The National population council has organized a one (1) day training program for the Media concerning reduction of population in Ghana.
The population of Ghana is increasing rapidly by undermining the use of contraceptives.
Dr. Leticia Appiah, speaking to the Media emphasized that, population is everything. According to her, the development of a Nation depends on the quality of its human capital. And the human capital depends on the investment we are making on human resource. “When you are born as a baby, that is human resource that is very ignorant. You need education, health care, skill development and good nutrition for your growth”, she added.
Again, “we need to know that investment is what transforms human resource to human capital”.
In conclusion, she advised all parents to protect themselves with contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
The Women of Hope has given a one (1) day ultimatum to the opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) to come out and apologize for calling madam LYDIA SEYRAM ALHASSAN who won the Ayawaso by- election a BLOODY WOMAN or else they will face them Naked.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC), collaborated with National Fire Service (NFS) and Ghana Police Service (GPS), has interacted with house owners who are using their houses for commercial purposes without paying Commercial Building Insurance. The exercise started from Kaneshie through to Kasoa. Out of the twenty one (21) companies they visited, only ten (10) companies were apprehended and two companies complied to the tasks of the National Insurance Commission. Mr. Joseph Bentol who is the head of the National Task Force, hence has advised the public who are using their houses for commercial purposes, to comply with the policies of the National Insurance Commission.
The youngest female pilot AUDREN MAAME ESI SWATSON has been honoured by the entire Ministry Of Aviation. Hon. Joseph Kofi Addah, the Minister for Aviation congratulated her and adviced the youth to study to that limit and above.
This years chocolate day has been launched with the theme, “MY CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE ” to mark the Valentine in Ghana. The Valentine which has been changed to CHOCOLATE DAY was initiated by the late HON. JAKE OTANKA OBETSEBI LAMPTEY, member of NPP.
Mr. Emmanuel A. Opoku, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of operations indicated that, he was happy to report that through the collaborative efforts of players in the cocoa industry supporting COCOBOD’s cocoa consumption drive intensified some two years ago.
He said, “domestic processing of cocoa has hit 300,000mt representing 19 percent, of national output from the previous figure of about 252,000mt figure. Currently, local processing of cocoa is 34 percent of the total volume of annual cocoa output (averaging 900,000mt) an indication that we are making progress.
Cocobod will continue to partner revelant stakeholders to intensify awareness creation on the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa, the main ingredient for making chocolates.
The long Service and Good conduct award was held in Accra by Ghana Prison Service (GPS). This award was introduced on 2nd February, 1996 to enhance and motivate the junior ranks.
The event has stalled for a longtime, due to fundings in the form of a token or prize to accompany the medal during the occasion. The criteria for the qualification for the award is having served diligently for 16 years continuously and exhibited good conduct during the period.
Mr. Patrick Darko Missah, who is the current Director General of Prisons said, “for the first time in the history of the service, a total of One Thousand and Ninety officers would be decorated at the various prison establishment’s, across the country”.
The City Construction and Property maiden Awards held in Accra on the theme” CONCEIVE, CONSTRUCT AND CONSERVE” by Image Consortium Limited.
The company brought this award to improve the quality of our buildings and enhance the works of building technicians, engineers and architects.
Hon. Eugene Boakye Antwi, the deputy Minister for Works and Housing and MP for Subin emphatically said,” housing is a component of infrastructure that promotes human dignity. Government has over the years, demonstrated keen interest in ensuring that the good people of Ghana have access to decent, adequate and affordable housing”.
Available data puts Ghana’s housing deficit in excess of 1.7 million housing units. To address this deficit, there is the need for a minimum annual delivery of about 85,000 housing units over the next 20 years.
An amount of 1 billion Ghana cedis has also been voted to establish a mortgage and housing finance and will be seeded with at least 100 million Ghana cedis every fiscal year over the next 5 years. This effort by government seeks to cushion private sector in expanding access to housing and deepen the local mortgage and construction finance market.
He finally said, “Ghana Building Code was launched in November this year. The code sets out requirements and recommendations for efficient standards for residential and non-residential buildings and covers planning, management and practices in the construction of buildings. It also aims at ensuring adequate protection, public health and safety in the building and construction industry”.
Rev. Ismaila Hansmittson Awudu who is the Board Chairman of Road Safety Commission and the head pastor of international central gospel church’ YAHWEH TEMPLE’ EAST LEGON emphasized that,
IT’S RATHER unfortunate and sad to have our able-bodied and future leaders perishing on our roads on daily basis something that is avoidable and needs to be condemned in no uncertain terms. We’ve watched and seen gruesome deaths on our roads something that is gradually wiping us out and has caused, sorrow, pain, misery, endless agony in families and has greatly affected our noble country Ghana’s human capital and GDP.
Road deaths are the highest more than HIV and other related deaths in the world. It will interest us to know that people who have been maimed by road accidents are even more than those that have lost their lives; they’re living but have become a burden to themselves, family and their community, a sad situation for such able-bodied people, bread earners of their family has now become incapacitated. None of us is safe from this looming danger on our roads.
Again, One may therefore ask what has accounted for all these unfortunate deaths, human pain and deformation.
Its simply indiscipline by drivers and pedestrians, lack of state priority in tackling projects, low political will and unnecessary political equalization, lack of project continuity, poor road engineering, delays in accident response, poor maintenance culture, disjointed inter road sector collaboration, inadequate funding, and enforcement.
I would like to elaborate on few of the above raised points:
Indiscipline on the part of drivers and pedestrians
First, is indiscipline on the part of drivers and pedestrians; Sad to say but factually, majority of our deaths and misery on the road result from this; people should know the first safety rule is to think and act safety personally.
How do we drive in this country over-speeding and total disregard for other road users, lack of patience for pedestrians, text driving, wrong overtaking, total disregard for road signs and traffic regulations, display of impunity, drunk driving and substance abuse.
Other bad driving practices are lack of proper maintenance on our vehicles, use of wrong tires, overage vehicles and lack of being responsible for our lives.
Other areas worth looking at are pedestrians visibly ignoring footbridges and crossing roads dangerously, jail walk, crossing roads at unapproved places, crossing roads sometimes with ear phones on, making a call, picking a call or listening to a call and ignoring danger of incoming car at the peril of their lives among others.
Second, is our road engineering: since independence our population keeps increasing both human and vehicular yet our roads have not been improved to meet world standards or meet our national demands; we have become a reactive society without proper planning to mitigate future demands, for example why should we have a motorway since independence and is still not improved and is full of death trap potholes, no provision for settlers around the motorway, no lights etc? We sometimes finish constructing roads before we think of human safety after lives have been lost and many maimed and in most cases this is even considered when public pressure is mounted, we have long stretch of roads that are single lane instead of it being a dual carriageway.
Most of our road networks are not lighted, so people drive in darkness, there are not rest stops for long distance drivers so they drive tired, sleepy and stressed, hence end up having accidents.
Sometimes road contractors ignore safety by leaving sand, packed vehicles, open trenches and other materials without caution thereby resulting in accidents like a case of Ebony’s death- May Her Soul Rest in Peace.
Thirdly, seeming political insensitivity to the plight of the citizenry; many a time happenings and responses to accident related issues and road engineering or equipping of road agencies by subsequent governments leave one to wonder whether government really considers this sector as a priority to national development, though there has been some interventions in this regard it sometimes comes very late when much damage had been done.
One thing that really saddens my heart is the continuous political equalization instead of tackling this accident menace as a state or nation we tend to politicize it and look for avenue to attack each other politically and pass on blame. Over the years the problem of lack of continuation of projects funded by state money by successive governments has resulted in most of our pain and needless deaths.
Health and safety point of view
From a health and safety point of view, what could be done to stem the gradually rising morbidity and mortality associated with Road Transport Accidents (RTA) in Ghana? Various measures have been recognized and tested which granted not specifically directed at the factors contributing to the Ghana situation listed above, but clearly will impact positively and help stem this health and safety problem.
Driver behaviour and education can be highly influenced by targeted health promotion campaigns. Seat belts, alcohol and drug regulation and monitoring are definite known preventive interventions. Pedestrian education and protection, especially for the LAMIC sphere like Ghana, should be given due attention.
Attention to development and maintenance of strategically placed emergency response and trauma centers for timely attendance to RTA victims to reduce morbidity and mortality is important. Additionally appropriate capacity building in the areas of road and transportation enforcement and regulatory bodies/personnel, legislation and data collection and management among others, count greatly towards containing this important health and safety problem.
One other thing that saddens my heart in all of this also is we lack community mobilisation spirit in carrying out projects as a community to save our life instead we want government to do everything for us, in as much I share in that it is also imperative that citizens and organisations now rises up to contribute to safety and sponsor certain road projects like footbridges, speed ramps, zebra crossing, lollipop stands, education of the community on road safety etc and not only wait for things to get out of hands before react.
Additionally, our response to accident and accident victims in our country leaves much to be desired. It’s so sad that life that could have been saved through road accident is lost because there was a delay in responding to the victim. People will have pleasure in filming an accident to share on social media than calling for help or making an attempt to send the victim to hospital for treatment. Sometimes we also have the unfortunate situation of other road users obstructing the smooth movement of an ambulance responding to an emergency. Elsewhere as part of ones education you’re taught safety and how to administer first aid or help an accident victim but sad to say most of us lack the basic knowledge in handling accident victims or application of first aid and sometimes in our attempt to help an accident victim we end up killing the person or worsening his or her injury because of how we handle them.
Logistically we lack modern, well equipped state of the art ambulances to help save situations during accidents not to talk of inadequate ambulances and personnel. Our hospitals and how accidents victims are treated is also something that should concern us as a state.
Finally I would like to comment about the enforcement and education in respect to Road safety, it is worrying to realise that certain vehicles have been licensed and have road worthy certificate yet that vehicle by all intent and purposes should not have been on the road, majority of people have licenses and drive on our roads but are visually impaired, emotionally and psychologically unstable, have not gone through proper test, does not understand road signs and other traffic regulations but are operating within our road space.
Political and personality interferences has also accounted for enforcement challenges not to talk of nepotism, open taking of bribe from drivers by some corrupt law enforces.
Road safety education
Road safety education has also not been intense, well engaging and deliberate enough due to human, logistical and financial challenges.
RTA related fatalities and injuries continue to be an important morbidity and mortality problem, as well as a health finance problem in Ghana requiring urgent attention and containment as has been done in some countries with developed economies. The problem of RTAs’ in Ghana though must not be seen and managed through the lens of ‘RTAs’ being just a safety issue”, and hence being tackled as such; as has been reflected in the public domain in the past. What this article particularly stresses and brings to the Ghana RTA discussion, is that the problem of RTA containment should primarily focus on prevention by utilising a multifaceted public health approach.
This approach draws on all the relevant public health disciplines of epidemiology, statistics, environmental sciences, behavioural sciences, safety and injury prevention, health services administration and others, as well as the incorporation of emergency and advanced trauma support services, to guide and formulate policies towards containing the scourge of the RTA problem currently confronting the country. Of note in ending this piece is that the problem of RTAs in Ghana is not typical of Ghana only, but a problem in the sub-region and Sub-Saharan Africa in general.
Hence the public health implications and solutions discussed above apply as much to Ghana, as well as other countries in the Sub-Saharan region. The urgency for containment of the RTA situation in Ghana (and the Sub-Saharan region) is especially important now; more so as the United Nations considers the problem of RTA containment a global public health priority, and has declared the decade 2011 to 2020 as the “decade of action for road safety”
He concluded, “I would like to recommend the following: we should wake up as a nation to deliberately and tactically tackle our road sector in terms of effective road engineering, strong enforcement to bring sanity and discipline on our road, engage in purposeful, deliberate Road safety education, citizens and community stakeholders championing the cause of safety and contributing towards safety measures or projects, the media willingly donating space or airtime consistently for Road safety education than rather waiting for an accident to occur before they devote much time and attention to it by running minute by minute commentary it will greatly help if the media can channel the same energy into a minute by minute reminder of road users to be responsible.
Government and politicians alike seeing the issue of safety beyond political differences but rather a state or national concern will go a long way to help in saving life on our road. We should also translate the talks into action and learn to react to issues promptly than wait until there is possible pandemonium. MTTD and national Road safety should be well resourced to be able to carry out their mandate, for example Road safety should be extended to all the districts and not only the regions, increase their staff strength empower them to undertake institutional enforcement of their stakeholders like MTTD, DVLA, Roads and highways etc.
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