Category Archives: Health

‘Kaakro’ made with rotten plantain can give you cancer

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A former dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor George Tawia Odamtten, has cautioned the public against eating ‘kaakro’, mashed plantain, made into balls and fried in very hot oil.

He said although eating ‘kaakro’ is not bad, the manner in which it is prepared with soft plantain that are almost decayed or rotten can cause cancer.

Professr Odamtten said this when he delivered a public lecture on the topic: “Plant diseases, crop and food security in Ghana,” organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science in Accra.

He said the fungi which affect plantain posed health risk to those who consume them, and could affect their lungs that can develop cancer.

He observed that since market women who sell plantain want to prevent losses, they sell the decayed or rotten plantain to those who prepare “kakro.”

“The ‘kakro’ we all enjoy with beans is mostly prepared with soft plantain but buying the spoilt plantain to prepare it is what I am not encouraging,” he said.

There’s a fungus amongus…and that’s not rice, it’s maggots!

He advised those who prepare ‘kakro’ to use ripe plantain in order not to put health of people at risk.

“There are so many foodstuffs at the market where are sold especially to food vendors. Stakeholders should support farmers by giving them fertilizers and insecticides to prevent the crops from diseases,” he said.

He urged civil society groups to strengthen awareness on food safety and security as well as create mechanisms to check foodstuffs sold at the various markets.

“We need to put proper mechanism that would help our farmers to practice the best farming method that would help the food from getting rotten.

“We should not only focus on food production but also how best we are able to preserve the crops,” he said.

Prof Odamtten said government should provide adequate warehouse for farmers to help preserve their produce.

He noted that among the major challenges farmers face were lack of warehouse and deplorable roads that lead to farming communities.

Source Ghanaian Times

Pupils of Kanda Cluster of Schools screened for scoliosis, 1 case recorded

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Some pupils of the Kanda Cluster of Schools in Accra have been screened and sensitized on scoliosis, a three-dimensional abnormality that occurs when a person’s spine becomes rotated and curved sideways.

A total number of 221 pupils were screened and one suspected scoliosis case recorded in the exercise, which was held Saturday to mark the International Scoliosis Awareness Day.


It was organised by the Scoliosis Foundation Ghana in partnership with the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) and Inspire to Rise.

Helena Owiredu, a survival of scoliosis who developed curvature at the age of 13 shared her story.

A spine Doctor, Doctor Mahmoud Rafai of FOCOS Orthopedic Hospital advised parents to seek for medical assistance if they see any sign at the back of their children.

Early detection can help prevent its progression, reverse it, he said, adding that it is less complicated and cheaper to correct in its early stage.

Executive Director of Scoliosis Foundation Ghana, Gabriel Ntow Quao noted victims of scoliosis face a lot of challenges from stigmatization.

“When you’re in a public vehicle nobody wants to sit beside you, because they have the perception that scoliosis is infectious or is a curse so they don’t want to associate themselves with you at all,” he stated.

Founder of Inspire to Rise, Ms Wendy Laryea said the foundation saw the need to be part of the exercise in order to widen awareness among pupils to be more informed on the subject.

Ms Laryea

Symptoms associated with scoliosis can include:

  • Respiratory and/or cardiac problems in severe cases
  • Pain in back, shoulders, neck and buttock pain
  • Limited mobility secondary to pain or functional limitation in adults
  • Constipation due to curvature causing “tightening” of stomach, intestines, etc.
  • Painful menstruation

The signs of scoliosis can include:

  • Uneven musculature on one side of the spine
  • Rib prominence or a prominent shoulder blade, caused by rotation of the rib cage in thoracic scoliosis
  • Uneven hips, arms or leg lengths
  • Slow nerve action
  • Heart and lung problems in severe cases
  • Calcium deposits in the cartilage endplate and sometimes in the disc itself


Three receive prizes in Kokrokoo Charities raffle

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Kwame Sefa Kayi is the initiator of ‘Project 100 Incubators’

Three loyal viewers of TV3 were on Friday presented with their prizes for participating in the Kokrokoo Raffle, aimed at raising more funds for Kokrokoo Charities Foundation.

The Foundation set up by ace radio presenter Kwame Sefa Kayi is intended to be a fund-raising platform to channel resources in support of needs identified through Kokrokoo, a morning show on Accra-based Peace FM.

The Foundation is currently embarking on a project to procure 100 incubators for health facilities across the country by the end of this year.

Dubbed ‘Project 100 Incubators’, the charity initiative, which began in 2014, was launched on May 23. It is aimed at reducing the mortality rate of children born prematurely.

Every year, an estimated 140,000 children are born pre-term, out of which 8,000 die before 30 days.

The raffle was put together as a means of raising more funds for the project.

Anderson Jennifer, a regular viewer on TV3, won a deep freezer as the winner while Gabriel Dadzie Williams won a refrigerator.

Ms Jennifer received a NASCO Chest freezer as her prize

The 1st runner-up received a NASCO refrigerator

The 2nd runner-up received a sound system

A third viewer, Jamseson Jerry Kwaku, won a sound system.

The prizes were presented on behalf of TV3 by News 360 presenter Natalie Fort.

The raffle is ongoing with viewers encouraged to call 050 791 04 66. Callers instantly receive a reply from Kwame Sefa Kayi and subsequently a text that will prompt them on how to donate.

So far, Prestea Government Hospital at Huni Valley in the Western Region, La General Hospital, Police Hospital and Tamale Teaching Hospital have benefitted from the project with incubators installed at those facilities.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Youth in Bukom sensitised on dangers of unsafe abortion

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Over 100 youth living in Israel, a fishing community located within Bukom, a suburb of Accra, have been vigorously sensitized on the dangers of illegal abortion under a project dubbed ‘Abortion 360’.

They were also advised to always adopt the practice of comprehensive abortion care (CAC) to stay out of danger.

The youth, usually made up of teenagers, were schooled at a durbar organized by three NGOs spearheading the ‘Abortion 360’ campaign on dangers of unsafe abortion and the need to embrace the comprehensive abortion care for their own safety.

The method used to drum home the message was a popular theatre (drama) which sheds more light on the illegal abortion practice.

Though a short drama portraying a mixture of pain and pleasure, the storyline was interesting and educative, highlighting the problems and offering solutions on safe abortion practices which impacted every participant greatly.

The ‘Abortion 360’ project, an initiative of Community and Family Aids Foundation (CAFAF), Indroads and IPas Global, seeks to unearth, educate and share documents as well as develop tools on the stark realities on the grounds regarding the issues of illegal abortion.

Under the project, research will be effectively conducted after which views will be collected and shared on various platforms  including online and social media platforms, blogs, newsletters among others in order to galvanize more support to intensify more public outreaches to reduce abortion stigma.

It is hoped that the ‘Abortion 360’ project will help raise community volunteer champion campaigners who will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to be translated into action, through which such efforts will help explore experiences and express the issues in its purest form to gain the necessary attention and reactions with the view of building alliances to influence change at all levels.

Abortion is the premature ending of pregnancy. The act is real happening in every part of the world especially among the youth.

The mere mention of its name send shivers down people’s spines, Some pretend not to listen to it, yet it takes place every seconds at different locations in varied forms for which reason illegal or traditional medium of terminating pregnancy with its associated problems is of a major source of worry and dominates mass media headlines.

Ghana as a country with a population of young hopefuls and sexually active population continue to record heartbreaking regional illegal abortion-related cases that have really become a threat to many health facilities and policy makers.

Abortion issues continue to emanate from the local community such as unwanted pregnancies leading to illegal abortion practice which are daily reported by communities, informants, the police and health centres in the country.

According to the Programmes Director of Community and Family Aids Foundation, Joseph Senyo Kwashie, abortion is already in the communities and the only way to let people know the right means they can settle for abortion is through sensitization campaigns.

He said that was the rationale behind the  implementation of the ‘Abortion 360’  project with the aim of not only educating people but also uncover, learn and share the secrets behind why people often resort to terminating pregnancies through the illegal means.

In an interview, the CAFAF boss disclosed the reason why they’ve chosen Israel Community in Bukom as an area of focus for the sensitization drama was due to a fact that the area is prone to illegal abortion activities and so “this program is just to create awareness, educate the people and then solicit information from them as to the prevailing situation and how to handle them”.

“It is to give them the right information to get them informed to make fruitful choices by linking them to proper facilities or to school them well on the best way to undertake abortion which is through the  Comprehensive Abortion Care,” Joseph Kwashie added.

Joseph Senyo Kwashie, who also doubles as the founder of CAFAF, believes every woman, according to the constitution of Ghana, has a right to Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) but unfortunately laments about the low response to service delivery under the subject matter contributing to loss of many women’s lives.

This has been due to unsafe abortion service delivery emanating from patronizing the services of quack doctors including untrusted sources.

Meanwhile, the ‘Abortion 360’ project management has stated categorically in writing that, “our attempt is not to promote abortion and influence people to succumb to it but rather engage in information sharing to learn from the prevailing situations on the ground”.

This according to them will offer a special platform to heal wounds of hearing, interacting and informing people about their rights to safe and comprehensive abortion care guaranteed under the constitution of republic of Ghana.

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor|Bukom, Accra|Ghana

Health Ministry alerted over ‘strange’ killer disease from Liberia

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Liberia was one of the hardest hit countries in 2014 when Ebola broke out

The Ministry of Health has been advised to increase its surveillance at all levels over a strange disease that has already killed 11 persons in Liberia.

A letter written by the Ministry to heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) warned all and sundry to be alert over the disease.

The symptoms reported by victims are mainly headache, weakness, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pains and mental confusion.

Another letter sighted by and written by the Ghana Immigration Service to the Ministry of Interior said the initial tests conducted ruled out the disease being Ebola.

“Health authorities were made aware of the unknown disease on April 25, when several people died in south-eastern Sinoe County [in Liberia].”

A rapid response team has been deployed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to Liberia to assist with technical and logistical support.

The Ghana Immigration Service advised the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health to “enhance surveillance systems at all levels and promote Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) mechanisms in our facilities as part of our preparedness to prevent the spread of the unknown disease to Ghana through our borders, especially the airport”.


Tamale Teaching Hosp. management rubbish ‘cash & carry’ untruths

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Tamale Teaching Hospital

Management of the Tamale Teaching Hospital has refuted claims that patience are made to pay before healthcare is delivered.

A group calling itself Coalition for Change in Government Institutions on 12 June 2017 issued a release to the effect that the Tamale Teaching Hospital has been charging clients on National Health Insurance Scheme.

The group raised concerns about the return of what it claims to be ‘cash and carry’ system at the Tamale Teaching Hospital compelling subscribers of NHIS to purchase covered drugs from outside at their own cost.

The Coalition for Change in Government Institutions claim the Hospital Administration Management Software (HAMS) used in billing clients is shortchanging them and therefore insist an audit must be conducted of the system.


The Hospital Administration and Management Software (HAMS) is a comprehensive and fully integrated health information system that manages all aspects of hospital activities. HAMS is a computerised software that caters for all health information needs from clinicals to supporting activities such as inventory and billing management. HAMS is designed and developed by Ghanaians tailored to serve local health needs but with global standards.

The concern group claims the software is being manipulated by the hospital administrators to extol monies from innocent patients.

For instance they claim the intranet system is loaded with fill tariffs for every condition as either covered by NHIS or not.

Reacting to the allegation, the director of finance at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Mr. Karim Kuuri described the allegations as unfounded and malicious attempt to dent the hospital’s administration. He said the hospital rather, installed the software to halt misappropriation of hospital funds and extortion of monies from patients: “The hospital management signed unto the Hospital Administration Management Software to save thousands of cedis which, hitherto, went into private pockets resulting in loses” Mr. Karim told

He said contrary to allegation by the Coalition for Change in Government to the effect that the software has been installed to “steal” from clients by shortchanging them as it operates, the director of finance Karim Kuuri said “HAMS rather tracks all payment and none payment under the three categories of clients namely: National Health Insurance Holders, Private cash clients and Corporate and Boards.”

He said the inception of HAMS has increased the hospital revenue especially NHIS claims.

By Zubaida Ismail|TV3|Ghana
Twitter: @NewsonTV3

Kofi Annan calls for fight against snakebites

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Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for a global fight against snakebites and the need to reduce impact especially in the tropical areas.

Mr. Annan explained that snakebite is a burden to the people living within the Amazon and therefore called on stakeholders to help reduce and bring concrete improvement to the health needs of the vulnerable people in these areas.

He made this known as the Kofi Annan Foundation welcomed a World Health Organisation (WHO) decision to include snakebites in the neglected tropical diseases portfolio.

It was contained in a tweet on Tuesday.

A fact sheet reviewed in 2015 by WHO stated that though the exact number of snakebites is unknown, an estimated five million people are bitten each year with up to 2.5 million envenoming.

The sheet further stated that at least 100,000 people die as a result of snake bites each year, and around three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities all caused by snakebites annually.

WHO considers rabies and envenoming – aside from snakebites –  as other neglected public health issues.

By Comfort Ahenkorah||Ghana

‘Quack radiographers could cause cancer’

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Mr Prince Rockson, the National President of the Ghana Society of Radiographers (GSR), said wrong usage of radiation on the body could cause cancer and that some cancers being suffered by individuals could have been caused by quack radiographers.

He, therefore, called on the Allied Health Professions Council and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority to rid health facilities of quack radiographers to ensure sanity in the system.

Mr Rockson was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the Southern Zonal Conference of Radiographers in Accra on Saturday on the theme: ‘‘Advancing Professionalism in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy”.

He said there were many quack radiographers in the system due to the limited number of qualified ones.

‘‘These quacks are causing negative health implications on unsuspecting victims therefore clients must request for the qualification of any person using radiation to operate to avoid falling victim to the effects of radiation,’’ he said.

Mr Rockson said only professional radiographers were supposed to use radiation in order ensure the exact amount required for a patient was used for diagnosing.

‘‘We can’t see radiation with our eyes and, therefore, it has short and long-term effects known as Stochastic Effects such as skin burns and skin cancer among other negative health implications and since it’s a long term effect, people tend to attribute it to spirituality,’’ he explained.

Mr Rockson, therefore, urged the regulatory bodies to engage the law enforcement agencies to weed out unqualified practitioners operating in health facilities in the country adding; “the regulatory bodies are not doing enough to stamp out quack radiographers. They are not doing the job as expected of them.’’

He said most certified radiographers were centred in regional and urban health facilities giving room to the quack ones to take advantage to operate in the remote areas thereby posing health risks to innocent patients and clients.

Mr Rockson said those unprofessional individuals had set up ultra-sound units across the country undertaking ultrasound misdiagnosis and wrong diagnosis which must stop.

He said there was the need for regular training and capacity building for both new and old professionals to sharpen their skills and appealed to the Government to increase the intake of qualified radiographers because of the limited number currently operating in the country.

‘‘There are MRI and X’ray machines in some public health facilities standing idle because there are no radiographers to operate them,’’ he said.

Mr Rockson said there were 240 certified radiographers in both public and private health facilities and considering the country’s population of 26 million, one radiographer was, therefore, supposed to take care of 130,000 people.

Ideally, he said, the country must have at least 10,000 radiographers to ensure a ratio of 1:2,600 people.

He said currently about 20 students were estimated to be admitted every year to pursue courses in radiography in the universities and called on government to offer scholarships to radiographers to study abroad to increase the number of  professionals.

Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Salifu, the Special Speaker for the conference, urged the regulatory bodies to collaborate to ensure sanity and called on management of health facilities and imaging centres to do background checks of individuals they engaged to work.

The conference brought together radiographers operating in Western, Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions.

The participants were taken through topics such as; Professionalism and Role Theory in the Practice of the Radiographer, Effective Communication – a Tool in Advancing Professionalism among Radiographers, Professionalism in Geriatric Radiography, and The Radiographers Obligation.

Source: GNA | Ghana

Heavy security at Tamale Teaching Hospital as gov’t admits error in appointing new head

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There was heavy security at the Tamale Teaching Hospital on Tuesday morning following a clash between some vigilante groups on Monday over the administrative changes at facility.

Government’s appointee Dr David Akobilla, who is to head the facility, was resisted, reports suggest, by incumbent Chief Executive Officer Dr Prosper Akambong.

Dr Akambong, who was appointed as CEO of the Hospital in 2014, claimed he had not received any letter purporting to terminate his appointment.

But the clash on Monday was precipitated by the storming of a press conference by New Patriotic Party-affiliated Kandahar Boys, who said the organizers of the press conference were not members of the NPP and their demands were not in tandem with the party.

The organizers of the conference were expressing their displeasure at the appointment of Dr Akobilla as the new head of the Hospital.

But on Tuesday, calm had returned to the hospital as patients were being attended to, TV3’s Zubaida Ismail reported.

But there was heavy security at the hospital, our reporter added.

Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health Robert Cudjoe has admitted error in not serving Dr Akambong a letter before his successor was asked to assume office.

“We thought we had sent the letter long time,” he said on TV3.

He has promised resolving all the issues surrounding the standoff by Friday, June 16 while announcing that whoever will be held responsible for the delay in the incumbent head not receiving his letter will be dealt with.


Health screening of would-be Hajj pilgrims begins Monday

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File: Some prospective Hajj pilgrims

All prospective Hajj pilgrims will from Monday be screened of their health status, the Hajj Board has announced.

The health screening exercise will be done concurrently in Accra , Kumasi, Tamale and Bawku in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern and Upper East regions respectively.

In Accra, they would be screened at the newly constructed Hajj Village Clinic, which is expected to be commissioned on Wednesday.

A statement issued by the Hajj Board Sunday said the Head of Medical, Dr Zakaria Seidu, has assured all prospective pilgrims that their health needs will be well taken care of.

The commission of the newly constructed Hajj Village Clinic will be graced by dignitaries like the National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu and the Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly

“It is one of a number of efforts undertaken by the Hajj Board to provide an enhanced health care for prospective pilgrims before and during the Hajj,” the statement said.