UER: Two University radio serial callers, fans donate towards dialysis centre

Serial Callers and supporters of two University Radio stations in the Upper East Region have supported the establishment of the dialysis centre at the Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga with a cash donation of GH?2,460.00.

The Universities are the Bolgatanga Technical University (BTU) in the Bolgatanga Municipality and the Regentropfen University College (ReCAS) located at Namoo in the Bongo District.

Presenting the cash to the management of the hospital, the group underscored the significance of the dialysis centre to the provision of quality healthcare services and noted that the donation was from personal contributions of serial callers and their fans of the two university radio stations.

Mr Peter Anaba Nsoh, a Member of the Serial Callers, noted that data from the Ghana Health Service had shown that due to lack of dialysis machines and services, many people had lost their lives over the years.

He said the situation was worse among vulnerable people who had financial challenges travelling to well-equipped
health facilities outside the region to access medical treatment and there was the need for stakeholders to support efforts towards the establishment of the dialysis in the region.

He expressed the hope that the gesture would contribute to ongoing efforts and appealed to the government and other individuals and organisations to support the initiative to establish the dialysis centre in the region to help save lives.

Receiving the cash, Mr Justice Dadson, the Head of Finance at the Regional Hospital, thanked the Serial Callers and their supporters for their generosity and noted that it would go a long way to support the efforts made so far.

‘We want to thank you very much and assure you that the money will be put into good use to ensure that the dialysis centre works effectively and efficiently to ensure that our kidney and health issues are properly settled and efficiently managed in the region so people will not have to travel down south to seek medical care,’ he said.

The Upper East Regional Hospital in
Bolgatanga is the major referral hospital for providing critical and essential healthcare services for residents of the 15 Municipal and Districts as well as parts of the North East Region.

Patients from neighbouring countries such as Togo and Burkina Faso also access the hospital for various healthcare services, but the hospital constantly rely on the Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern Region for dialysis services for patients who have kidney failure because the region does not have a dialysis centre.

Statistics from the Regional Hospital reveal that 15 out of the 30 people who had kidney related diseases and required dialysis services in 2022 died.

This raised lots of concerns among stakeholders and the management of the Regional Hospital among other stakeholders begun a campaign to establish a dialysis centre in the region which have so far attracted various support from the public.

So far, the structure to serve as the centre has been renovated with some of the machines and equipment being insta
lled and would begin operations within the year.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana can eliminate malaria – Dr. Paul Boateng

Dr. Paul Boateng, the Case Management Focal Person for the National Malaria Elimination Programme, says Ghana can eliminate malaria through behavioural change. 

Dr. Boateng noted that behavioural change and the adoption of a positive attitude against littering of the environment and breeding grounds for mosquitoes would go a long way in achieving a malaria-free Ghana.

He said this when speaking at the celebration of World Malaria Day jointly by the Tema Metro and the Tema West Health Providers Association.

World Malaria Day was observed on the theme: ‘Health Equity: The Cornerstone for Achieving Malaria Elimination in Ghana.’

He noted that just as China was able to eliminate malaria irrespective of its huge population size, Ghana could draw inspiration from them and do the same, adding that the country was currently under control, bringing the burden down gradually, and then getting to the pre-elimination stage.

‘That will take quite a long time. So the decision among all the stakeholders-all the key sta
keholders, from WHO to USAID to other ministries-was that the country should be able to work to eliminate malaria as soon as possible,’ he stated.

Dr. Boateng indicated that based on that they had taken a number of steps, which include having a lot of stakeholder engagements, as elimination could be achieved as a health sector agenda alone but rather through a multi-sector approach. 

He disclosed that the country’s approach was to work at eliminating malaria first in the areas where it is very low, learn lessons from those areas, and then work to eliminate it across the entire country.

He said the goals of the strategic plan for elimination include eliminating malaria in the 21 districts in the Greater Accra region by 2028 and reducing malaria deaths by 90 percent by 2028.

The Focal Person for the National Malaria Elimination Programme further revealed that they were in the process of developing guidelines for the enhanced malaria death audit, explaining that it would help them treat every malaria death j
ust like a maternal mortality case.

Dr. Vitus Anab-Bisi, the president of the Tema Metro and Tema West Municipal Health Providers Association, said even though World Malaria Day was celebrated on April 25, there were certain aspects of malaria cases and diagnosis management that needed to be highlighted.

Dr. Anab-Bisi, who is also the General Manager, Health Services at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), said the programme helped the health providers look at the malaria data for Tema and others, malaria burden and diagnosis, and issues of testing and treatment.

He added that it was obvious that even though the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Services, and other stakeholders were moving steadily towards the targeted elimination of malaria, more improvement was needed.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Medical Laboratory Professionals resume work

Medical Laboratory Professionals have resumed work at the various facilities as directed by the National Labour Commission (NLM) Monday, June 24, 2024.

A visit by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to some facilities saw the professionals at post, putting their equipment in place as well as engaged in recalibration to get the facilities ready and allow full operations on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Prior to the strike action, all machines were shut down, so they have to put them in order for work to start smoothly.

Although they were not in full operation, they attended to some clients, who had gone there to access their services.

Clients who spoke to the GNA on condition of anonymity, said they faced a difficult situation during the strike and had to postpone their surgeries.

Mr John Kofi Nakoja, Chairman of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Chapter of Medical Laboratory Professionals Workers Union (MELPWU), said although they were not happy with the directive by the Commission, they had suspended the strike due to t
he cry of Ghanaians and the dire consequences that could happen.

‘When we went on strike, NLC did not invite us, the government did not see the need to call us to the table, but we saw the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian, elsewhere they cannot get alternatives to do their labs.

‘We cannot be fighting a government that does not care, at least Ghanaians have seen that the government has not been fair to us, so it is because of the sympathy we have for the ordinary Ghanaian that we have suspended the strike,’ he said.

Mr Nakoja said providing them with improved conditions of service would boost their confidence, adding that Professionals were exposed to infections and diseases in their line of duty, yet their conditions of service were not known.

The Chairman said many laboratory Professionals had contracted Bacterial infections, exposure to radiation, eye problems and inhalation effects.

‘Our lives are in danger, just like a soldier on a mission to save the nation. This is the profession we have chosen, so
looking at the dangers that it poses to us we have no option because if everyone decides not to work in the lab, how is the ordinary Ghanaian going to survive,’ he added.

He called for an urgent conclusion of negotiation on their conditions of service, adding that they would not be able work in such hazardous environments without a condition of service as they were exposed to a lot of infections.

‘There is nothing in place for you with regards to healthcare and when you die in the course of your duty, what happens to your family, nobody cares for us,’ he said.

Mr David Azumah Nelson, a Medical Laboratory Professional, also the Supervisor for the Haematology Department of the Korle-Bu Central Laboratory told the GNA that he had developed eye defects because of the work.

He said, ‘When I entered the profession, I saw most of my senior colleagues in glasses and were complaining about their eyes, but I thought it was far-fetched. 15 years into the practice, l have started wearing glasses due to the hazards an
d risk from the work.’

He said wearing his seventh pair of spectacles and nobody was paying for the expenses and no allowance to take care of such.

‘Even during the COVID-19 season, we were here working, and we got nothing. I personally contacted Covid about two to three times and at one point, we had to shut down the whole facility because almost all of us were infected with the virus and if I had died in the course of service, what happens to my wife and kids,’ he said.

He said there were a lot of risks involved, hence, the importance of concluding the negotiation on their conditions of service.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NGO urges Ada youth to value life over sex

Ms. Esther Kakie Ayimavor, the Chief Executive Officer of the Naana Kakie Foundation, has appealed to the Ghanaian youth to prioritise a healthy life over having unprotected sex, which can cause a lifetime regret for them.

Ms. Ayimavor said, ‘We cannot value short-term enjoyment more than our precious lives.’

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, she noted that the recent data from the 2023 national and sub-national HIV and AIDS estimates and projections showed that 17,774 people, comprising 6,457 males and 11,317 females, became newly infected with HIV last year, a situation she described as ‘scary’.

Ms. Ayimavor, affectionately called Naana Kakie, expressed worry over the data, and said 4,869 youth contracted the virus in 2023.

‘This is very serious,’ she bemoaned, adding, ‘we are aware that over 45,000 youth in Ghana were living with HIV as of 2022, and if, suddenly, we are having 4,869 youth contract the virus in 2023 alone, it means that over 49,869 youth are HIV positive.

‘Remember tha
t these figures are only those of people who have been tested. What happens to those who are yet to be tested and are having unprotected sex with innocent people?’

She called on the youth and Ghanaians to prioritise their lives to curb the fast and widespread spread of the virus, adding that, ‘if you know you can’t abstain from sex, protect yourself during sex and be safe.’

She encouraged the youth to adopt the ABC method of HIV prevention, explaining that ‘A’ means abstinence from sex, ‘B’ means being faithful to yourself and your partner, and ‘C’ means the use of condoms when unable to do the A and the B.

Miss Ayimavor said if these steps were taken seriously, the spread of HIV in Ghana would reduce drastically.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kyeremeh Atuahene, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, disclosed that Ghana had not been able to achieve its annual target of a 17 percent reduction in new HIV infections in the last ten years.

He stated that according to the projections, 334,095 people in Ghana, m
ade up of 15,891 males and 218,204 females, were living with HIV in 2023.

The projections show that 12,480 Ghanaians died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2023, while most of the people infected or living with HIV in the country are between the ages of 15 and 49 and are also an economically active population.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Health professionals urged to be Christ-like in the discharge of their duties

Most Reverend Paul Kwabena Boafo, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, has urged health professionals in the church to always exhibit Christ-like attitude in serving the people under their care.

He said healthcare was a vital aspect of human society and they should see themselves as mature Methodist health professionals, who were confirming their Christian faith of service to humanity, irrespective of the background of the people who came to them or wherever they found themselves working to serve mankind.

Most Rev. Boafo, who was addressing the 7th conference of the Methodist Health Professionals in Kumasi, said for the Methodist people, healthcare was not an appendix of the church, but an essential service started from the early days of the church for humanity.

The conference was on the theme ‘mature Methodist health professional: his or her role towards the universal health coverage and building resilient health systems to confront non-communicable diseases and mental health.’

Most Rev. Boafo
pointed out that, the profession they had chosen was to serve and gave healing to people without any discrimination, adding that, God had called them for a purpose and irrespective of where they are, they should see themselves as serving the present generation.

They need to do things differently to impact humanity.

He said the goal of the universal health coverage was to ensure that everyone received quality healthcare without any barriers be it financial, access, racial background etc.

As Methodist health professionals, the Christ factor should be seen in you bringing it to bear in the discharge of their duties, he said.

Most Rev. Boafo said they had a big responsibility to serve the people and advised them to intensify health education in their communities to empower the people on the need to be conscious of their health to reduce hospital attendance and the workload in their health facilities.

Mr Edward Osafo, Director of Methodist Health Services, said the purpose was to bring the professionals of th
e church together and build their Christian faith, by focusing on assisting them vocationally and intentionally align themselves with God’s character and eternal purpose.

It is also to build the capacities of the health professionals to engage, influence and transform their context and the whole of healthcare structure.

Mr Osafo said the Methodist Health Services had been undertaking several activities to reach out and attract people.

Among them are health education, medical screening and outreach programmes, blood donation as well as the establishment of health facilities, which were providing care to many people in the communities.

The church has 26 health facilities in nine regions of the country and two health training institutions at Afosu in the eastern region and Ankaase in the Ashanti region.

Source: Ghana News Agency