Almost half of Ghanaian youth are into alcohol consumption – UNICEF Report

A UNICEF Situation of Adolescents in Ghana Report has indicated that in 2016 almost half of all young boys from ages 15 to 19 in Ghana engage in binge alcohol consumption.

Also, substance use among adolescents, particularly the use of tobacco and alcohol were linked to chronic health problems later in life, mainly non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as; diabetes, hypertension, and stroke among others.

This was in a statement issued by Mr Labram Musah, Programmes Director of the Vision for Alternative Development – Ghana (VALD-Ghana) to throw light on the serious health harm to children and the youth through the consumption of alcohol.

It said the conflict between promoting child rights, health, and development on one hand and making money through promotion and selling more alcohol on the other hand was playing out in public since a music producer had taken the government to court seeking to overturn a 2015 ban on alcohol promotion by celebrities.

The statement said predatory commercial exploitation that
encouraged harmful activities had been identified by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the two main crises threatening the health and future of children in every country.

It stated that in 2016, according to WHO data, 74 per cent of the adult population abstained from alcohol in the past year but other Ghanaians (mainly men) who consumed alcohol, did so heavily and that around seven per cent of men had an alcohol use disorder and, on average, 13 litres of pure alcohol per man was consumed annually.

The statement said Ghana was facing a rising burden of NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, and stroke among others, and that health experts had linked this to unhealthy diets, cigarette smoking, alcohol use and physical inactivity.

It entreated celebrities to use their platforms to spread health promotion messages which would go a long way to protect the lives of the people, especially children and the youth.

‘Given the state of Ghana’s developmental and public health challenges, celebri
ties could be using their platforms to educate and spread health promotion messages, rather than engaging in ‘predatory commercial exploitation,” it stated.

The statement said; ‘As celebrity-led promotion of alcohol is proliferating on digital platforms, alcohol brands find easier, tailor-made, and more harmful ways to directly reach impressionable and vulnerable young people.’

It stated that in Ghana, as well as in the wider African region, and around the world, the alcohol industry was investing in using more celebrity endorsements for alcohol brand promotions – and they need returns on those investments, meaning more alcohol sales, consumption, and profits.

‘For countries like Ghana this means more harm and costs due to alcohol.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Professional Diaspora Nurses Foundation supports five schools

The Professional Diaspora Nurses Foundation (PDNF), a non-profit health organisation based in the United States of America and focuses on improving nursing education using evidence-based practices in Ghana, has donated medical equipment to five schools to facilitate teaching.

The beneficiary schools are the Baptist University College, Berekum Nursing Training College, Sunyani Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Agogo Nursing Training College, and the University of Ghana Basic School.

The equipment for the tertiary institutions were meant for their skills laboratories, and those for the Basic School were to make its sick bay functional for quality first aid services to the pupils.

The equipment included disposable respirator masks, eye shields, BP apparatus, stethoscopes, non-contact infrared thermometers, Pulse Oz, hot water bottles, isolation gowns, glucometers, protective gown, Tunning forks, Patala hammer, first aid boxes, BD home sharp containers, pressure activated safety lancets, nose Mask for CP
R, Scale, infant heel warmer, UriScan GP Strip and ear probes.

The rest were a spatula, a Fingertip pulse oximeter, skin measurements, oxygen mask, Eye Saline, and Otoscopes.

The donated items were organized and shipped by the Administrative Secretary of PDNF Ms. Joyce Blaboe and coordinated and funded by the President, Ms Adelaide Okoree -Siaw and the entire executive board and members.

Dr. Jemima Kodua, Executive Member of PDNF, who presented the equipment to the various institutions at separate ceremonies, said the Foundation was made up of nurses practicing in various fields of nursing all over the United States.

She said it was also opened to retired and student nurses with a core mission of raising the standard of nursing in Ghana through effective teaching in nursing training institutions.

The vision of the Foundation which seeks to promote quality healthcare delivery, she said, was premised on service, alliance, volunteerism, and education (SAVE).

She recounted some health promotion programmes t
hat the foundation had held across the country over the years, including health screening and donation of medical supplies since its establishment in 2021.

The group earlier in 2023 donated A1C monitors to the Volta region and Atua hospital in the Eastern region.

She said her outfit was committed to supporting stakeholders in the nursing fraternity to improve service delivery and raise standards in the noble profession.

The PDNF’s mission is to strengthen Nursing Education using evidence-based practices in Ghana and the local communities in the diaspora.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Nursing and Midwifery Council to announce new fees, charges May 22

The Governing Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Council says it will announce new fees and charges effective Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

In a press release copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, May 20, it indicated that the fee for foreign verification was still under review, adding that ‘the amended fee will be communicated soon’.

‘The effective date for the revocation and implementation of the newly Approved Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulatlons, 2024 (L.I. 2481) is Wednesday, May 22, 2024,’ the statement said.

It explained that the decision was arrived at a meeting held on May 15, where the 15th Governing Board of the Council agreed to implement the newly approved fees and charges with the exception of that of the foreign verification.

‘The Nursing and Midwifery Council remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of training and practice of Nursing and Midwifery for the benefit of the public,’ the statement added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Fidelity Bank announces Agric-Tech Competition to inspire innovation

Fidelity Bank Ghana, the largest privately-owned indigenous bank, has announced a dedicated space for Agric-Tech within the Fidelity Young Entrepreneurs Fund (FYEF) through an upcoming Agric-Tech competition.

This initiative aims to support the development of groundbreaking solutions that address pressing challenges faced by players in the Ghanaian agriculture value chain.

Julian Opuni, Managing Director at Fidelity Bank, made this announcement during the Agriculture and Fintech Forum at the just ended 3i Africa Summit.

The forum, hosted by Fidelity Bank, brought together stakeholders to bridge the gap between agriculture and fintech and showcase how technology can overcome longstanding barriers in the agricultural value chain.

In his keynote address titled, ‘Seeding Innovation: The Convergence of Agriculture and FinTech in Africa’, Mr. Opuni emphasised the crucial role of the youth in driving technological adoption and innovation within the agricultural sector.

He highlighted the demographic advantage o
f Africa, where 60% of the population is under 25 years old, but noted the underutilisation of this potential due to the perception of agriculture as an unappealing profession for the young.

‘Africa’s youth, aged under 25, make up 60% of the population, with over 200 million young people residing on the continent,’ Mr. Opuni stated. ‘Despite this demographic advantage, the agriculture sector remains largely untapped by Africa’s youth, who often view farming as a profession for the elderly.’

Mr. Opuni the urged the changing of this perception and equipping young Ghanaians with the necessary support and resources to actively participate in the sector’s transformation.

‘This will not only address youth unemployment but also ensure the sustainability and growth of Africa’s agricultural sector,’ he declared.

Building upon the existing FYEF program, which provides financial and non-financial support to youth-led businesses, particularly, those in the agriculture sector, a dedicated space for Agric-Tech will be
carved out within the FYEF framework.

‘Access to opportunities that drive innovation is key to motivating youth involvement in Agric-Tech,’ Mr. Opuni explained. ‘This Agric-Tech competition aims to incentivise the development of innovative solutions that will address critical issues faced by Ghanaian agriculture, ultimately leading to a revolutionized sector.’

Mr. Opuni acknowledged the numerous challenges hindering Africa’s agricultural productivity, including limited investment, inadequate resources, and a lack of access to technology and funding.

He pointed out the risk aversion of financial institutions due to historically high non-performing loan rates in the agricultural sector. However, he called for open dialogue between banks, stakeholders, and policymakers.

‘This forum represents a critical step forward,’ Mr. Opuni declared. ‘By fostering collaboration, we can work towards building a data-driven ecosystem. This will allow banks to more accurately assess risk, design targeted financial products f
or farmers, and ultimately bridge the financing gap for agricultural businesses.’

The forum also showcased Fidelity Bank’s dedication to advancing agricultural development. Divisional Director, Retail and Business Banking, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, participated in a panel discussion focused on integrating technological and financial innovation to reduce risk within the African agricultural value chain.

Additionally, Head of Partnerships, Sustainability and CSR, Nana Yaa Afriyie Ofori-Koree at Fidelity Bank, joined another panel discussion exploring the potential of Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) technology in unlocking financial flows for sustainable agricultural production in Ghana.

‘Fidelity Bank’s leadership in the Agriculture and Fintech Forum at the 3i Africa Summit, coupled with the creation of a dedicated Agric-Tech space within the FYEF program, demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting young innovators and fostering a more vibrant and technologically advanced agricultural sector
in Ghana.’

The three-day summit opened on Monday, May 13.

It was targeted at players in the African digital economy to catalyse investments and foster economic growth across the continent.

More than 4,000 players participated in the Summit that also aimed to generate partnerships for sustainable development.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sanlam and Allianz Insurance Companies in Ghana receive final No Objection from the Regulator to merge

The SanlamAllianz Group is pleased to announce that it has received a final no objection from the National Insurance Commission (NIC) to proceed with the planned merger between Sanlam Life Insurance Ghana LTD and Allianz Life Insurance Ghana LTD, as well as Sanlam General Insurance Ghana LTD and Allianz Insurance Ghana LTD.

This follows the announcement in September 2023 of the closing of the SanlamAllianz joint venture, which covers 27 countries across Africa for a combined enterprise value of nearly US$ 2 billion.

An exciting new journey

The merger between Sanlam and Allianz will allow the Ghanaian market to benefit from the combined expertise of two major financial services groups, which are known and recognised on an African and a global scale and carry more than 200 years of cumulative experience in Africa and beyond.

‘We are confident that our merged businesses in Ghana will create significant value for our clients, shareholders and other stakeholders. The combined expertise and resources of our res
pective companies will enable us to provide innovative solutions and services to meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients,’ says Heinie Werth, CEO of SanlamAllianz.

The merger is also expected to contribute significantly to the overall development of the Ghanaian insurance market, thanks to an innovative range of products and services adapted to all market segments.

Given the SanlamAllianz Group’s growth strategy and diversified financial services capabilities, the organisation’s combined business in Ghana presents various opportunities for operational synergies, creating significant potential for value creation that will benefit the sector, its clients, agents, brokers and partners, as well as its employees.

The Sanlam Life Insurance Ghana is focused on providing specialist life insurance services leveraging on the capacity, expertise, experience, exposure and the financial strength of the biggest non-banking financial services Group on the African continent.

Sanlam General Insurance Ghana offers inno
vative insurance solutions, which cut across all segments of the economy. These include Motor Insurance, Asset All Risks, Marine Insurance, Home Insurance, SME Insurance, Fire and Other Perils among others.

Allianz Ghana, made up of Allianz Life Insurance Ghana LTD and Allianz Insurance Ghana Limited are subsidiaries of the Allianz Group. The Allianz Group is one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers with around 125 million* private and corporate customers in nearly 70 countries.

Having launched its operations in 2018, Allianz Life Ghana LTD is currently a Top 9 life insurance on the market, offering various life insurance solutions for retail, corporate, SME, banks, and partners such as MTN and Société Generale Ghana.

Allianz Insurance, the general insurance provider, offers solutions and services in Motor, Home, Travel, Injury, and Disability Insurance to the Ghanaian market.

In addition, it underwrites SME, Public Liability, Asset, Construction, Transport, and Cyber Crime Insurance. Alli
anz Insurance has bancassurance partnerships with Société Generale Ghana, Ecobank Ghana, Consolidated Bank Ghana, and United Bank Africa.

Source: Ghana News Agency