement issued in Accra that E-self care offered MTN’s Pay Monthly customers (Corporate and Individuals) and Pay As You Go customers the convenience of managing their accounts online without necessarily resorting to MTN service centers or calling 111 for help.

“The service allows MTN customers to effectively manage their Family & Friends numbers, reserve numbers, recharge for themselves and/or others and correct over scratch cases.

“Customers can also add and/or remove services attached to their MTN numbers online.”

MTN said pay monthly customers could an in addition to the above, check, download and pay their bills online using regular recharge cards.

“MTN E-self-care therefore gives MTN’s valued customers the opportunity to take control of their lives by giving them the flexibility to manage their own accounts anytime and everywhere they go. ”

Last year, MTN launched a number of very successful initiatives, including Mobile Money, 3.5 G, DSTV Mobile, MTN Loaded and MTN in-flight roaming service on Emirates airlines.

Mr George Andah, Chief Marketing Officer of MTN, said: “MTN is poised to sustain our leadership in Ghana with innovative products and services because we understand exactly what the needs of our valued subscribers are and this drives us to deliver the best connection/clearest voice calls; fastest internet speed/widest 3G coverage with best value, widest coverage and the biggest family”.

He expressed appreciation to  Ghanaians especially MTN customers and partners for their outstanding support and loyalty which had made MTN  the number one brand in the telecoms industry in Ghana and promised that the company would continue to seek unique offerings  for their convenience and pleasure.

“With the new E-self Care, MTN customers are assured a hassle free, easy and fast process of managing their accounts from the comfort of their homes, offices or anywhere at any time as long as they have internet access thus saving time for other activities,” the statement said.

Source: GNA


Ghana stocks in marginal gain

Marginal gains in the share prices of Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) and Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL) on Monday maintained the steady momentum of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) this year.

The GSE All-Share Index opened the week up by 4.34 points at 5,643.71 points from Friday’s close of 5,639.37 points.

Change for the year is 1.28 per cent.

On the broader market, there were three price movements, two up and one down.

Ghana Commercial Bank was GH¢0.01 better at GH¢0.80 while GGBL was also GH¢0.01 better at GH¢1.35. Mechanical Lloyd Ghana Limited lost GH¢0.02 at GH¢0.18.

Traded volumes opened the week at 3,693,092 shares with Ecobank Transnational Inc. selling 3,308,400 shares. This is up from Friday’s close of 719,604 shares.

Market capitalisation closed the session up at GH¢16,000.07 million from GH¢15,996.77 million on Friday.

Source: GNA

All Nation’s University to start course in oil and gas

The All Nations University College in Koforidua will roll out an Oil and Gas Engineering programme in six months.

The President of the University, Dr Samuel Donkor made this known in Koforidua, when he conducted media personnel round the new site of the University on the Akwadum Road at the weekend.

The university is constructing a GHc 2.1 million building to be used for the programme, which comprise lecture theatres and workshops.

The facility would also accommodate bio-medical engineering, civil and mechanical engineering departments.

Dr Donkor said the university had the desire to produce quality engineers who could compete with the best engineers in the world with the capacity to design, innovate and build engines that could power the national industrial development.

He said as a result, the university was investing heavily in equipment to expose students to practical education.

Source: GNA

Vodafone, GT sale case adjourned to March 9


The Supreme Court, on Monday adjourned to March 9, the sale of Ghana Telecom (GT) to Vodafone International Holdings BV case.
This was after the nine-member panel had found that the High Court which referred the matter to it had not complied with the rules of the court.

The Court said: “We find that the trial High Court did not comply with rule 67 of CI 16. We hereby order the High Court to comply within 14 days.”

Rule 67 of CI 16 states: “A reference to the court before determination of any question, cause or matter pursuant to any provisions of the Constitution or of any other law shall be by way of a case stated by the court below or by the person or authority making the reference.”

The sub-rule stipulates that the case should contain a summary of the action or matter before the court below, argument of counsels, if any, among others.

Mr Festus Kayi, Counsel for GT, Mr Kojo Koomson and Mr Bright Akwetey who represented the Registrar-General’s Department and plaintiffs respectively, told the court that they had only been served with hearing notices on Monday. The Attorney General was not represented.

The panel includes Mrs Justice Georgina T. Wood who presided, Mr Justice William Atuguba, Professor S.K. Dateh-Bah, Mr Justice S.A. Brobbey, Ms Justice Rose Owusu.

The rest are Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Mr Justice Jones Victor Dotse, Mr Justice Anin Yeboah and Mr Justice B.T. Aryeetey.

The issues set out before the court include whether or not an agreement executed by the government and ratified by Parliament could be challenged in the High Court, and whether or not any procedural or substantive errors or defects in the Sale and Purchase Agreement was or could be cured by the ratification by Parliament.

The Supreme Court would also determine whether or not Articles 61.6, 10.7, 12, and 13.21 of the Sales and Purchase Agreement dated July 3, 2008 and executed by government, Vodafone International Holdings BV and Ghana Telecom contravenes the country’s constitution and therefore renders the agreement void.

Six Ghanaians initiated the legal action against the government last year at the Commercial Court and the representatives of the Attorney General, counsels for Vodafone and the Registrar-General agreed on the issues stated.

The six  – Professor Agyemang Badu Akosah, Kosi Deddey, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, Naa Kordai Assimeh, Rodaline Imoru Ayarna and Kwame Jantua – initiated the action against the government in October last year.

The referral of the issues to the Supreme Court was prompted by the fact that they bordered on the 1993 Constitution and thus need interpretation for which the Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction.

The referral of the case, which has Ghana Telecom (now Vodafone) and the Registrar-General’s Department as interested parties, temporarily halts proceedings at the Commercial Court until the determination of the issues by the Supreme Court.

In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs are contending that the Sale and Purchase Agreement entered into among the Government of Ghana, GT and Vodafone for the sale of 70 per cent of GT for $900 million was against public interest and constituted an abuse of the discretionary powers of the government.

They said they were opposed to the unlawful establishment of the said Enlarged GT Group, as it undermined the sovereignty of the country and endangered the national security of Ghana.

According to them, the decision of the government to transfer the assets, properties, shares, equipment, among others, to Vodafone was obnoxious, unlawful and inimical to the public interest, particularly when no consideration was required to be paid by Vodafone for the stated assets.

The group argued that the three Ministers of State and the managing director of GT who signed the agreement on behalf of the government did not exercise the requisite level of circumspection required of them as public officers in relation to public property.

The plaintiffs are, therefore, seeking reliefs from the court, including a declaration that the agreement entered into by the government was not in accordance with the due process of law and was, therefore, a nullity.

They are also demanding that the court should give an order declaring that the forcible grouping of autonomous state institutions established by law – Voltacom, Fibreco, VRA Fibre Network and VRA Fibre Assets – with GT to form the purported Enlarged GT Group was unlawful and, therefore, void and of no legal effect.

The plaintiffs are further praying for an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the government from disposing of its 70 per cent share of GT to Vodafone or any other foreign company without first exploring avenues for funding and better management in Ghana.

Source: GNA

Donor support of School Feeding Programme not sustainable- Co-ordinator


The National Co-ordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Alhaji Suleman Abdul Rahman on Friday expressed the need for government to set up a fund to ensure the sustainability of the programme.

“Donors of the programme will not provide the money forever,” he said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

Alhaji Rahman who chalked out his first 100 days in office noted that the popularity of the programme is indicated by the number of communities making regular demands to be part of it.

“I will therefore write to Cabinet through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for the setting up of the fund,” he said.

He said his outfit was in contact with the private sector as part of the vision to sustain the programme.

“The GSFP is talking to MTN to establish a call in programme dubbed ‘Feed a child a day’, to support the programme. We are also in contact with Unilever Ghana for the supply of detergents and other products.”

Alhaji Rahman said plans were in place to cover all the rural areas with the programme, adding: “In 2020 every child of school going age will be hooked to the system.”

He said the GSFP was suffering from structural paralysis, compelling the Dutch Embassy, which represents the Queen of Holland, main sponsors of the programme to withdraw the sponsorship.

Alhaji Rahman said the situation had been streamlined, leading to the renewed confidence of donors in the programme.

He said administrative lapses such as non payment of withholding taxes to the Internal Revenue Service had been rectified whilst those appointed without the prerequisite qualifications were asked to leave.

The National Co-ordinator said the programme was organising a head count to ensure the proper management of the programme and how many children are being fed to prevent money being diverted into individual pockets.

“We are abiding by the procurement law whilst an internal auditor is in place. Monitoring and Evaluation is now a major policy of the programme.

“The programme will employ a number of staff nationwide to be in charge of monitoring and evaluation. District and school implementation committees will soon be inaugurated to overlook the implementation of the GSFP in the districts.”

Alhaji Rahman said there was an awareness programme in place to sensitise the actors and collaborators of the GSFP on the aims and objectives of the programme.

“There is also a social accountability project that subjects the programme to public scrutiny.

Alhaji Rahman assured caterers of the programme that henceforth they would be paid in time to avert the problems they go through.

He said he would abide by the mandate of the programme to feed the pupils with locally produced food to boost school enrolment, promote the health of the beneficiaries and ensure that the farmers got ready market for their produce.

Source: GNA

Unsafe abortion continue to harm maternal mortality in Accra

Haemorrhage, hypertension and unsafe abortion seem to be running through all the causes of maternal mortality in the major hospitals in the Greater Accra Region.

Other causes such as Sepsis, Ruptured Uterus and Sickle Cell related diseases also contribute to the high causes of maternal deaths.

These came out in the annual reports of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ridge Hospital, Tema General Hospital and the La General Hospital, at the opening of a four-day Greater Accra Region Review of 2009 Health Sector Performance in Accra.

Korle Bu Teaching Hospital last year recorded 10,673 maternal cases with 86 deaths out of which 18 were due to haemorrhage and 15 were induced abortion. Hypertensive-related cases accounted for 15 deaths, five were for Sepsis, five for ruptured uterus and 10 for sickle cell cases.

Dr Nelson Damale, a Consultant at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Korle Bu, said almost half of the deaths occurred within the first 48 hours of arrival, with the age ranging from 25 to 30 years.

He explained that most of the cases were referred cases and the late arrival contributed to the early deaths soon after admission.

Dr Damale complained about the referral system and the processes and called for a better system that will incorporate feedback system.

“We should find a means of communicating with the Greater Accra Region, our main referral source, influence resuscitation before transfer of these cases to Korle-Bu and, if we can, detect hypertensive disorders early to avoid several deaths.”

Dr Emmanuel K. Srofenyoh, head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Ridge Hospital, said it recorded a decline in maternal deaths for three continuous years and that showed a sign of improvement in their health delivery.

Ridge hospital in 2007 recorded 30 deaths out of 6,049 deliveries, 29 deaths out of 7,465 deliveries in 2008 and 26 deaths out of 2,825 deliveries in 2009.

It also recorded 216 HIV positive mother deliveries with one death and 199 deliveries in 2009 with three deaths.

Dr Srofenyo complained of shortage of all categories of staff: orderlies, health aides, midwives, doctors and specialists as well as shortage of blood products.

Issues of laboratory support, he said, were generally weak, he said, adding that the theatre “is too distant from the labour ward and antenatal area is a corridor which is too congested and stuffy”.

He said, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on health, there was the need to act now to address these pertinent issues.

Dr Irene Agyapong-Amarteyfio of the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) commended the region for the progress made as compared to that of last year and urged them to keep up the good work, and be more innovative with public health programmes.

She said the region should also endeavour to continue efforts to improve primary and referral clinical care and Emergency and Obstetric Care (EOC).

Causes of neonatal deaths were attributed to sepsis and birth asphyxia.

Dr Agyapong-Amarteyfio expressed concern about the inadequate human and other resources, and said the region would be investigating the issue of the withdrawal of the workers, who were assisting the hospitals under the National Youth Employment Programme.

“These people were contributing immensely to improved maternal care and delivery and we should not allow them to be taken away,” she added.

Source: GNA

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