Ambulance Service requests govt to halt planned commissioning, distribution of 307 ambulances

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Government’s plan to commission and distribute some 307 ambulances to the 275 constituencies on Monday, January 6, 2020, may have suffered another setback.

This is because the National Ambulance Service (NAS) has, through the Ministry of Health, written to the President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to request for the process to be postponed.

A letter written and signed by the Ambulance Service’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Ahmed N. Zachariah, which is in the possession of adomonline.com, made the request, stating five reasons why the planned commissioning and distribution should be halted temporarily.

The five reasons contained in the letter show that a number of preparatory activities which should have been completed prior to the commissioning and distribution of the ambulances are behind schedule.

The reasons cited in the 31st December letter by the Service include a lack of training for staff and paramedics on the use of the ambulances and medical equipment.

As part of the procurement of the 307 ambulances, the manufacturers through the Suppliers are supposed to provide user training for the ambulances and medical equipment onboard. However, this training could not take place as scheduled by the manufacturers because they could not travel to the country before the end of the year due to the holidays season, the letter stated in part.

The letter, however, said the Service had scheduled another date for the manufacturer to provide the training in reference.

The new dates scheduled for the training area in the weeks of the 13th and 20th of January 2020. This training shall comprise of the paramedics being trained on the usage of the different types of equipment in the ambulances while drivers are being trained on the operations of the new ambulances including how the dispatch and tracking systems work. It is vital to provide adequate training to staff before handing over the ambulances, Dr Zachariah requested in his letter.

Another reason for which the Ambulance Service says it is making the request, according to its letter, is the need to have what they described as “state-of-the-art digitized ICT Dispatch system” which will allow the routing of calls through a computer system which will automatically generate the digital address location of the caller to enable control centre easily determine the nearest ambulance to dispatch.

The said state-of-the-art digitized ICT Dispatch system when ready, will allow ambulances to easily determine the nearest health care facility suitable for an emergency and allow the ambulance, when dispatched, to easily navigate using the system to the location of a caller.

It will also provide interconnectivity among the various ambulance stations and the dispatch centres as well as the dispatch centres and the receiving health facilities. This will enhance the response time of the ambulances and thereby improve patient outcomes, the letter explained.

As it stands, however, the said system is yet to be completed but as its completion is integral to the kind of service the NAS intends to give going forward, it finds it necessary for same to be completed before the commissioning and distribution exercises are carried out.

According to the Ambulance Service, tracking devices which are being installed in the ambulances to check abuse of their usage are still ongoing and will be completed in the third week of January hence the need to wait for that process to be completed.

The other reasons contained in the letter are the delay in the completion of the Service Centres and the Labelling of the Ambulances.

According to the letter, both processes will be completed by the third week of January the NAS finds it prudent to wait for their completion.

Since all the above issues are being addressed before the commissioning of the ambulances to ensure an efficient and effective emergency response, we strongly recommend that the Commissioning is postponed to the 28th of January 2020 by which time all these issues would have been resolved, the letter recommended.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu through who the letter was written, has added his voice to the request, saying having engaged them and listened to the reasons for the request for the postponement, I would like to add my voice for their request to be granted.

Until this request from the NAS service, deep throat sources within the government had given the indication that the President was going to commission the ambulances for distribution on January 6, 2020.

It is not clear whether the president will grant the NAS’ request and postpone the same to January 28, 2020.

Source: adomonline.com

I was paid ¢20k to kill JB Danquah – Suspect

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The suspected killer of MP, JB Danquah Adu, Daniel Asiedu aka Sexy Dondon says he was contracted to kill the late MP.

The suspect told the court on Tuesday he was given GH¢20, 000 and promised to be left off the hook.

Daniel Asiedu also told the Accra High Court on Tuesday, [March 10, 2020] that he cannot sleep because the ghost of the MP has been tormenting him.

“I can’t sleep so I want to speak the truth so that this case will be over,” he told the court, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.

Daniel Asiedu confessed that he went to the house of the late MP to kill him and not to engage in a robbery as stated as part of the charges levelled against him.

He told the court that those who contracted him to kill the MP allegedly assisted him to enter the house of the late MP with the assurance that he will be arrested but freed afterwards.

2020 polls: Bryan Acheampong is a cause for concern – Security analyst

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Security analyst Adib Saani says Ghanaians should be worried over the new position given Bryan Acheampong at the Interior Ministry by President Akufo-Addo as the country nears the December polls.

According to him, past actions of the now Minister of State at the Interior ministry must be a cause of concern for Ghanaians.

“It is evident that the President doesn’t have the balls to deal with him. He is certainly a person for us to be very wary of because of his past actions.

“If you look at what is going on, it is completely needless for us to have a minister of state at the Ministry of Interior. This appointment is needless, it is a job for the boys. I will advocate that it is revoked,” he told Starr News on Thursday.

The President has named the Minister of State in Charge of National Security, Bryan Acheampong, as the new Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior.

The reshuffle was announced in a statement by Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin.

As part of the reshuffle, the deputy Minister of Interior, Henry Quartey is now the Deputy Minister of the National Security.

Meanwhile, The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the appointment as a slap in the face of the Emile Short Commission which probed the violent Ayawaso by-election.

Commenting on the changes, the NDC general secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia said: “I think that is a slap in the face of the Emile Short Commission. And I believe it is a cog in the whole orchestration to rig the election. This is somebody who deployed thugs to create mayhem at a bye-election. A commission was established and the commission declared that action unlawful and recommended that the group he commanded be disbanded and he himself punished.

“What the President has done is to tell the Short Commission to go to hell and everyone worried about vigilantism to go to hell. This action is going to legitimise the action of Brian Acheampong and also give him the legitimate authority to deploy the thugs they’ve trained and embedded in the police service to now go and be deployed for election security and you know what it means.

The Short Commission which probed the Ayawaso by-election violence recommended that Mr. Acheampong take “ultimate responsibility” for the operation which resulted in the shooting of six people, leaving several others injured.

“The Commission recommends that Mr. Bryan Acheampong be reprimanded for his ultimate responsibility as Minister in authorising an operation of that character and on a day of an election in a built up area,” the report presented to President Akufo-Addo said.

Source: starrfm.com.gh

Mfantseman municipality lacks medical doctors- Dr. Martin Saumani Daanko

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‘ACP Agordzo will interfere with investigation if granted bail’

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A Senior state attorney, yesterday told the Accra High Court that Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agordzo will interfere with investigation if he is granted bail.

Mrs Hilda Craig argued that accused, who was charged with abetment of treason felony, was likely to get in the way of police and military men as well as personnel of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), who would testify against the accused.

She told the court presided by Justice Charles Ekow Baiden that the conduct of a senior police officer, who encouraged the overthrow of the government should not be glossed over.

Mr Martin Kpebu, counsel for accused, had applied for bail for his client, which the prosecution had opposed.

It is the case of the applicant that the hands of the judge are not tied and that the high court had jurisdiction to grant bail.

The lawyer said ACP Agordzor was a senior police officer, very revered and disciplined and would appear to stand trial.

Mr Kpebu contended that prosecution had completed investigations into the matter and forwarded the docket to the Attorney-General for advice.

ACP Agordzo, a former Director of Operations at the Ghana Police Service, together with Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital, at Alajo, Accra, Donya Kafui, Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu with six others are facing charges of abetment of treason felony and treason.

Samuel Kojo Gameli, a senior military officer, Gershon Akpa, a civilian employee at the Ghana Armed Forces, Warrant Officer II (WOII) Esther Doku, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu and Corporal Seidu Abubakar, had been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and treason, while ACP Agordzor was charged with abetment of crime.

In November 2019, the substitution of the charge sheet by the prosecution stirred controversy as the defence team urged the court not to allow prosecution to file another charge sheet.

Mr Kpebu asked the court to allow his client to go home so that the case could start afresh.

Mrs Bans, the presiding magistrate, asked Mr Kpebu to state the law, which bars prosecution from substituting a charge.

But, Mr Kpebu could not state the exact provision, but referred to an instance in which a magistrate at the Osu District Court stopped National Security personnel from arresting an accused who was discharged.

ASP Asare argued that “withdrawal of the charge sheet does not exclude substitution of a charge sheet”.

He said to discharge an accused in a criminal matter was not acquittal, adding that it was not stated anywhere “in our jurisprudence that discharge constitutes acquittal and the case starts afresh”.

ASP Asare said the provision Mr Kpebu sought to rely on did not suggest anywhere expressly that prosecution could substitute a charge sheet.

“In fact, the provision buttresses our conduct to the effect that we can even withdraw a count. All that we seek to do is to substitute and consolidate the charge sheet,” prosecution said.

The facts according to the prosecution are that Dr Mac-Palm and his colleagues belonged to an association called Take Action Ghana (TAG), and had planned to stage demonstrations, ostensibly to topple the government.

ASP Asare said in July this year, accused contacted a blacksmith from Alavanyo, in the Volta Region, to manufacture 22 explosives, six ammunitions and five pistols.

The court heard that the manufacturer charged alleged accomplices GH¢2,300 as the cost of each pistol and GH¢400.00 for each explosive.

Prosecution said on September 19, Dr Mac-Palm and Kafui were arrested after test-firing at Teshie military shooting range.

The case had been adjourned to January 21, 2020 for ruling.

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

Node Initiative seeks partnership to support cerebral palsy children

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Unemployed father of a cerebral palsy child David Amissah, whose first child Nhyiraba Kweku a cerebral palsy has made passionate appeal to parents of cerebral palsy especially men not to abandon their cerebral palsy children to their mothers alone. He said it is not easy to take care of cerebral palsy children so if such children are left in the care of their mothers alone, it put a lot of burden on them. He made the appeal when NODE INITIATIVE, non-governmental organization based in Cape Coast Metropolis organized dinner for cerebral palsy children and their parents to mark the birth of Christ. Parents with cerebral palsy children are appealing to government and corporate Ghana to support them to cater for their children since most parents have lost their jobs as they had to dedicate their time to take care of such children. They are appealing for support especially the provision of diapers and others.

Dr.  Yemah Mariama Bockarie, a pediatrician at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital said about seventeen million people is affected by cerebral palsy. Dr. Mariama Bockarie is advising pregnant women to seek good anti-natal services, avoid in-take of herbal medication during pregnancy, avoid delivery at home, and seek early delivery at health facility. She said, delay in delivery and treatment of jaundice can also lead to cerebral palsy. In the treatment of jaundice, they should avoid placing jaundice children in the sun instead they should seek early treatment at health facility for phototherapy rather than placing them in the sun.

The Executive Director for NODE INITIATIVE, Nana Brew told the media that, the organization under it Human Initiative Project has decided to support and create awareness of cerebral palsy since less attention has been given to such cerebral palsy children. Since they started supporting and interacting with parents of cerebral palsy children, they have realized that, most parents are out of employment because they had to dedicate their entire time for their upkeep. It is the desire of NODE INITIATIVE to create awareness and also setup small businesses for such parents so they can continue to provide support for their cerebral palsy children.  They are appealing to government, philanthropists, individuals and organizations to partner them to support parents with cerebral palsy children.

Sekondi-Takoradi MCE died of coronavirus – Akufo-Addo confirms

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President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has revealed the cause of death of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Anthony Kobina Kurentsir Sam.

According to President Nana Addo, his late appointee died after being infected with the novel coronavirus disease.

Mr. Sam reportedly died Friday afternoon after a short illness weeks after his driver reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

News went viral that he died of the virus but family sources debunked the assertion.

However, President Akufo-Addo, while addressing the country for the 11th time on measures his administration is putting in place to fight Covid-19, said the statesman died of the virus.

He eulogised the late Sekondi/Takoradi MCE and commended him for ensuring social distancing in markets under his jurisdiction.

“Permit me to pay brief tribute to the memory of an old and valiant colleague in the struggle of the New Patriotic Party and in the work of the Akufo-Addo government, the Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, the Chief Executive of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Hon. K.K Sam, Egya Sam to me and many, whose efforts in enforcing social distancing protocols at the Sekondi and Takoradi markets were, recently, highly commended by me, and who sadly passed away on Friday, as a result of a COVID-related death.

May his soul rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Almighty until the Last Day of the Resurrection, when we shall all meet again,” he said.

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Mfantseman assembly to punish social distance order offenders-MCE

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Mfantseman Municipal Assembly Chief Executive Kenneth Kelly Essuman led a team closed down Mankessim market because traders failed to adhere to social distance order. The assembly has closed down the market to enable authorities to demarcate sitting arrangement to implement social distance order at the market. The municipal chief executive has given indication to enforce the law if traders fail to adhere to social distance directives after demarcating sitting arrangement at the market. He made this known to Ghanabanews.com visited the market after it closure and met assembly workers demarcating sitting arrangement.

The assembly has fulfilled a promised made to Ghanabanews.com as our previous visit to the market revealed that there was no source of water at the market for traders to wash their hands and for other usage whiles government encouraging hand washing to avoid spread of Covid-19 in wake of Coronavirus pandemic. The Municipal Chief Executive, Kenneth Kelly Essuman told Ghanabanews.com that, on our next visit there will be provision of water at market of which he has done. The assembly has provided seven poly tanks connected with stand pipes at the market and hand washing facilities.

 

Some traders who spoke to Ghanabanews.com praised the assembly for the initiative being put in place to implement social distance order at the market. According to them, they were initially angry with assembly for closing down the market but they have now seen the wisdom in steps being taking by assembly. They will adhere to all the arrangement being put in place by the assembly to the latter. Traders pledged to report anyone who may go against the arrangement put in place at the market.

Send your news stories to www.ghanabanews.com and via WhatsApp on +233 243359263.

 

Mahama should be responding to Bawumia not communicators – Allotey Jacobs

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Communicators of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been advised to leave the role of punching holes in Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s maiden Town hall meeting to former President John Mahama.

Social Commentator and former Central Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bernard Allotey Jacobs believes monkeys play by sizes, thus NDC communicators are no match for Dr Bawumia and cannot elevate the level of discussions.

“The best person to respond to Vice President Bawumia currently is Mahama. I will wish that . . . he has that communication skills, highly intelligent and can make a presentation to the understading of people”.

“It is best he will respond to him instead of our communicators,” he said while contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Wednesday.

Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia on February 11, 2020, addressed a maiden town hall meeting in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region which focused on government’s achievements and promises fulfilled so far.

Dr Bawumia used a combination of graphs, tables and text, to support his claim that the Akufo-Addo administration had largely delivered on its manifesto promises, especially on the economy.

“The data shows that Ghana’s macroeconomic fundamentals are strong. Indeed, the strength of Ghana’s fundamentals was confirmed recently by Moody’s Ratings which changed Ghana’s sovereign ratings from B3 with a stable outlook to B3 with a positive outlook. This is unprecedented for an election year,” Vice President Bawumia pointed out.

Source: peacefmonline.com

12.8 million road network at Komenda, a ghost of jealousy

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“Next year is the year we will adopt as the year of roads” a very mouthwatering and salivating statement for people especially in the Komenda district who heard this particular statement from the first man of the land, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo–Adddo.

Interestingly, President Akufo-Addo said it is this same issue he questioned the then government about and was told he might have been sleeping if he was not seeing the roads, asking “where are the so-called unprecedented infrastructure projects,” and that it could not have been true.

Today, residents of Komenda, one of the districts in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Municipality are asking same question.

“Today the cry everywhere in Ghana is about the poor state of our roads. It is an unprecedented cry and it makes you wonder where all the roads in the NDC’s Green Book are,”… “Mr. Speaker, this is why we are going to focus more on fixing our roads across the country in 2020 and beyond. To get the road sector moving and contractors back to work, government will pay 80% of all contractors,”

These were the exact words of the honorable Ken Ofori Atta as he presented the 2020 budget to parliament on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

Looking at these quotes above, one wonders is there any difference at all between politicians in Ghana? Or at best we want to accept that perhaps politicians must be referred to as “politiricksters” just as famous and outspoken, Blakk Rasta put it.

The situation at Komenda is nothing good to write home about. The road network is highly poor with lots of potbellied size holes ready to open its yawning mouth to swallow the tire of every car that plies that particular route commencing from the entrance of Komenda Junction as it moves into the main township.

Though two years ago, a huge promise was made to the effect that about 12.8 million Ghana cedis had been allocated to take care of the road network in the Komenda township, that money seems to either remain in the bank, or still on the paper, without having the strength to move into the pockets of some contractor who has failed to make things show.

Danny, a popular taxi driver who plies that route spoke of a situation where he enlightened my curious ears that in 2013, a letter was even written to the then Member of Parliament for KEEA, Honorable Ato Arthur, however, that letter which was also published online on February 22, 2013 seemed not to have reached Hon. Ato Arthur hence they removed him from office in the 2020 elections.

However, what surprises me is that” Chief” as he straightened his side mirror just to show me how brownish the road had become with swimming pool causative agents especially when it rains heavily on the road. The reddish nature of the untarred road that had not tasted development looked like a virgin locked at a monastery or Mission house.

He said “Chief, you are a big man. I know that when people like you talk, the government would listen. When it rains, the whole place becomes unmotorable and this really causes great harm to our cars.

Sometimes when we are unable to meet our targets, our bosses don’t understand us” speaking in Fanti. I sat in the car quietly, enjoying the dusty breeze, which could have smitten my lungs and caused a trigger if I were an asthma patient.

One other intriguing question that run through my mind was perhaps various governments don’t really care about the electorates and their plights because they hardly stay and work there. Cogitating about this, he quickly sounded my thoughts; “boss, don’t you believe that these people (the politicians) do not care about the state of our roads because they are not staying with us and don’t even come here often?” he quizzed me in Fanti.

Obviously, I could not say a word because I am not a resident there. I just came on an observation expedition and my laptop just spoke with my mind.
However, this is not the first-time politicians have made such a showy display of promises but have failed to do any honoring.

However, one question that still lingers on my mind is whether the 12.8 million Ghana Cedis still exists. To cap it all these set of questions are now popping up, leaving more room for more questions and writing and investigations perhaps from authorities to provide answers to what has happened to the 12.8 million Ghana cedis for the Komenda road, a road year marked even before the year of roads was officially announced.

Columnist: Onesiphorus Obuobi