Senin, 19 Desember 2011


Story: Zainabu Issah

Proper management of labour by skilled personnel using a partograph, is key to the appropriate prevention and treatment of prolonged labour and its complications. A partograph is a simple chart for recording information about the progress of labour and the condition of a woman and her baby during labour.

Following the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) Programme promotes the use of the partograph to improve the management of labour and to support decision-making regarding interventions. When used appropriately, the partograph helps providers identify prolonged labour and know when to take appropriate actions.

Prolonged labour is a leading cause of death among mothers and new-borns and it is most likely to occur if a woman’s uterus does not contract sufficiently due to various factors. If her labour does not progress normally, the woman may experience serious complications such as obstructed labour, dehydration, exhaustion, or rupture of the uterus. Prolonged labour may also contribute to maternal infection or haemorrhage and may also cause neonatal infection.

Speaking at the second in a series of Nana Yaa Memorial Trust seminars for registered midwives from the various health services in the Greater Accra Region in Accra, health experts called for the efficient use of the partograph as a step in reducing child and maternal mortality.

The seminar was aimed at promoting quality reproductive health by encouraging health workers to use life-saving interventions to reduce the high maternal mortality rates in Ghana.

Speaking at the seminar, Dr Nelson Damale, a consultant obstetrician at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, said the yearly updates and the reshuffling of midwives posed a challenge to the use of the partograph as new midwives had to learn how to use the tool for successful delivery.

He said the annual delivery peaks experienced in April, May and September also posed a challenge as the increase in the workload did not allow for the quality monitoring of patients.

He explained that the latent phase of labour required quality and intensive monitoring for early detection and intervention but the workload at the various health facilities and the number of midwives available, made this impossible.

He said the partograph was an easy, simple tool to use in effective monitoring of labour but there was the need to promote its use and also find practical solutions to challenges militating against its use.

In her presentation, Dr Jemima Dennis-Antwi, Regional Advisor, International Conference of Midwives (ICM) for Anglophone Africa, said the safety of the mother and child during delivery depended on midwives and therefore it was important for midwives to apply all knowledge and tools for a safe and successful delivery.

She said children born in a country with sufficient and competently trained midwives, nurses and doctors were five times likely to reach the age of five than those born in countries where such facilities and personnel were lacking.

She therfore urged the midwives to overcome the obstacles that faced them and do well in providing the care they offered to pregnant women and their unborn babies.

As part of its ongoing advocacy programmes, the Nana Yaa Memorial Trust is holding seminars to sensitise the public, especially pregnant women and their families to the importance of skilled delivery and the need for expectant mothers to deliver at a health facility so that emergency measures could be put in place for the efficient management of any complication,


Instil discipline, responsibility in children’

Story : Zainabu Issah

Parents have been urged to instil discipline and a sense of responsibility in children for them to grow and become responsible citizens.

Mrs Mary Quaye, a Director at the Ministry of Education, who made the statement when she deputised for the sector Minister, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, at this year’s Universal Children’s Day celebrations in Accra, said ensuring that children cultivate the habit of responsibility, encouraged them to look towards the future with brighter hopes and also lived responsible lives.

She said encouraging children to cultivate an attitude of responsibility would help them focus on their education and the future as a whole.

She said the education sector controlled over seven million children, hence the need not to neglect them, and therefore urged parents to help the education sector in shaping the lives of the children for the development of the country.

She also called on children to stay away from bad influence and live morally upright lives to develop their intellectual capabilities.

The Chief Executive Officer of Emerald Productions, organisers of the programme, Madam Irene Larwia Zakpaa, said children had the capabilities of achieveing great things when they grew up in the right conditions, with food, clothing and water for a healthy life, with equal opportunities to learn, and with freedom from the threats of violence and exploitation.

“ Children are our future. To survive and thrive, children need guidance, education, the chance to develop their abilities in order to take full advantage of their potentials. They need to be healthy and they need safety and security,” she added.

She therefore called for planned and sustained efforts for the realisation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly those that related to improving access to primary education, reducing child mortality, and improving health systems.

The occasion brought together children from various parts of the region who engaged in sporting activities such as lime and spoon racing, volleyball, football, basketball, athletics, among others.

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20 every year, to promote International togetherness and awareness among children and to also promote the welfare of children around the globe.

November, 20 is also a special day because the 'Declaration of the rights of the children' was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1959 and later in 1989, the Convention of the Rights of the Child was also adopted, to serve as important tools for promoting the rights of children all over the world.

Still, there are few countries like Australia and India which choose different dates every year to celebrate Universal Children's Day. This day is not only special for children, but also special for parents as they try to spend most of the time on this day with their children either at home or going on field trips, sight seeing or attending a special musical event.


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE death of a woman or her child during childbirth is a devastating loss to the couple, the family and the society as a whole. The World Health Organisation (WHO) global maternity mortality figures show that 1000 women die from preventable causes related to childbirth every day. To put into perspective, one woman dies in childbirth every 84 seconds.

The figures for new-born children are worse. According to the WHO, over 2.6 million babies suffer still birth every year, which means that 7,200 babies die during childbirth in a day, five babies every minute, or a baby every 11 seconds. Whilst maternal mortality gets a lot of international attention, deaths of children during childbirth is not.

Additionally, 2.6 million children die during childbirth from causes that include complications during childbirth, maternal infections in pregnancy, including malaria and maternal disorders, especially hypertension and diabetes.

An Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the Resolve Medical Centre, Dr Padi Ayitey, announced this at the opening ceremony of the Gravidanza second pregnancy seminar in Accra.

The three-day exhibition and seminar brought together midwives, new parents, pregnant women and their spouses to be educated and provided with critical skills to help reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.

He added that around 1.2 million stillbirths occurred during labour and birth, and most of these babies could be saved through access to quality care at birth.

“The most effective way to reduce mortality is to strengthen the health system, starting with skilled care at birth and emergency obstetric care. Emergency care alone could save almost 700,000 babies, whilst treating for syphilis could save almost 140,000 babies,” he said.

He, however, called for more attention from health authorities and the government towards addressing the causes of stillbirth to be able to reach the MDG5 target, which relates to improving maternal health.

“Ensuring good obstetric care at birth is a top priority and gives a triple return on investment, saving pregnant women, neonates and stillbirths,” he explained.

Dr Ayitey added that one of the best ways in reducing maternal and perinatal mortality was to train medical professionals in the latest techniques that saved lives, and also educated the pregnant women and new mothers on the warning signs that could lead to complications in pregnancy.

He said this would help in treating emergency cases thoroughly as information provided would help in treatment and would also reduce the task of checking medical records of patients before treating them.

Topics discussed at the seminar included “The Impact of Obstetric Care and Neonatal Outcome” ; “Hands on Training in Neonatal Resuscitation”; “Effective Neonatal Resuscitation”; “How to Prevent the Top Two Maternal and Neonatal Killers: Haemorrhage and Eclampsia”; and “Providing Good Obstetric Care To Get Good Neonatal Outcome”.


DV ACT (W&c)

Story : Zainabu Issah

THE Domestic Violence Act (DVA) was passed by Parliament on February 21, 2007 as a positive step to confront the issue of various forms of violence against women and girls, especially in the domestic setting.

The law is also meant to offer a holistic and effective legal framework for addressing domestic violence in Ghana, provide broad redress for cases of domestic violence, sanction perpetrators and provide protective remedy for victims in order to improve Ghana’s compliance with its legal obligations under international human rights standards.

It also contains provisions that criminalise various acts of violence, such as physical and sexual assault within or outside marriage and between individuals in a domestic relationship, including family and non-family members, such as house helps and people who do not physically live together. It also criminalises economic and psychological abuse, intimidation and harassment and makes provision for protection orders, psychological and rehabilitative services for victims or perpetrators and processes for promotion of reconciliation.

To step up education on the need to curb domestic violence, ActionAid Ghana, in commemorating this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence in Ghana, staged a play in Accra to demonstrate how violence in the home affects the lives of families, especially the children.

The play, entitled,”Down Memory Lane In The Fight Against Domestic Violence”, was also to offer an interactive platform for discussions on issues that constitute domestic violence and how to prevent and report such cases.

The Women’s Right and Policy Advisor of ActionAid Ghana, Ms Selina Owusu, stressed the need for the passage of the Legislative Instrument (LI) to operationalise and implement the DVA.

She also called on the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) and the Attorney-General’s Department to work closely together for the passage of the instrument.

“We are not oblivious of the fact that many laws in Ghana lack the institutional framework to fully implement them because of the lack of finance and other resources. We would, therefore, like to add that when the LI is passed, adequate financial resources, as well as the needed infrastructure, should be made available for the effective implementation of the law,” she explained.

Ms Owusu made reference to the 2012 national budget and said it did not make specific allocations for the provision of the needed infrastructure as provided in the law, adding, “ We think this is an anomaly that should be corrected immediately, so that when the LI is finally passed, resources will be available for its full operationalisation.”

She called for more support from organisations to build offices of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) in the rural areas and also equip those offices with human and material resources, so that victims can easily access the offices.


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE importance of Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG 3), that relates to “Promoting Gender Equality and Empower Women”, by encouraging women’s equal participation in public governance as a fundamental right, cannot be over emphasised. In the words of the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, “the MDGs encapsulate the development aspirations of the world as a whole, and they are not only development objectives; they encompass universally accepted human values and rights such as freedom from hunger, the right to basic education, the right to health and a responsibility to future generations”.

In line with this global recognition, Ghana continues to address obstacles that hinder women’s access to public office through policies and in practical terms.

Admittedly, while dramatic changes and achievements have not been realised, some significant progress in women’s rights generally, has been made.

At the global level, Ghana took part in the Vienna Conference of 1993, which had the slogan “Human Rights Also Includes Women’s Rights”. Ghana is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979, (CEDAW).

This Convention requires signatory states to “take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, appropriate measures, including legislation to ensure the full development and advancement of women”. Ghana has also participated in several international conferences including the famous Beijing Conference in 1995.

The 1992 Constitution of Ghana also guarantees women’s rights to promote their chances of competing with men in public office. Article 17 of the Constitution prohibits any form of discrimination on the basis of gender or sex. Article 27 (3) states that: “Women shall be granted equal rights to training and promotion without any impediments of any person’. These provisions are in line with that of CEDAW.

Article 36 (6) under the Directive Principles of State policy, also calls on the state to “afford equality of economic opportunity to all citizens and in particular, all necessary steps so as to ensure the full integration of women into the mainstream of the economic development of Ghana”. This is further reinforced by the need to “achieve reasonable regional and gender balance in recruitment and appointments to public offices”.

In spite of these, the representation of women in public offices, show a wide gender and this remains a major barrier, if not threat, to Ghana’s efforts at meeting national development goals and the MDGs.

For example, Ghanaian women were absent from the Legislative Assembly of 1957. The situation improved in 1960 when 10 women were elected by a special ballot to the National Assembly and this was done under the Representation of the People (Women Members) Act No 8 of 1960. The situation has not changed much since then and Ghana currently has only 19 female Members of Parliament (MP) out of 230-member legislature.

In support of efforts to encourage women to participate fully in decision-making so as to improve the representation of women in parliament and public offices, the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) organised the Gender Day Celebration as part of its Human Right and Integrity Week.

Speaking on the theme: “Women Representation in Politics”, the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Ms Lauretta Vivian Lamptey said the Commission will continue to play its critical role as human right promoters to pursue a vigorous campaign to create awareness, raise consciousness, lobby and if need be, move mountains to secure greater gender justice for women.

She revealed that the Commission has plans to embark on a vigorous gender equality mainstreaming campaign with special emphasis on the need to get more women elected and appointed into public office.

The Rector of The Law Institute, Madam Hilary Gbedemah who spoke on the mechanisms for promoting women’s presentation in Parliament said there was the need for the demands of democracy to be balanced.

She said women’s equal participation in decision making was not only a demand for simple justice or democracy but also a necessary condition for women’s interests to be taken into account.

She explained further that without the active participation of women and the incorporation of women’s perspective at all levels of decision making; the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.

She also called on women to bring on board alternative development paradigms such as a focus in health, child care, and water resources especially at the local governance level.

“Women’s participation can improve delivery of social services and the relationship between government and local communities,” she said.

She however called on the government to implement its policy of promoting gender equity in the country.

The Vice Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus in Parliament, Madam Gifty Ohene Konadu, who spoke on the barriers of women’s participation in Parliament, said Ghana has no laws that directly or indirectly prevent women from participating in politics but the numbers of women participating in politics continue to be low and this means that they have not been fully integrated into national development.

She added that the whole notion is that the public sector is supposed to be managed by the men and the private sector by the women. This is theory undermines institutional and political culture.

“This conception has affected Ghana and has created a diverged vision of society which then see formal politics as a domain for men and gossip politics as a female domain”, she said.

In view of this notion held by society, it is important to understand the gendered nature of societal relationships in order to appreciate the need for improved ways to enhance women’s participation in politics, Madam Konadu explained.

She however encouraged women to develop their potentials and contribute substantially to the socio-economic development of their communities.

She also said for women to make substantial contributions to national development efforts, they should have sound background and training.

Additionally, more avenues for income generating activities should be created for women to enable them be financially self-reliant.

She concluded that the development of the community was the responsibility of all ( women and men) irrespective of their political affiliations and was therefore necessary to get both sexes together to have a meaningful society that would be beneficial to all.

Madam Charity Binka from the Gender Department of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) also urged the media to do well in promoting and raising awareness of the importance of women in national development.

She also challenged the government to set up a committee to train Journalists to become gender sensitive in the reportage of gender issues.


Story: Zainabu Issah

In line with efforts to encourage women to take leadership roles, a number of women in leadership positions have come together to dialogue on issues and choices relevant to the lives and careers of young professionals.

Dubbed “Mentoring Walk”, mentees are exposed to the various aspects of the lives of women in leadership, business, politics and in society. They also spend a number of working days with their mentors, understudying them at work. In addition to this, group networking sessions are held to give mentors and mentees an opportunity to assess the programme for themselves and also give feedback and affirmation to what they have achieved through the mentorship.

Speaking at the launch of the Mentoring Walk in Accra, Madam Brigitte Dzogbenuku, the founder of the programme, said women, especially in developing countries, must recognise the need to play their roles in the development of their countries.

“We need to stand and make our voices heard, claim our space and not only a few of us but a movement who will support other women in leadership,” she stressed.

She added that fostering mentoring relationships would promote women’s leadership and participation by providing aspiring women professionals with the support and guidance they needed to be successful.

Additionally, to ensure the continuous dialogue between the mentor and the mentee, a monthly forum conversations is provided to encourage the discussion of issues pertinent to women rights and empowerment.

Madam Dzogbenuku added that the forum also showcases women in various leadership positions whose lives are worthy of emulation.

She encouraged young women to apply to participate in the programme in order to discuss issues regarding professional challenges and successes in order to guide, advise and support each other as peers and as women, and impact on the lives of people in their communities.


Story: Zainabu Issah

The Ministry of Energy has pledged to collaborate with the Gender and Energy Network to organise capacity-building workshops in support of efforts to mainstream gender concerns into energy projects in the country.

The programme is aimed at building greater awareness among governments and the international community about the importance of gender issues in energy planning and policies, to empower women to discharge responsibilities assigned to them as custodians of energy resources.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Professor Thomas Akabzaa, stated this in a speech read on his behalf at a workshop on gender audit survey report on the energy sector in the country organised by ENERGIA, an International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy Network.

Prof Akabzaa said women are capable of making changes for the better if they are given the necessary empowerment.

“It will be in the interest of Africa if the education of women is taken seriously and pursued to the fullest since women are much more associated with the primary use of fuel in Africa,” he said.

He said although Africa is rich in energy resources that can be exploited in a sustainable manner for the benefit of its people, it is saddled with the high rate of illiteracy, especially among women in the rural areas.

“ Introducing women to renewable sources of energy and educating them on the use of renewable sources of fuel would go a long way to ensure sustainable energy in Africa,” he explained.

He also said one of the objectives of the ministry is to increase access to modern energy services in rural communities to improve the living standards of the poor majority, who are women.

“The rural electrification programme, petroleum distribution improvement programme, the renewable energy development programme, among others, are efforts of the ministry to reduce the burden of women,” he added.

Prof. Akabazaa, however, called for collaboration which would include the manufacturing of ancillary components for renewable energy systems to create jobs and alleviate poverty.

The Director for Public Investment Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mrs Magdaline Apenteng, who was the chairperson for the workshop, said undertaking the gender audit report was important in establishing the quantity and quality of best use of available energy to establish its efficency and effectiveness of activities which impact the lives of users.

She added that both males and females were equal stakeholders in the use of energy but benefit differently, leading to different social and economic outcomes.

She was however optimistic that the key recommendations from the audit report and future ones would lead to the identification of gender-related gaps and issues and thus provide the basis for the more detailed action plan for gender desk activities within the various entities.

She also called for the report to be replicated in several ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the Ministries of Finance and Women and Children’s Affairs.

The Ghana Network Coordinator for ENERGIA Africa, Dr Sabina Anokye Mensah, in her address said although women spent long hours everyday collecting fuel wood, agricultural residues and dung,70 per cent of the world’s poor are women.

She explained further that the audit would help identify gaps in energy policies, make gender and energy issues visible to wide audience and also identify linkages between gender and energy in sustainable development.

She said this would help promote gender planning, awareness and mainstreaming in energy-related organisations to develop long-term gender-sensitive polices and programmes and also help people to understand the role of women in the informal sector and their contribution to the economy.

“The potential benefits arising form the use of modern energy technologies in this sector cannot be overlooked,”she added.

Dr Mensah reveled that some past audit findings showed that females mostly involved in fuel collection in rural villages spend hours a day on the average and the commercial biomass activities such as charcoal and fuelwood trading were activities engaged in by males.


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE report of a Juvenile Justice Project launched by three child rights organisations have established that children in conflict with the law mostly come from broken homes or environments where both parents are not living together.

The project was launched by Plan Ghana International, in partnership with Child Right International (CRI) and Grenada National Coalition on the Rights of the Child (GNCRC), with funding from the European Union, as a step to prevent and combat all forms of violence against children or youth in Justice Institutions or those who are in conflict with the law.

Presenting a summary of the current situation of juvenile justice in Ghana, Madam Susan Sabaa from the Child Research and Resource Centre disclosed that between July 2007 and June 2008, there were 647 juvenile cases pending, with 551 newly filed cases and 544 cases completed.

She said between the period of 2008, 2009 and January to June, 2010, juvenile offenders spent between one to eight weeks in custody at the various police stations and nearly 24 months in remanded homes before trial and pointed out that admissions to juvenile centres saw marginal increase from 51 in 2008 to 58 in 2009 and the discharged cases decreased from 289 in 2008 to 251 in 2009.

Inmates covered in the survey were made up of 92 per cent males and 8 per cent females, with the age distribution of the males ranging from 16 to 18 years and that of the females ranging from 12 to 15 years.

The research further stated that the educational status of inmates at the time of their arrest was mainly from primary institutions (80.3 per cent) whereas 11.5 per cent have never been in school, with 4.9 per cent having junior high school (JHS) background, and 3.3 per cent with senior high school background. However, 54.4 per cent of the children indicated they could read and write in English while 45.6 per cent could neither read nor write in English.

According to the report, 73.4 per cent of the child respondents indicated that none of their parents, relations, guardian, social worker, or lawyer was present when their statements were being taken by the police.

The study established that the major difficulty in Accra was that most of the young offenders were homeless and that made it very difficult to trace their parents as they were also unwilling to disclose their real identity and where their families come from for fear of stigmatisation.

The research also spelt out the experiences that the juvenile offenders went through during their detention period in the police cells such as being asked to sleep in the toilet by the police or adult inmates, being beaten, insulted and asked to lie down on the floor during the night.

They were also sometimes beaten by the police, which resulted in abrasions on the children, and food brought to them were eaten by the adult inmates. Some of them are also handcuffed overnight in police cells for days or asked to sit down and not lie down in the night and at other times too, they were asked to pay cell fees.

Criminal activities which lead children to the juvenile centres constitute 42 per cent stealing, 24 per cent defilement, 5 per cent robbery, 8 per cent assault, 10 per cent rape, 3 per cent drugs, 5 per cent unlawful entry and 3 per cent prostitution.

Though a larger proportion said they could express themselves freely, 20.3 per cent said they felt intimidated and therefore could not speak freely. Some 23.4 per cent indicated that some statements made in courts were attributed to them, which they never made. Also 21.9 per cent were able to raise objections to such statements attributed to them and which they disagreed with. Others (64.1 per cent) said they understood the sentencing read in courts to them and 39.1 per cent indicated they had no idea of the number of years of sentence handed to them in courts.

Analysing the status of cases, the survey further revealed that 52 per cent of juvenile respondents were on remand while 47.9 per cent were sentenced to various years in the correctional centres and also periodic medical attention was given to the inmates but only about 40.6 per cent received the service.

The respondents also complained bitterly about their sleeping conditions and said their bodies itched because there are no bed sheets and the cells were small. While some slept on the bare floor, others slept on cardboards spread on the floor without mattresses, bed sheets and mosquito nets.

Almost all the respondents, constituting 99 per cent, said they did not enjoy the food served in the remand home and indicated that they would prefer philanthropists to bring them cooked food and not uncooked food items because the food items usually did not get to them.

The Government provides 60 pesewas a day per inmate for feeding three times a day. Growing adolescent boys need enough nutritious food for their development and inadequate food intake affects their growth physically, emotionally and mentally.

The report said the convenience and freedoms of the juvenile offenders within the centres were severely compromised due to poor infrastructure and lack of logistics. Boys are made to eat dinner at 4:00 p.m. because wardens fear some will abscond under the cover of darkness.

The most common punishment in the homes is being beaten by officers and wardens. Other forms of punishment range from being isolated from all the other inmates and locked up in a dark cell that smells badly and is full of mosquitoes, to weeding and painful physical exercise.

On the issue of visit, some of them indicated that since they were sentenced, they had never been visited. Some said they had never been in touch with their families and others had not heard from their family members since they were placed in the correctional institutions.

The report also established that was no structured system for the expression of views or complaints and between four to 30 inmates were discharged yearly with no special preparation made for them. Reintegration and after care programme are not pursued due to lack of logistics and funds.

Madam Susan Sabaa in her recommendations called for more monitoring at the juvenile centres, which are crowded, to see to it that adult inmates did not bully the younger ones.

She also called for an increase in the budget by the government to be directed to the reconstruction of juvenile centres in order to have more space for the inmates.

She, however ,called on police offers and wardens in the centres to do well in training and reforming the inmates rather than resorting to beating and other forms of punishment which rather make them more vulnerable to other crimes when they are released from the homes.

“They have come to be reformed in the homes, so if you resort to violence, they would get use to it and when they come out, they would do worse things than what brought them to the home,” she said

She also revealed that even though the children were there to be corrected, some ex-inmates from the centres revealed that other forms of illegal activities such as smoking of marijuana were done in the institutions because they were allegedly sold to them in the correction centres.

The Assistant Director of the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Ms Victoria K Natsu, called for the implementation of the child right protection laws in the correctional institutions so that when they were arrested, the focus would be on the correction and reformation of the children.

She said currently there was only one psychologist at the 37 military Hospital in charge of handling the psychological trauma of the children after their encounter in the correctional institutions, saying that was not good enough.

The Country Director of Plan Ghana International, Mr Prem Shukla announced the establishment of a Child Help Line System through a collaborative effort with the National Communications Authority for children across the country to report all forms of violence and abuse to the appropriate authorities.

He said the system would come out with a toll free number which will be made known to the public and to all children for them to call for help in the event of any form of violence or abuse.

He, however, called on the media to help in raising the awareness of child abuse and violence for the public to report all forms of violence and abuse affecting children across the country.

Senin, 24 Oktober 2011


Story: Zainabu Issah
The Head of the Anti Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Supt Patience Ocquaye, has warned people who engage in human trafficking to desist from the practice or face the full rigours of the law.
She said information available pointed to the fact that some of the traffickers either exploited the victims against their will or removed parts of their internal organs such as kidneys for various purposes without their knowledge and consent.
Supt Quaye was speaking at a community meeting organised by the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), a non governmental organisation in collaboration with the Federation of Youth Clubs (FYC) on the two year on human trafficking project at Maamobi in Accra.
The meeting was aimed at educating people especially the youth about the plight of trafficked victims.
The two year project is aimed at combating trafficking by making sure the civil society in Ghana provides the needed support.
Supt Quaye explained that most of the people engaged in the trafficking business were relations who were mostly trusted.
“They would convince you to come along with them to the south to school and when you agree, you rather come to work for them,” she said.
She added that some people go as far as taking them abroad only to have parts of the bodies of the victims such as the kidney’s removed against their will.
Furthermore, she said, girls who fell victims to such unscrupulous individuals ended up becoming prostitutes and even went to the extent of sleeping with animals for money.
The Chairman of the Council of Chiefs of Ayawaso East, Chief Alhaji Moro Baba Issah, said human trafficking was a crime that must be dealt with.
He therefore urged the youth who are the most vulnerable to be cautious when engaging with organisations that seek to take them abroad.
The President of FYC, Mr Adam Abdul Fatah, said the Nima and Maamobi community youth had interest in travelling no matter how risky it was and, therefore, there was the need to make them aware of the dangers ahead.
Lawyer Dzifa Gakpleazi of the LRC said the project was important was it would ensure that Ghana met the international anti human trafficking standards.


Story: Zainabu Issah
 Five million two hundred and fifty eight thousand children between the ages of zero to five are to benefit from this year’s  national immunization against polio which is scheduled for all the 10 regions in the country from the 27th to the 30th of October 2011.

This is part of the international health strategy to eradicate polio worldwide with the recent outbreak of the disease in the West African Sub Region.

The Chairman of the  Ghana National Poliopus Committee (GNPPC) of Rotary International made this known at a press briefing in Accra to raise public awareness of the ravages of polio and to encourage further actions to reduce the spread of the disease.

He said from the staggering 35,000 polio cases each year in the 1980’s, there are now only 1000 new cases world wide with Ghana recording no case of the disease since 2008. “It is very gratifying to know that we are this close to ending polio for good”, he said.

He further explained that to maintain the gains made in Ghana’s polio eradication, efforts were put in place to prevent the  importation of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) into the country and special immunization says were conducted in Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the  Western region to contain the situation  in Ghana as a  result of the outbreak of the disease in Cote D’Ivoire in July this year.

Additionally, about  US$6.4 million from the Rotary Foundation through the GNPPC has come in as Rotary contribution to complement the Governments polio eradication efforts. These efforts include the provision of the needed operational support for social mobilization, printing of tally forms, promotional materials and polio T-Shirts for volunteers during National Immunization Days (NIDs).

Mr Mensah however urged Ghanaians to be committed in encouraging their children at the House-to-House campaigns as well as at the Child Welfare Clinics to get immunized against polio.
Ghana  in 2003 recorded eight cases of polio which was spread in six regions. The year 2008 also recorded eight cases in the Northern region.

Polio remains endemic in four countries ,Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan(PAIN countries) with India recording only one case of polio so far this year. China for the first time since 1999 has reported seven cases of polio this year being imported form Pakistan, the World Health Organisation has confirmed.

The total number of cases for 2011 in the West African sub region by the end of september this year are two from Burkina Faso,thirty Five from Cote D’Ivoire, two from Guinea, Nine from Mali, 34 from Nigeria and two from Niger.

Minggu, 23 Oktober 2011


Storyand Picture: Zainabu Issah
A 13-MEMBER Board of Patrons has been inaugurated to guide the activities of the Ghana Muslim Students Association (GMSA).

The Board members include Alhaji Baba Jamal, Hon Alhassan Azona, Mr Umar Saeed, Sheikh Salman Mohammed, Sheikh Abdul Nasirudeen, Mr Mustapha Hamid and Sheik Dr Amin Bonu.

The rest include Sheikh Amin Bamba, Hajia Samia, Hajia Habiba Tanko, Dr Mohammes Kamil Mohammed and Mr Adam Baba Musah.

Addressing the board members, the Chief Patron, Shiehk Ishaaq Ibrahim Nuamah, urged the new board members to put in their best and carry out their responsibilities to help the association attain its objectives.

He added that as members who have experience and knowledge about society, they should do well to impact the knowledge they have on the youth so that they would emulate their footsteps in future.

The National President of GMSA, Mr Rabiu Mohammed, pleaded that the patrons in their own way help to support and raise funds to move and upgrade the image and reputation of the association.

A Deputy Minister of Women and Children Affairs, Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba, urged Muslims to do well in addressing the high levels of poverty, unemployment, crime, indiscipline, violence against women and children and moral corruption among others that affect them as Muslims.

“The net effect of all these phenomena on the Muslim Ummah is an increase in human suffering and a relegation of Islam to the background. We have lost our place of pride amongst the community of Nations because of this backwardness,” she explained.

She also urged the newly inaugurated patrons to help re-engineer the vision, mission, and values of GMSA and also give guidance on policy direction which would help project the image of the association.
Picture:The Chief Patron of GMSA,Shiehk Ishaaq Ibrahim Nuamah (left) swearing the patrons into office in Accra.

Jumat, 21 Oktober 2011

Help the Ghana Society for the Disabled

Story and picture: Zainabu Issah

Fifty three years after the establishment of the Ghana Society for the Socially Disadvantaged (GSSD), the society can still not boost a well-structured facility to accommodate the numerous beggers on the street.

The facility, which was formally called the Kaneshie Cripples Home, is the only cripple home in the country accommodating persons living with various forms of physical disability.

The Chairman for the Board of Directors of the centre, Mr Anthony Mensah said, due to accommodation problems, they cannot house more than 25 persons and this was creating a problem because the main aim of the society was to have all the physically challenged persons in the centre trained in various vocations.

The centre, which is funded through a government-private collaboration, is faced with numerous challenges. To address some of these challenges, Heal the World Mission International, a non governmental organisation, as part of its third year anniversary celebrations, has donated food items to support the society.

The food items included a bag of maize, rice, two detergents, two boxes of bathing soap, a cooling oil, two toiletries and a carton of milk. It was to complement the food that they have and to also show their support to the society.

Mr Awuku Asare, the centre manager,says they have to depend heavily on individuals and corporate bodies for financial support, since government only provides them with human resource.

He added that it would also be important for the society to get a vehicle to transport the physically challenged to visit other parts of country and also introduce them to new workshops as it would help broaden their minds and also develop their interest in their vocation.

He appealed that the physically challenged be brought to the home for them to acquire some skills training to prevent them from begging on the streets.They go through three years of training in dressmaking, shoemaking, computer literacy and other skills.
Mrs Pastor Wumi Olukilede of the Heal the World Mission outreach presents the donation to the society.

Rabu, 19 Oktober 2011


A THREE-STOREY theatre block for the Princess Marie Louise Childrens’ Hospital has been inaugurated to help improve medical services to children in and around that part of the metropolis.

The building, which was constructed at the benevolence of individuals and corporate bodies at an estimated cost of GH¢500,000, consists of two theaters, a theater recovery ward, library, changing room, an intensive care unit, an anaesthetist office, a conference room among other facilities.

Inaugurating the edifice in Accra toda, the chairman of the management board of the hospital, Rev Father Andrew Campbell, said the completion of the theatre block will bring great relief to both staff of the hospital and parents since children needing immediate surgical services, intensive care and emergency cases would no longer be transfered to other hospitals.

“Before the construction of this facility, emergency cases where transfered to other hospitals some of whom dying before they got to the referral hospitals,” he explained.

Rev Fr Campbell said the hospital, which is the only paediatric hospital in the country, will soon open a Neo Natal Unit to take care premature born babies.

He called for more assistance in furnishing the building and commended Tullow Ghana Limited for its commitment to donate equipments for the two theaters, emergency room and the intensive care unit and Taylor Electric Limited for supplying the pipes for the electrical installation works.

He was hopeful that personnel of the hospital would take good care of the facilities provided so that it last longer.

The  Medical Supretendent of the hospital, Dr Eric Sifah  pledged to maintain a high sense of maintenance culture to preserve the hospital and also called for more donations to keep the hospital running efficiently.

The Executive Secretary of MTN Ghana Foundation, Mr Robert Kuzoe, called on the institution to put mechanisms in place that would help figure out how to manage the facility and also make it last longer.

He said as part of the corporate social responsibility of the organization, MTN Ghana was forever ready to support the cause of saving the lives of children and also the construction of facilities that would support them.


Story: Zainabu Issah

The Head of the Anti Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Supt Patience Ocquaye, has warned people who engage in human trafficking to desist from the practice or face the full rigours of the law.

She said information available pointed to the fact that some of the traffickers either exploited the victims against their will or removed parts of their internal organs such as kidneys for various purposes without their knowledge and consent.

Supt Quaye was speaking at a community meeting organised by the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), a non governmental organisation in collaboration with the Federation of Youth Clubs (FYC) on the two year on human trafficking project at Maamobi in Accra.

The meeting was aimed at educating people especially the youth about the plight of trafficked victims.
The two year project is aimed at combating trafficking by making sure the civil society in Ghana provides the needed support.

Supt Quaye explained that most of the people engaged in the trafficking business were relations who were mostly trusted.

“They would convince you to come along with them to the south to school and when you agree, you rather come to work for them,” she said.

She added that some people go as far as taking them abroad only to have parts of the bodies of the victims such as the kidney’s removed against their will.

Furthermore, she said, girls who fell victims to such unscrupulous individuals ended up becoming prostitutes and even went to the extent of sleeping with animals for money.

The Chairman of the Council of Chiefs of Ayawaso East, Chief Alhaji Moro Baba Issah, said human trafficking was a crime that must be dealt with.

He therefore urged the youth who are the most vulnerable to be cautious when engaging with organisations that seek to take them abroad.

The President of FYC, Mr Adam Abdul Fatah, said the Nima and Maamobi community youth had interest in travelling no matter how risky it was and, therefore, there was the need to make them aware of the dangers ahead.

Lawyer Dzifa Gakpleazi of the LRC said the project was important was it would ensure that Ghana met the international anti human trafficking standards.



Traders of the Agblogbloshie market and its environs have been sensitised on the way to handle chicken and its products to prevent diseases.

This was due to the outbreak of avian influenza which caused panic and claimed several lives all over the world.

A member of the United States of America Poultry and Eggs Export Council (USAPEEC), Madam Jean Murphy says US poultry was safe to eat and must be handled and cooked well to prevent diseases.

She added that American Chicken has all the nutritional value of red meat yet contains about 30 per cent less fat and fewer calories.
"It has the highest percentage of protein of all meat and has the smallest amount of fat and saturated fat," she said.

Madam Murphy further explained that protein ensures growth in children and  chicken is needed to be eaten regularly as the body cannot store protein.

She advised that poultry products should be kept refrigerated when not in use and hot soapy water should be used to wash hands after coming into contact with poultry products.
She however cautioned for immediate disposal of poultry foods when they go bad.
"Do not try to taste them or cook them to eat. They can cause disease to you," she said.

A representative from the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), Nana Akua Afriye says poultry products are safe to eat and therefore must be handled with caution.
"You must know how to handle them for it to be safe for you," she said.

The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF), Mr Kofi Agyei- Henaku says USAPEEC has helped in the training of poultry farmers on the need o handle chicken and chicken products which has resulted in the high yields of quality poultry products.

"They have thought the local farmers on how to cater for poultry and this has resulted in high yields. They have also helped the local industries to access the European markets." he said.

A demonstration on how to prepare have safe chicken was done by Mrs Dzifa Gomashie, the Chief Executive Officer of Mama's Kitchen.
She thoroughly explained the details of how to preserve and cook chicken without effects.


THE President of the Ghana Actors Guild (GAG), Mr Samuel Nii Odoi-Mensah, has urged actors to develop the skill of writing and putting their ideas on paper other than allowing others to tell their own story.

He added that the  film industry entailed a lot and therefore, it was proper for those involved to tell their own story the way they saw it.

“ Until now, we have depended on the media and others to speak on our behalf. Now we wish to speak for ourselves," he said.

Mr Mensah was speaking at the launch of the GAG Newsletter in Accra.

The newsletter is to serve as a link between GAG, its members and the general public as well as the government and the world at large.

He added that the newsletter would largely deal with official and more intimate matters which would help change attitudes towards the arts and its various departments and also promote it.

"When the arts in the nation gets better, it is not only the artistes who benefit but the nation is the ultimate benefactor," he said.

He,therefore, called for the contribution of all actors and those in the arts industry to contribute their quota in making the newsletter a success.

The Executive Director of the National Theatre of Ghana, Efo Kwado Mawubge, urged members of GAG to play effective roles in the promotion of the paper.
He said "no one can tell the story better than those who are in the story."

The General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Ghana, Mr Kofi Mensah, said it was important that the necessary support was given to GAG and other allied organisations in order to enhance the performing arts industry and make it exportable.

He added that as the actors try to project issues of society, they should do well to promote the Ghanian culture and not let the Western culture overshadow it.
"You have a responsibility in the preservation of the Ghanaian culture," he said.

He also called for unity among actors in the film industry to enable them to achieve their ultimate goals of projecting cultural values.

The launch of the newsletter brought together other GAG associations from the Central, Western and Ashanti regions.


Story: Zainabu Issah

The Iranian Red Cresent(IRC)  and the Red Cross Society (RCS) of Ghana have jointly organised a one day free health screening exercise for the residents of the Nima-Mamobi community in Accra.

The exercise was aimed at bringing health care to the doorstep of needy people.Hundreds of people in the two communities benefitted from the exercise.

The President of RCS, Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem, said specialised health care facilities were located in particular places in the community but the health seeking behaviour of the people did not allow them to visit the hospitals.

" We, therefore organised, this screening exercise to bring out people who are not well so they could have access to health care," he said.

He added that since most of the people in the community reported late to the hospitals with chronic diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and fever, tghe screening exercise would help to detect diseases early for  treatment.

The Director of the Iran Clinic, Dr Rezu Bulader said the clinic was always ready to provide medical services to the needy in society.

"It is also part of our social responsibility to donate and give free medical care to the people when the need arises," he said.

The Ambassador of Iran to Ghana, Mr Latifi Namin, who was also present Iran, it was proper for Iran to help the government of Ghana to extend medical services to its people to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The screening brought together three doctors, two nurses, two pharmacists and one dentist doctor assisted by the RCS of Ghana.


The Evangelical Church of Ghana has inaugurated its 33rd General Assembly to mark the handing over ceremony of the General Overseer.

The inauguration was to give the chance to other college members of the Church to share their leadership skills.

The outgoing General Overseer, Rev Emmanuel Nambu called on all Ghanaians to bury their differences and unify to build the nation Ghana.

“ Unity is strength and so let us all unit and be one for the goodness of our country Ghana,” he said.
He therefore urged the incoming executives to work hard and seek strength from the Lord and said when this was achieved, their job purpose would not be felt as it was tedious.

He added that they should not be hesitant to seek advise when they need one since the congregation and the church as a whole was there to support them.

“It is not a shame to seek advise from other members of the church since we are all here to promote the image of the church and to also see to its prosperity. Therefore be open to ask questions when the need arises, ” he said.

The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev Fred Deegbe told the new exeurtives to see themselves as role models to the youth.

“ You would now be the eyes and ears the youth and so leading your roles responsibly is a sure way of then emulating you,” he said.

He urged the congregation to give their full support to the new executives so they could run their office successfully.
The outgoing executives are Rev Emmanuel K Nambu, the General Overseer, Rev  Peter kumah- Nseakyure as the General Secretary and Rev K K Maxwell Liwangol, the General Treasure

The incoming executives are Rev Daniel Gbande as the General Overseer, Rev Peter kumah- Nseakyure as the General Secretary and Rev K K Maxwell Liwangol as the General Treasure.

Rev Daniel Gbande who spoke on behalf of the other executives promised of a good governance and unity among members.
He also called on the congregation to support them in promoting the image of the Evangelical Church.


Story: Zainabu Issah
A "juvenile" is a minor, which in most states is a person under the age of 18. When a juvenile violates a criminal statute, the consequences are usually very different from those if an adult broke the same law. Sometimes the Juvenile Court process is more lenient than the adult court, but sometimes it can be more onerous. A juvenile offender can find himself in Juvenile Court if he violates a criminal statute; that is, a state or federal law that allows for violators to be punished by a sentence to jail or prison.

Generally, there are three varieties of offences: Felonies, misdemeanours and infractions, though the terms for these three categories may differ from state to state. A felony is a crime that could result in an adult being sentenced to state prison, usually a sentence of over a year. Felonies include burglary, robbery, weapons assaults, violent sex crimes, murder, grand theft, and sale of any illegal drugs, to name a few.

Misdemeanours are less serious crimes, but can still result in a sentence of up to a year in the County Jail, if committed by an adult. Petty theft, possession of small amounts of marijuana, disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, less serious assaults, and drunk driving are generally misdemeanour offences.

The jail and prison sentences for these crimes do not usually apply to a minor, because he or she cannot be found guilty of a "crime." However, a juvenile appearing in the Juvenile Justice system will be presented with "charges" of violating those criminal statutes, as grounds for invoking the Juvenile Court's authority over the minor. Once invoked, the Court has broad control over the juvenile’s life.

Infractions are even less serious offences than misdemeanours, and include any offence that cannot result in any jail time, but only a fine or administrative consequence. Examples are speeding, parking violations, or failing to comply with administrative regulations pertaining to your home, car or business.

When a juvenile commits a crime, he is charged by a probation officer or a prosecutor in a "civil" (ie, not criminal) petition, alleging that he is subject to the Court's Jurisdiction for having violated the statute. If the charges are proved in Juvenile Court, a judicial finding is made that the minor is subject to the Court's broad control and jurisdiction. The Court’s powers include returning the minor home, imposing formal or informal probation; placement with foster care; enrolment in a special school for juvenile offenders, or even commitment to the State’s Juvenile detention centre, sometimes called “Juvenile Hall” or the “Juvenile Jail.”

This can continue until the minor comes of age, or even until the age of 21 or 25, depending on each state’s laws. Some states have laws allowing that minors 14 or older committing very serious offences may even be transferred to adult court and prosecuted and punished like an adult. It is therefore a mistake to take the Juvenile Court process lightly.

Where children are committed to these institutions, parents and family members are encouraged to visit and help children to reform. This aspect is not easily achieved when the parents themselves are the victims of the children's offence.             

Kofi Adu (not real name) is a 16 year old boy from konongo. He stole three metal scrubs from a friend and  was later arrested and imprisoned.

Because of his actions, he could not inform his parents of his arrest. "It was one woman pastor who decided to bail me. But as at the time I was supposed to be bailed, I had already been arraigned before court and so the CID Officer did  not allow it. He said the complainant wanted me to serve a sentence," he explained.
I asked ," When you were sent to court, did you go with a lawyer?". He replied by saying he was not given one but was sentenced to two years in imprison. I further asked him if he has been visited by any of his relations when he was imprisoned. He replied," I have never been visited by any of my relations. I only get to talk to people when organisations come to visits to know what is happening in the real world."
Eric (not real name) is now 18 years old. He claims to have been imprisoned falsely. He was alleged to rape a girl he fell in love with.
"Because the parents of the girl are rich, they decided to punish me by saying I have raped their daughter," he explained.

He added that he was sent to cells and arranged before court after two weeks.
I asked again," Did you go to court with a lawyer?. He replied he was not given the chance to and his parents were not bothered about it.
As to whether any relation of his has paid him a visit, he also replies " no one has been here to visit me since I came here."

I again asked," would you go back to your family when you are out?. He told me with tears in his eyes that he is yet to make that decision. “My family chose to abandon me here because they do not like me anymore. They did not give me the chance to explain what happened. I have been here for almost two years and I can no longer tell how they look like. They have chosen to abandon me here, so I would do the same," he said.
Kofi (not real name) is 17 and from Ho. He has been imprisoned for two years for stealing a car of a friend.

He also tells me he has never been visited by any of his relations and was not entitled to a lawyer when he was sent to court. He has had no visits from friends and families since he came to the correction institute. He told me he wants to be a soldier when he is released.

One inmate who gave his name as Nii said his parents were divorced and so his mother was the one taking care of him and this four siblings. She later got sick and had to be admitted to the hospital. “As the eldest, I had to search for money to look after her. This is how come I got introduced to theft. My luck run out oneday and I was arrested. Since then I haven’t set my eyes on my family and they have not come to visit me either.

But the question I ask is, "If the parents of these children care less about their welfare, how would they go on with their lives when they are released,? Why are they not entitled to Lawyers even if they are quilty,? What makes them  live this criminal lives even when they have parents to take care of them?.

My interview with them concludes to lack of parental care, peer pressure and even broken homes.Most of them who were not ready to talk to me about why they were in the correctional institution said they were not well taken care of by their parents. Others said they were the ones responsible for their family so they had to do something to survive.

The law of the country also prohibits sentencing juveniles to imprisonment (Art. 346, subsection 2, Code of Criminal Procedure 1960), yet they are imprisoned without even being entitled to lawyers.

Also when children when arrested for crimes, they are not supposed to be imprisoned with adult prisoners but the prison services in the country does not provide the room for these children to be imprisoned. They therefore share cells with adult prisoners before being arraigned before court.

Ghana was the first country to ratify the issues of the right of the child yet little or nothing is done to secure these rights of the children.


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE Programmes Manager of ActionAid Ghana, Mr Kwesi Ohemeng-Agyei, has stressed the need for the government, traditional authorities, civil society organisations and all related agencies and individuals to  work to put structures in place at the local and various levels in  support of the course of rural women.

He said there was the need to ensure that the right of women to land and inheritance was guaranteed and also equal access was provided for women farmers and women in the rural communities in decision making processes.

Mr Ohemeng-Agyei stated this at a forum to mark the International Day for Rural Women held in Accra on October 15. The theme for the celebration was; The Role of Women Farmers in the Agricultural Value Chain.

The International Rural Women’s Day is celebrated every year to recognise the role that rural women play in enhancing agricultural and rural development and how to improve food security, to eradicate rural poverty in the country.

He said there was the need to monitor policies related to gender equality, facilitate women’s empowerment and ensure that laws related to the respect of the rights of women were enforced.

He said women in the rural areas generally worked as subsistence farmers to produce food to feed their families and make money for other basic needs, but had little influence over how to spend household income.

“Providing women with better opportunities to grow their own crops for sale, undertake paid work in the agro industry, or take on other paid activities in the rural sector is critical to increasing their bargaining power within the home and also legitimise their control over key material resources,” he said

Mr Agyei further explained that the obstacles faced by rural women undermined their opportunities for success such as access to public and social infustructure, unequal acess to credit and other important resources like land and water.

He therefore advised rural women to make use of opportunities available to them to elevate their status within their families and communities.

The Chairperson for the occasion, Madam Margret Kyei Manu said the role of the woman farmers could not be under-estimated in the agricultural value chain and stressed the need to give them the opportunity to operate in the agricultural value chains for stronger and enormous profit margins.

Rural women comprise more than one quarter of the total world population and out of this number 500 million women live below the poverty line in the rural areas.

Pix: Some women who attended a forum at Amasaman, near Accra to mark the International Day for Rural Women

INSET: Madam Lydia Sasu, Chief Director of Development Action Associaton (DAA) displaying an award she recieved from the Women’s World Summit Forum (WWSF) for her contribution and support to rural women in Ghana.


Story: Zainabu Issah

MD of Expresso in suit, presenting the items to the HOME.

Some staff of Expresso, a mobile telecommunication service provider, have renovated two building facilities at the Accra Juvenile Correctional Centre at a cost of GHc 8,000.

The renovated facilities are Saint Monica’s Dormitory, which houses over  20 inmates and the draughtsmanship shop which also used train the inmates to acquire technical and vocational skills.

Additionally, they presented a bag of rice, a bag of beans, a bag of sugar, a bag of gari and 200 exercise books to the institute to help in their training.

Presenting the items, the spokesperson for the group, Mr Emmanuel Afryie Amoako said the presentation which was secured with contribution from individual staff and with the support of management formed part of Expresso’s social responsibility.

Staff of Expresso at the Borstal home,

The Counselor of the institute, DSP Dokumah Constance , commended Expresso for the kind gesture and called for continuos renovation of the institute to make the environment more welcoming to the inmates.

He added that the institute since its extinguishment had not been renovated and this had resulted in most of the facilities in the institute either outmoded or out of use.

He also said because most of the roofs of the dormitories were leaking, whenever it rained the room get flooded, making life unbearable for the inmates.

DSP Constance, also used the occasion to appeal to other organizations to come to the aid of the institute which trains juveniles in vocations of their choice so that they would be responsible members of the society.

The Juvenile Institute formerly known as Borstal home was established in 1945 to reform, rehabilitate and reintegrate juvenile delinquents into the society.

They are also given formal education and workshop training in blacksmith, welding, carpentry, tailoring among others.


Story and picture: Zainabu Issah

Every year over 2000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer with alot more dying every 68 seconds worldwide.

Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai of Breast Care International  disclosed that the rate at which cancer kills was very alarming and hence the responsibility of every Ghanaian to help fight against it.

Although the disease is primarily found in women,almost one per cent of breast cancers occur in men and also at any age.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women with the exception of another type of cancer known as nonmelanoma skin cancer.

A woman with a personal history of cancer in one breast has a three- to fourfold greater risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast. This refers to the risk for developing a new tumor and not a recurrence (return) of the first cancer.

About 5 per cent to 10 per cent of breast cancers are believed to be hereditary, as a result of mutations, or changes, in certain genes that are passed along in families.

Family history has long been known to be a risk factor for breast cancer. Both maternal and paternal relatives are important. The risk is highest if the affected relative developed breast cancer at a young age, had cancer in both breasts, or if she is a close relative.

Also, the use of  oral contraceptive pills means that a woman has a slightly increased risk of breast cancer than women who have never used them. This risk appears to decrease and return to normal with time once the pills are stopped.

The CEO of Allure Spa, Madam Dzibordi K Dosoo at the walk.

The breasts are however made of fat, glands, and connective (fibrous) tissue which has several lobes,and  are divided into lobules that end in the milk glands. Tiny ducts run from the many tiny glands, connect together, and end in the nipple.These ducts are where 80% of breast cancers occur and the average woman of 30 has one chance in 280 of developing breast cancer in the next 30 years.

She was speaking at the health walk organised by Allure Spa to mark their fifth anniversary celebrations and to also raise awareness about the disease by encouraging women to regularly have their health checked.
The Chief Executive Officer of Allure Spa, Madam Dzibordi K Dosoo says women contribute immensely to the development of the country and it is important that awareness is regularly created to warn them about the disease.

She added that the rate at which cancer kills is very alarming and hence the responsibility of every Ghanaian to help fight against it.
She said cancer increases in the third world countries than in the developed countries because of the daily screening and awareness that is given to the disease.

Some section of women at the walk on Saturday.

Dr Addai however encouraged regular screening exercises amongst women to help control and prevent the spread of the disease.

She also encouraged the government and organizations to invest more in researching into the disease because cancer can be cured.

Studies have showed that regular exercise may reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer but have not definitively established how much activity is needed for a significant reduction in risk. One study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) showed that as little as one and a quarter to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking reduced a woman's breast cancer risk by 18 per cent.