Monday, January 31, 2011

KATH rewards staff for hard work (PAGE 23, JAN 31, 2011)

Story: George Ernest Asare, Kumasi

Seventeen workers of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) have been honoured for their hard work.
They were presented with television sets, deep freezers and cookers, among other items, as their reward.
The overall best worker award went to Ms Regina Obeng- a Nurse- who was presented with a Tata saloon car.
Other award winners were Ms Yaa Nyarko Poku- Best Nurse- junior category, who was presented with a five-burner cooker, Ms Margaret Aboraa, Best Midwife, who also received a burner cooker as her reward, Mr Samuel A. Asibi, Best Nurse Anaesthetist, who received a 32-inch LCD television, Ms Faustina Otumphoe, Best Healthcare Assistant, who was given a double- decker fridge, Mr William Parker, who also received a double-decker fridge as the Best Allied Health junior division.
The others are Mr Augustine Baah, Best Allied Health, a double-decker fridge, Mr Joseph Atta Amankwah, Best Administrator, a 32-inch LCD television, Mr Yahaya Adamu, Best Support Staff, junior category, a double-decker fridge , Mr James Baddeu, Best Support Staff, senior category, a 32-inch LCD television and Mr Kwasi Appiah, Best Pharmacist, a deep freezer.
The rest are Ms Francisca Antwi, Best Pharmacy Assistant, a five-burner cooker, Mr Simon Mariwa Mensah, Best Audit Staff, a 32-inch television, Mr Kwame O. Atrams, Best Finance Officer, a 32-inch television, Dr Paa Ekow Hoyte Williams, Best Doctor, Junior category, a 32-inch television, Dr Fred Stephen Sarfo, Best Doctor, senior category, a 32-inch LCD television and Dr Thomas Konney, Best Specialist, a deep freezer as his prize.
Delivering an address at the award and thanksgiving ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Robert Joseph Mettle- Nunoo, commended the Management and Board of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for initiating a Provident Fund designed to improve the welfare of its staff and secure their future.
He has also commended them for designing and implementing unique packages aimed at motivating the staff to offer their best in terms of quality healthcare delivery.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo said the government had recognised the immense contributions by the management and board of the hospital to enhance quality healthcare delivery in the country and, therefore, challenged the staff of the hospital to work harder than before “to reciprocate these laudable interventions”.
Commending the award winners for their invaluable contributions to healthcare delivery, Mr Mettle-Nunoo said the government had “developed a comprehensive plan to address the infrastructure deficit in the country’s health delivery system”, stressing that “The government is determined to bequeath a functional and robust health delivery system for Ghanaians”.
He said the government was also “ready to dialogue with all health professional groupings in the country in finding mutually acceptable solutions needed to address some of the outstanding issues on conditions of service”.
For his part, the Chief Executive of the KATH, Professor Ohene Adjei, assured that “ staff motivation and welfare continue to be a pivotal priority for management” Explaining, he said, “ A well-trained and motivated workforce constitutes the bedrock upon which the hospital’s vision for becoming a Medical Centre of Excellence can be achieved”.
He pointed out that “as the sole referral health facility in arguably the most populous region in the country, we know how over-burdened our staff are with work,” noting that “ as management, we believe the little we can do is to assuage this heavy workload by instituting special welfare packages to compensate workers for their sacrifices, hence, the establishment of the Provident Fund to take care of the future security of staff”.
He said the hospital had paid a total of GH¢180,000.00 from the Provident Fund to 516 workers who either went on retirement or were transferred from the hospital.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


By George Ernest Asare.

Alex Kwabena Konadu, the man who hit the limelight in the late 1970’s with his brand of highlife songs such as Asaase Asa, Agya Ata Wuo , Aweie and Asem Bi Adi Bone has died. He died in Kumasi on January 18, 2011 at the age of 63.
Popularly known as One Man Thousand, Alex Konadu died at a time he, and his bosom friend, Professor Kofi Abraham, had accepted an invitation to rock the Sunyani municipality with a highlife and gospel music concert at the end of January. Barely two weeks before the ‘D’ day, Konadu was taken ill, and with support from Kofi Abraham, he sought medical care at various health care institutions in Kumasi.
Just as he was gradually recovering, he suddenly relapsed and was taken to Bomso Clinic in Kumasi by Kofi Abraham but as if to say that enough was enough, he gave up the ghost a few hours later.
“His death is a great loss to me. This is because he was more than a friend, and we have totally become inseparable over the years. We were a great pair at this stage of our lives, and did almost every thing together, a wet-eyed Prof Abraham told Showbiz.
When asked to describe Kwabena Konadu, Professor Abraham said, “ he was in a class of his own in terms of highlife music .This is because he did not only use his music to comfort mourners at funeral grounds, but also succeeded in encouraging the downtrodden to appreciate their values in society.
He also used highlife music to entertain all classes of people at drinking spots, festivals and marriage ceremonies among other programmes to make life more meaningful to them”.
Stressing, Professor Abraham noted , “What endeared him most to music lovers was his desire to entertain his fans by honouring all manner of programmes. He was down to earth, and easily socialized with all classes of people, so his death is a huge loss, not only to me, but many lovers of highlife music, especially our generation, who were completely consumed in highlife music” he said.
According to family sources, the ace highlife musician left behind a wife, Adwoa Fordjour, and 12 children.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


THE National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has called on the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to pay all arrears due teachers since January 2010.
The President of NAGRAT, Mr Christian Addai-Poku, who made the call, said it was equally important for the FWSC to standardise all allowances for public workers as a matter of urgency.
At a press conference organised in Kumasi after their national executive meeting, NAGRAT again called on the FWSC to convene the Public Sector Joint Negotiating Team meeting for them to start work to determine the new base pay for 2011.
Mr Addai-Poku explained that organising the joint negotiating team had become necessary due to the “recent increases in taxes and prices of petroleum products which had unleashed severe hardships on workers”.
The press conference sought to address issues relating to the migration of teachers’ salaries onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), and what NAGRAT described as “succession problems within the Ghana Education Service (GES) and unwarranted releases of teachers within the GES.”
Mr Addai-Poku hinted that intensive work performed by a committee of experts, including members of NAGRAT, the GES and other teachers unions, had yielded fruitful results, as the salaries of teachers would be migrated onto the SSSS by the end of February.
“We are happy that the FWSC agreed to the new proposals submitted by teachers unions,” he announced, adding that, “this agreement has gone a long way to avert an imminent strike action by NAGRAT”.
While urging the FWSC to expedite action on migrating teachers onto the SSSS, Mr Addai-Poku cautioned members of NAGRAT to tone down their expectations for the Single Spine Pay Policy, explaining that “figures generated so far do not point to a marked increase in the salary of teachers, even if they were migrated onto the new salary structure”.
Expressing concern about what NAGRAT described as “illegality being perpetrated with respect to disengagement of headmasters and Directors of Education in Ghana, Mr Addai-Poku appealed to the Minister of Education to investigate the problem “to ensure a well structured succession plan within the GES”.
He suggested that “heads of institutions and Directors of Education should be made to proceed on leave prior to their retirement to enable them to prepare and psyche themselves for their handover”.
He pointed out that the rampant release of teachers without recourse to due process did not only create anarchy in the educational sector, but also did cause “ huge financial loss to the GES”.
Explaining, Mr Addai-Poku said “cases where teachers have enjoyed their full salaries for over a year without working are many, and this cannot be allowed to continue”.
Citing the case of Aburi Girls Senior High as an example, the NAGRAT President said some teachers in the school had been issued with release letters by the Regional Director of Education in the middle of an academic year without any reason being assigned.
“This action of hers is a slap in the face of Section 27 of our Collective Agreement which states that ‘release of teachers in both first and second cycle institutions shall take place at the end of the academic year”.
Mr Addai-Poku said apart from not following due process in releasing the teachers, the Regional Director also asked the affected teachers to bear the cost of their transfer.
He said their Collective Agreement makes it clear that “ a transfer grant of two months gross salary shall be paid to each member on approved transfer.
Explaining further, he said under the Collective Agreement, teachers were supposed to be “ paid a transfer grant at an appropriate rate where the transfer is at the instance of management, resulting in the change of station, as well as movement of household effects”.
He said since the affected teachers had not been charged with any offence and they had also not been brought before any disciplinary committee as enshrined in the Code of Discipline for teachers, they should not be treated in such a harsh manner.
While appealing to the acting Director General of the GES “to take immediate steps to reverse the problem” he urged the affected teachers to appeal against the action of the Eastern Regional Director of Education, Mrs Rene Boache Boateng”.
He gave an assurance that NAGRAT “will follow closely all developments related to the matter until the teachers get justice”.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


An Environmental Crusader, Nana Dwomo Sarpong, has reiterated the need for the government to initiate steps to construct canals in the northern parts of Ghana to link rivers and dams spread across the area.
This is to make water readily accessible all year round to induce large-scale irrigation farming.
He pointed out that the cost involved in building canals in northern Ghana notwithstanding, the country stood to gain tremendously from such an initiative.
He explained that the area would become the food basket for both local consumption and export if the requisite infrastructure was fully built, as a matter of priority.
“With the availability of water from the canals, local investors would not hesitate to pitch their camps in the northern regions to undertake large scale irrigation farming.
This is because we do not only have vast lands that would induce investments in food and cash crop production, but we also have a lot of human resource which could be easily tapped to turn things around in the north,” he explained.
Nana Dwomo Sarpong, who is also the President of Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies — a non-governmental organisation (NGO) — made this suggestion when he spoke with the Daily Graphic on his return from a trip to the northern parts of the country.
He said local investors would be adequately motivated to undertake large-scale farming in the north if the government initiated the construction of canals to make water readily available all year round.
He said the trip gave him the opportunity to properly access the potential of the north in terms of human resource, land and other natural resources such as rivers and dams that would enhance large-scale farming if they were effectively harnessed.
He said with the availability of dams and rivers in the area, the construction of canals would be feasible, provided the government took it as a challenge and made it a national priority.
He mentioned yams, millet, rice, sorghum, maize, tomato and mangoes as some of the food and cash crops that could be produced for both local consumption and export to reduce poverty associated with the area.
“ I am certain that crops like maize, rice, tomatoes, millet and yams could be cultivated and harvested two or three times annually to make food readily available and affordable to Ghanaians, especially if water becomes readily accessible at various parts of the northern regions,” he prophesied.
He stressed that the availability of food in the northern part of Ghana would also enhance income generation for farmers and thereby enhance accelerated socio-economic development.
“If Burkina Faso has done it, and is now exporting vegetables and other cereals to neighbouring countries, and Israel, of all countries, is sufficient in food production, then Ghana has no excuse not to be self-sufficient in food production, especially considering the vast land available and the rivers flowing through the land,” he noted.
He said the country could also take advantage of the annual spillage of dams from Burkina Faso by tapping the water into the canals that would be constructed and using them for large-scale farming.
north would also make it possible for parents to invest in their children’s education and help nurture their potential more meaningfully.
That, he said, would also enable the youth in the area to acquire the needed employable skills to support sustainable socio-economic development in diverse ways.
“The northern parts of Ghana would soon become the food basket of the nation if we take advantage of both the human and natural resources, which are lying fallow in the area,” he noted.
He said: “The banks would be ready to offer loans to prospective farmers because they are aware that with the needed infrastructure and the commitment on the part of the youth to take to farming as a business, they stand to gain tremendously from such business transactions.”

Friday, January 21, 2011


George Ernest Asare, Kumasi.

A Kumasi Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Emmanuel Amo-Yartey, has convicted a business woman, Faustina Adusei, together with her daughter, Yvette Aboagye Kumi and sister, Victoria Ataa Serwaa Adusei, to serve two months jail term each for assaulting an official of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The three also prevented the IRS official from carrying out his official duties, heaping verbal abuses on him at a time he was executing his official responsibilities.
While the court convicted Faustina, 43 and Victoria, to serve two months jail term each with hard labour, it ordered Yvettee, who is a 16-year-old student to be sent to a juvenile court to be convicted to serve the two months jail term imposed on her.
Faustina, who operates a mini provision shop and a student’s hostel at Bomso in Kumasi, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to register her business and offensive conduct when she appeared before the court, and the court convicted her on her own plea.
Victoria, who was also charged with causing unlawful harm, obstructing public officials in the performance of their duties, and impeding the work of the IRS, pleaded guilty to the charges when she appeared before the court and was also convicted on her own plea.
Yvette, for her part, pleaded guilty to charges of assault on the public officer and obstructing an officer of the Internal Revenue Service in the performance of his duties and like the others, she was also convicted on her own plea.
Presenting the facts of the case before the court, Chief Inspector A K.Fandoh, who prosecuted, said while the complainants in the case are officials from the IRS, the three operate a mini provision shop and a hostel at Bomso, a Kumasi suburb.
He said on August 23, 2010, the IRS official went to collect revenue and sales tax from traders who operate their businesses at Bomso at a time Faustina had not paid any revenue for three consecutive years.
The prosecutor said notwithstanding the fact that the officers had regularly invited Faustina to honour her tax obligations, and also served her with several letters, she had refused to comply.
Chief Inspector Fandoh said when the officer went to the premises of Faustina to demand payment of her tax, Victoria and Yvettee, who were by then in the mini shop, told the officer that Faustina had gone out.
He said based on the information received, the officer decided to apply the law as prescribed by locking up the shop until Faustina settled her indebtedness, but in the process of locking the shop, Victoria and Yvettee obstructed him.
He said Victoria pushed him violently, causing him to tumble onto the ground breaking his right hand in the process.
He said as soon as the incident occurred, Faustina emerged from nowhere and assisted her sister and daughter to assault the officer who was lying helplessly on the ground by holding his manhood asking him to have sex with her (Faustina) so that she would have money to pay her tax.
He said when the officer managed to leave the premises, he lodged a complaint with the police who effected their arrest to assist in investigations.


THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has reiterated the need for Parliament to pass a bill that would effectively regulate the operations of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists in the country to enhance quality health care delivery.
In an address read on his behalf at the launch of an award ceremony organised by the Ghana Association of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists (GABMLS) in Kumasi, Otumfuo Osei Tutu acknowledged the distinct role Biomedical Laboratory Scientists play in the health care delivery system.
The programme, which was held on the theme: “Enhancing quality laboratory practices in Ghana — Strategies for strengthening the efforts further,” coincided with the launch of a two-year action plan that sought to galvanise members of the association for them to be more proactive in their health care delivery system.
The two-year strategic plan, a 14-paged document, seeks to devise means of addressing the challenges confronting members of the association.
The document also provides a logo, official website for the association, as well as a constitution in a booklet format and souvenirs for members that would enhance their self-esteem.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu stated that by providing confirmatory diagnostic services to aid the treatment of diseases, Biomedical Laboratory Scientists ensure efficiency in the health care delivery process.
“Clearly, without you, a lot of things will go wrong in the health delivery process. Your practice could save lives or push people to their graves earlier,” he observed.
The Asantehene said it was, therefore, important for Parliament to pass the Legislative Instrument “to regulate this noble profession to make you more organised and better regulated than you are now.”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu also urged them not only to exhibit high professional standards in their practices, but also engage in activities that would make them more productive in the health care delivery system.
He said that would make health care delivery in the country more effective and efficient.
The President of the GABMLS, Mr Prince Sokode Amuzu, promised that the association would support health care delivery in the country in diverse ways.
He said the association did not only boast qualified lecturers in universities across the country who trained biomedical scientists, but also had qualified medical laboratory professional biomedical scientists who manned the medical laboratories in various hospitals in Ghana.
He stated that with the solid foundation that had been laid to build a professional body, it was important for them to advocate and lobby Parliament to pass the relevant Legislative Instrument that “shall regulate medical laboratory practice in Ghana”.
He said it was also important for the association to “set up the Institute of Biomedical Laboratory Science to facilitate the professional development of members as a way of maintaining high standard of professional practice”.
He said with such a body, it would be easy for members to be issued with accreditation and certification, and keep a credible register of all qualified members.
Mr Amuzu said that would make it possible for them to “expose all fraudulent practitioners and laboratories to safeguard public interest.”
Earlier in his welcoming address, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the association, Mr Thomas Kwabena Gyampomah, said notwithstanding their contribution to health care delivery, members “do not enjoy appreciable esteem, recognition and prestige from the public.”
“The growth expected for this sector lags far behind other health professional groups,” he stressed, adding that measures were being taken to address the lapses.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Eighteen people died in two separate accidents yesterday, one at Onyaadze on the Apam-Winneba road in the Central Region and the other at Ohene Nkwanta, near Konongo in the Ashanti Region.
In the Onyaadze crash involving two vehicles, 12 people died on the spot and one person later, while 16 others in critical condition have been admitted to the Winneba Government Hospital. The dead include the drivers of the two vehicles involved.
And at Ohene Nkwanta, five passengers, including two females and a baby girl, died on the spot when a Man Diesel articulated truck crashed into a Tata bus.
The Apam Regional Police Commander, Superintendent Oduro Amaning, told the Daily Graphic that the accident occurred around 5.30 a.m. when a cargo Benz, with registration number ER 7024 X, loaded with canned fish and mayonnaise from Accra towards Cape Coast veered of its lane and collided head-on with a Benz 207, with registration number CR 447 P, travelling from Mumford to Winneba.
In the Ashanti Region, a truck, with registration number AS 507-10, which was heading towards Accra from Kumasi, was said to have first hit the rear of a truck which was ahead of it, veered off its lane before crashing into the side of the Tata bus which was travelling from the opposite direction, causing the bus to crash into a ditch.
The Ashanti Regional Police Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) Commander, Superintendent G. D. Hlordzi, who briefed the Daily Graphic about the incident, said the impact of the crash was so intense that the Tata bus rolled several times before falling on its side, causing five of the passengers to die on the spot from the injuries they sustained.
He said majority of the passengers in the Tata bus, with registration number GW 1764 X, sustained injuries, and were, therefore, rushed to the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for medical care.
He said both the driver of the bus and the articulated truck survived the accident, explaining that while the driver of the bus, identified as Mustapha Seidu, was treated and discharged from the Konongo Government Hospital, the truck driver, yet to be identified, was on admission at the same hospital.
He said the bodies of the deceased were first transported to the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital, but the mortuary was full, so arrangements were made for them to be deposited at the KATH mortuary.
Superintendent Hlordzi said initial police investigations revealed that the driver of the Man Diesel articulated truck was dozing, a situation which he said caused him to hit the rear of a truck which was ahead of it.
He said it was the impact of the first incident that caused the truck to veer from its lane to crash into the Tata bus travelling from the opposite direction.
Superintendent Hlordzi said efforts were being made to identify the deceased passengers, giving assurance that investigations were underway.