Tag: Ghana_News


“I have a VISION. Can YOU see it?”…..

Glaucoma leading cause of Blindness

When the 6th World Glaucoma Week was launched in March the president of the Glaucoma Association of Ghana (GAG), Mr Harrison Abutiate, presented some alarming figures. TODAY around 700,000 Ghanaians are living with glaucoma, which is the most common contributor to Ghana’s blindness burden- around 60,000 of people affected are already blind. These statistics make Ghana one of the leading countries with glaucoma cases worldwide

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye and there are many types, however the most common type in Ghana is the most severe form of the disease, called open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is mainly characterised by damage to the optic nerve and poor blood supply to the nerve, which lead to visual loss and eventually irreversible blindness. Open-angle glaucoma usually presents with no symptoms and therefore often goes undetected until it’s too late, which highlights the importance of attending regular eye screening checks- at least once a year.

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Consequently the chosen theme for this year’s World Glaucoma week “Beat invisible glaucoma” reflected the importance of prevention and early detection. The Health Minister, Mrs Sherry Ayittey, rightly pointed out that prevention is not only better than cure but is also much cheaper!

Even though it has been shown that the prevalence of glaucoma increases with age, glaucoma is not a disease reserved for old eyes- glaucoma does not discriminate! A study in a hospital in the northern region found that 21.48% of patients with chronic glaucoma were between 10 and 39 years old. These results are not conclusive and further research will need to be carried out to determine the age group screening should begin, especially for individuals with a family history of glaucoma.

According to Mr Abutiate there are around 250,000 people currently affected who are unaware of their condition, he therefore stressed the importance of intensifying glaucoma awareness and added,

“By so doing, the people will be well informed about the causes, preventable measures, its severity and effects which will make them conscious in making strides to find their status and seek appropriate health care required. This statement really stands out, as it is all about promoting the fact that everyone is entitled to making an informed decision about his or her health.

And Mrs Ayittey, Minister of Health, added

“I want the education to go down to the people of the country, so this rogramme must be held in the marketplaces and the lorry stations where the public can be informed about the disease and not in this small room”.

Mr Abuitate also discussed some initiatives that could be taken to improve the situation in Ghana, which included increasing the number of glaucoma drugs available through the national health insurance scheme, abolition of duties on glaucoma drugs to maximise patient compliance and train more ophthalmologists.

Check out this really cool glaucoma awareness video: The Yvonne Nelson Glaucoma Charity Single feat. Sarkodie, Trigmatic, Iren Logan, Ayegbe Edem, Sherifa, Fresh Prince, Oga-B and many more.

Nora Mistersky (@Ms_Nora_M)

Ghana Get Tough World Cup Draw

 Black Stars to face Germany, Portugal and the USA in Brazil

Ghana were drawn in the perennial “Group of death” in the draw for the 2014 World Cup. They will face the USA and a talented Germany side both of whom they faced in South Africa three years ago. Completing the group are Portugal who arguably have the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo on current form.

It will be a tough ask to qualify, but the Black Stars have done it before in 2006 when they were drawn with Italy and Czech Republic who at the time were amongst the top 10 best teams in the world. They qualified from that group and there is no reason why they cannot do the same next year.

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Ghana’s first game is against the USA on 16 June in Natal, and you sense that will be a vital game where the Black stars will need to win if they are to qualify. They then play Germany on 21 in Fortaleza concluding with Portugal in Brasilia on 26 June.

The Ghana FA sent a delegation to Brazil which included Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah to observe the draw. I’m sure even with a tough draw like the one we got they will be feeling optimistic on our progress to the second round of the competition.

In the Black Stars we trust!

The full draw is as follows:

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

Group B: Spain, Holland, Chile, Australia

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy 

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, United States

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Prostitution a growing problem Ghana needs to control..

Children as young as 13 in danger of entering sex trade but

how can this practice be controlled?

 

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It is said to be the oldest profession in the world as it is as old as the hills.  The practice of selling one’s body for money by offering sex at a negotiated price.In Ghana a Prostitute is commonly know as an “Ashawo”   Prostitution comes in different guises.  There are men who live with women they picked from the streets and who have not been formally acknowledged as wives, because the man has not stood on ceremony with them.

In 2013 this old age practice is fast becoming the way of life for many young women in Accra and beyond. Shockingly it is being reported that girls as young as thirteen are involved in practice in rural areas where there is a lack of education in sexual health. These girl are at high risk of contracting sexual transmitted infections and are can be easily exploited by pimps. Many prostitutes in Ghana are forced into the practice or do it as means to an end. For example they may prostitute in order to earn enough money to help pay school fees of their younger sibling back home, or to send remittances to their aged parents or help renovate the living quarters of their parents.

Prostitution like in Ghana like many countries is illegal. It is a criminal act which attract criminal penalty as per the criminal books of the country. Prostitution is defined by section 279 Of the criminal code 1960 (Act 29) as amended by Act 554 (section 15) as  includes the offering by a person of his body commonly for acts of lewdness (Sex) payment although there is no act of ordinary sexual connexion section 276 of the code as amended by sect 14 of act 554, provides that  any person who persistently solicits or importunes in any public place or in sight of any public place for the purpose of prostitution shall be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding 500.000 and for a second or subsequent offences shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. Section 275 provides that any person who in any public place or in sight of any public place persistently solicits or importunes to obtain clients for any prostitute, or for any other immoral purpose shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. A high percentage are vulnerable to HIV.

A study conducted by the International Organisation for Migration and published earlier this year revealed that there are between 40,000 to 50,000 prostitutes in Ghana with 90% being the mobile kind, and 10% being sedentary or fixed in one place.

So what are the solutions and how can the practice be controlled before it spirals out of control? It is clear that the high unemployment rate in the country is a major factor that promotes this trade like in many other countries. It is not booming because young women delight in offering their bodies to all manner of clients without restraint. It is flourishing because they are so desperate and have no other option but to fall back on their natural assets to eke out their livelihood. Therefore these young girls need better access to education so they don’t drop out school and embark on a career in the sex trade. I also believe that the men who solicit these girls should be adequately punished by the law so as to act as a deterrent and reducing “business” for these girls. Human trafficking is also a problem that feeds into prostitution in Ghana it would be naïve to think that all the prostitutes in the country are Ghanaian. There will a large proportion of girls that have been trafficked into the country from other countries on the continent for the purpose of prostitution. Therefore the authorities need to ensure they crackdown on trafficking on all levels.

Prostitutes unsurprisingly are looked down upon with scorn in Ghana, yet they are part of society, and deserve our sympathies.  We need to show empathy towards them because in most cases, they are victims of severe and austere circumstances, and of course it takes two to tango.  We need to have social intervention to support and rehabilitate prostitutes in Ghana and not just isolate them from society.

 

Leave your comments below..

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana Presidency Elections: Petitioners dismissed!

Supreme Court Validates John D. Mahama’s win at 2012 Election

 

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So judgement day has come and gone! With John Dramani Mahama having survived the National Patriotic Party  (NPP) petition against him thus being validated as President. The day started with a mixture of excitement and apprehension in Accra. Some 32,000 security officers were deployed across Ghana to prevent any violence. However most Ghanaians didn’t ever believe the largely foreign media rhetoric that violence would break out following a verdict.

After the verdict was announced there was a sense of calm from most and I suspect a sense of relief from the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Crowds of NDC supporters emerged to stand on the court stairs, singing and waving white handkerchiefs.

The court ruled that President Mahama had been “validly elected” after beating the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo by 50.7% to 47.7% in the December 2012 election. Mr Akufo-Addo said he would respect the decision of the nine judges.”I urge all our supporters to accept the verdict – and in peace,” he said.

It has been widely asserted that the NPP’s petition failed because although there were some evidence voting irregularities there was not sufficient proof that this could be put down to intentional fraud. Also there were questions about the scale of the irregularities and whether they would have actually made a difference to the result.

NDC general secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia said he was happy with the verdict, as he knew the party had done nothing wrong. The NDC will hope that the ruling will end the anxiety hanging over the Ghana for the last eight months.  This is something the NPP may disagree but they realise they don’t have much choice but to accept the judgement firstly because they had promised to do so and secondly because essentially they had reached the final stage by taking their grievance to the Supreme Court.

One of the most striking things about the whole process was that the case was broadcast live on television and radio in a rare show of judicial transparency not just in Ghana but in Africa. This in particular brought a sense of “soap opera drama” to the proceedings with the whole of Ghana virtually hooked on each episode awaiting the final instalment with bated breath.

For the past eight months everybody in Ghana has become honorary members of the Supreme Court, everybody is a lawyers now in. Courtroom language is being used in homes and public places as a mode of communication. There is no doubt that the 29 August 2013 will forever remain a pivotal day in Ghana’s political history.

Ghana may never be the same again after this.

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Is the Ghanaian Culture hindering Ghana’s development?

Earlier this year we saw the following demonstration taking place outside the Ghanaian Embassy.

Make of it and the entire situation as you will but the question we would like to understand is this:

 

QUESTION:

To what extent could the Ghanaian Culture (as in traditional Ghanaian life experiences eg. Do not question a person in authority, do not question your elder even if they are blatantly wrong ) be stifling the development of the country ?

 

Leave your opinions below guys #FutureofGhana

Ghana’s Music Industry: Piracy + Loss =…

Ghana’s Music Industry seems to be booming like the economy, or is it?

It is common knowledge that the music industry in Ghana haemorrhages millions of cedi every year due to illegal activities such as illegal download of music, ring tones and CD distribution. Recently, it was reported that the Ghana music industry loses over ₵5million annually due to these practises. Piracy has become a huge problem in Ghana, badly affecting those in the creative industry as well as the economy.

But what is the government doing about it?

What steps have they implemented to ensure that musicians and others in the creative industry receive the dues they deserve?

Ghana_Music_Industry_Me_FiRi_Ghana_dot_comThe music industry is vital to any given country’s economy. However, if music piracy – which is the copying and the distrubitions of works by an artist without their consent, or that of the copyright-holding record company – goes unchecked, then the losses incurred by the music industry is huge. Musicians lose their rightfully earned dues and royalties, jobs are lost and the government loses money in tax revenues. Over the years, the act of piracy has increased significantly – it is reported that piracy in Accra and Kumasi is up by 25% since 2009. In addition, the number of CDs and cassettes sold annually has decreased from 50 million to 30 million due to the illegal use of musical works. It comes as no surprise then that piracy has become a pertinent issue that musical associations such as MUSIGA (Musicians Union of Ghana) and NASGAMP (Society of Ghana Music Producers) have tried to address. However attempts to solve the problem have proven ineffective and futile. Musicians such as Gyedu Blay Ambolley and Daddy Lumba have spoken out about the detrimental effects music piracy is having on the industry. But the battle against piracy is something that musical associations cannot fight alone. They need the full backing of the government behind them. Over the years, the government have made a number of pledges to tackle the problem of piracy in Ghana. Just last year, vice president John Mahama announced that the government was to work closely with MUSIGA, currently led by Bice Owusu Kuffour (Obour), by acquiring documents from the Attorney General’s department that will allow them to implement laws against piracy.

But these are promises the government have made before. In May 2005, the government passed Ghana’s copyright law ACT No. 690, which protected the works of artists, granted copyright holders rights to the works and defined the length of that copyright duration. But despite the law being passed, it remains to be enacted. There are extremely few cases where the government have prosecuted persons for piracy. Since the copyright law was passed, there has not been a reduction in piracy, if anything it’s on the increase. Why is that?

Ghana’s copyright law was passed for a purpose – however it is rendered useless if the government doesn’t act on it. What the government needs to do is to crackdown on those who bootleg music and creative works of others. Severe punishments should be meted out to those who sell pirated goods. If people fear retribution for selling pirated music, then they will be deterred from buying from those who distribute it. The government also needs to implement a structure that allows musicians and copyright holders to receive their dues when their works are used on TV, radio, adverts and as mobile ringtones. Moreover, the practise of payola by some DJs and presenters in Ghana needs to be rooted out.

But how does the government go about implementing these changes when some players in the music industry are suspected of being in collaboration with those that pirate music? If piracy is to be rooted out, then it starts with educating the masses with active cooperation from the government. Ghanaians must be educated on the importance of the role played by creative industries. Ghanaian music is currently enjoying international attention, which in the long run will attract investors. If piracy is curbed, not only will it stimulate talent and create jobs – musicians and copyright holders will benefit, with tax revenues collected by the government profiting the economy. In addition, the government must be vigilant in punishing those who break copyright laws, because it seems that pirates are hardly ever brought forward to face the law. Let’s hope that the newly created Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) will be successful in protecting the musicians who spend their time and money creating music for us, only to be denied the fruits of their hard work.

Miss Earth Ghana launched!

Passion for the environment – Miss Earth Ghana launched!

Miss_Earth_Ghana_Me_FiRi_GHANAGhana has launched another new beauty pageant, but there’s definitely something about this one that stands out! The newly launched Miss Earth Ghana is a beauty pageant to search for delegates who will represent Ghana on the international stage concerning environmental awareness.

The pageant is set to take place next year with auditions beginning in January and it’s open to participants from colleges and universities across Ghana. Twelve finalists will then be selected to compete for the crown of Miss Earth Ghana.

Miss Earth Ghana comes in the wake of recent environmental disasters that have taken place across the world in countries such as Haiti, Japan, Pakistan, China and more recently Thailand. Climate change has become a hot topic on most governments’ agenda, and if human activities remain unchecked, it will lead to dire consequences for the planet. This is especially for Africa, where increasing drought and limited water supply means millions are faced with water shortages. Water shortages affect farmers, and cereal yields in Africa are expected to continually drop if nothing is done.

The finalists who will be chosen will take part in environmental activities such as tree-planting in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Northern regions as well as visiting selected schools to give talks on environmental preservation. They will also be educated on various environmental issues concerning Ghana such as flooding, deforestation, bush-burning and beach littering. But most importantly the delegates will focus on afforestation to go with the international and United Nations environmental theme – The International Year of Forests 2011.

This pageant will undoubtedly help educate Ghanaians about the importance of taking care of the environment around them. It great to see a beauty pageant going for such a great cause!

By Yaa Nyarko

Weekly Insight: Ola the Poet – Lay!

“Lay your head down on my pillow. Feel the comfort caressing you into a state of  peace.


No longer feeling monogamous about your daily routines.
But falling in sync with the universe.


Connecting to synergy and exfoliating with passion.
Let it be that the lies you told are wiped into thin air as reality sets in and takes precedent.


As you inhale breaths of life and the scent of cold air and mist brushes your nasal.


Be aware that the seas of which your life wiped away are an exhibition in the sand of footprints and souls.


In front of s a fire place you burn your perplexed aura. Anticipating ease and warmth.


Like water on the verge of boiling point you see no reaction till steam evaporates and then only then does your inscription of history become evident and pure  oxygen becomes toxic.


Laughing gas becomes tear gas and you realise that NOBODY IS PERFECT.

Lay your head down on my pillow. Don’t close your eyes if you want to see your dreams come alive.


But you have to close your eyes to face your fears and live through the nightmares.


Be like the blind man who senses and reacts. Not like the privileged who see and procrastinate”


By Ola the Poet

Me FiRi GHANA News: URGENT…

Britain will withhold aid to GHANA unless the Government changes it’s policy on banning homosexuality in the country...’


Can David Cameron on behalf of the UK Government dictate to GHANA and other countries receiving aid like this?

Should GHANA do what David Cameron says?

Will GHANA be better off not receiving aid?

Does GHANA even STILL need aid?

Have YOUR say below…

Floods in Ghana

The African Spring:
Only a Matter of Time


Ghana_Floods_Me_FiRi_GHANAThe past couple of months have witnessed a sweeping revolution in the Arab world. Ordinary citizens of Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria and Libya have finally found the voice and the strength to stand up against decades of dictatorship. The results? Tunisia is having its first truly free election in 23 years. The authoritarian government of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has finally fallen. Gaddafi huffed and puffed for a while but with little help from their “friends”, the NTC and the people of Libya triumphed. For decades the people of these nations had been subjected to the will and whims of their respective rulers and their families but now the people are having the last laugh. Call them rebels or revolutionaries but to them labels and titles mean very little.

For them it has been a struggle to secure a more free and equal society for themselves and their children. Egypt, Libya and Tunisia will not attain a full-fledged democracy in a week or a month or even a year. It’s going to be a long and rough journey but the good news is they have begun the journey. Now they are free to elect their own leaders – leaders who will be accountable to the people and not themselves.

Ghana_Floods_Me_FiRi_GHANAOne would have expected the swift success of the Arab Spring in North Africa to trigger the “African-Spring” in sub-Saharan Africa, but it has not as yet. Now I wonder who is more surprised, me or the numerous dictators across the continent of Africa. I cannot explain why this revolutionary wave has not swept through the whole of the continent, but I can certainly say those tyrants are sleeping uneasily but I am unperturbed.

The definitive message in the success of the Arab spring cannot be overlooked; the will of the people will always triumph. It has shown that the oppressed everywhere have now found their voice and the strength to finally rattle and pull loose the shackles of the oppressor.

Authoritarian governments may put limitations on the freedom of speech but the voice of the people will always come through with a resounding roar. Tyrants may imprison those who stand up against them but the resolve of the people cannot be held down forever. It can only grow stronger. So to the various dictators across the continent and all around the world, I say to you be very nervous! Because the people will always win, it’s only a matter of time!

By Maclean Arthur