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Shave your pregnant wives – Husbands advised

By | Lifestyle | No Comments

A nurse at the Surgical Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has urged husbands of expectant mothers to shave their wives to prevent neonatal infection as babies have weak immune systems which make them vulnerable to all sorts of ailments.

According to Mr Sebastian Ayivor hairs harbour a lot of microbial organisms which can expose babies to eye infections.

The spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD) is normally done with the cephalic position (a birth position where the head enters the pelvis first), and as such trapped microbes around the vagina can be transmitted to the eyes of the baby, he explained.

He said microbes were harboured or trapped in unshaved body parts, hence shaving was done to free or reduce their number.

Apart from shaving giving midwives the visual luxury for easy access during delivery, it also prevented a waste of time as most often during labour, the midwives had to shave mothers before proceeding.

Mr Ayivor explained that the size of the baby bump, especially during the third trimester, made it difficult for expectant mothers to shave and therefore need the support of their partners.

In cases where the expectant mother is not married or lives far away from her husband, he advised that they seek help from their caretaker, relatives or close friends.

“Some come in with unshaved private parts. During antenatal visit, routine physical examination is done where the suprapubic is palpated to see the presentation of the baby and when midwives detect that the place is unshaved, they are advised  to shave before their next visit.

“Those who default are the ones who mostly patronise the services of  traditional birth attendants.

“They sometimes refer their clients to the hospital when they think they cannot do home delivery and most of them come with unshaved private parts,” he pointed out.

Although shaved private parts may only be associated with normal birth, Mr Ayivor explained that, “delivery per SVD can turn to a caesarean section which also requires shaving before it is done to prevent infections such as intraoperative or postoperative infection, which are both surgical infections.”

Source Mirror

IT expert exposes ‘amateurish’ technical flaws in Ghana PostGPS

By | Business, Technology | 8 Comments

An IT expert has revealed some technical flaws in the recently launched 2.5 million-dollar Ghana PostGPS system that has been touted as the solution to the decades of poor addressing system in the country.

Stefan Froelich who works with WITS Ghana, an IT solution company, after reviewing the technical element of the application said the system is fraught with some technical issues, some of which he described as amateurish.

READ: Akufo-Addo launches digital address system

In his estimation, the system “is poorly designed, ineptly built and has no chance of yielding anything close to the results it has been touted as capable of bringing”.

He concluded that Ghana may have been ripped off in the deal, saying “right now, this looks like money poorly spent!” adding Ghana has lost an opportunity do demonstrate to the world that it can develop a homegrown solution to its problems.

Read the full review of the app done by Stefan

GhanaPostGPS – A System No One Asked For

We started our day to the launch of the new Digital Addressing System – GhanaPostGPS. A system, news of which we’d been given over the past few months.

I took it for a spin to see what all the fuss was about. It was pointless.
Unclear Goals

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying a digital addressing system is pointless, but that the current implementation is poorly designed, ineptly built and has no chance of yielding anything close to the results it has been touted as capable of bringing. Coming to that, how exactly is this going to help revive Ghana Post again? Has the problem really been addressing? Or an institution that has failed to recognize that it is a dinosaur that needs to evolve to survive? Or that people simply don’t trust it with their valuables? Maybe a combination of all 3 and more.

A Disappointing Start

For the kind of resources that were given to this project, one would expect a refreshing design, some nice layout animations, properly thought out user experience and a proper understanding of how the system is supposed to deliver value.

Instead, we are greeted with a less ugly pallet swap of AsaaseGPS, with new graphics, text and a splash screen animation (I really hope you guys are already resolving my location because that splash screen lasts a long time) that does a bad job of explaining how and what it is you are to do after generating your address. The menu items are confusing and there are UI elements that make no sense. In fact, the menu toggle is on the right and the nav drawer on the left!

I launch the app and immediately, I am assaulted with a sign-up screen. Ummm, what?! Why do you need to know who I am? I look around for a link to terms and conditions which would at least inform me how they plan to use my information, nothing.I go and download snooCode (another Ghanaian app that literally does the same thing) and within 30 seconds (location services are always on), I have my six character address. It might not be beautiful, but it makes sense. Less is always more.

Amateur Mistakes

I don’t want to give my information out, so I figure, hey, let’s see if we can bypass this. I enter some gibberish and submit, half expecting it to reject my input but no! It accepts it like it is made of gold.Now I really don’t want to give my details out. At the simplest, all you need to do is to check if the input is 9-10 digits (10 for a leading 0). There’s more you can do, but short of actually testing the number, this check should suffice.

A Broken System

At this point, I have lost confidence in the system. These are signs of either an inexperienced or lazy programmer. Either way, the system cannot guarantee data quality or security.

I decide to risk it anyway and use my secondary SIM card to register an account to get the full experience.
In addition to generating your address (showing an unhelpful dialog about a missing address mapping), you can search for locations, save locations to your address book and send your location to emergency services (Police, Fire & Ambulance).

I obviously couldn’t test the emergency services, but saving to the address book worked while searching for the location they generated for me didn’t yield any results.I suspect both this and the dialog at the point of generation require me to register my address first, but nowhere is this made apparent to you. Existing systems like snooCode don’t require you to do this. The generated address can be translated into geolocations easily and used to locate you. This doesn’t bode well for user experience.

I decided to try the map on the website and sadly that didn’t work either. There was no map and a quick look at the debugging console showed that Google Maps was throttling API calls.Flawed Technology

GhanaPostGPS like snooCode, what3words, and Open Location Code is a geocoding system that converts hard to remember latitudes and longitudes into an easy to remember format. It creates 5x5m grids and assigns a code to each grid so addresses remain constant within the grid.

While this system makes it easy to address any location on the surface of the earth with an easy to remember code, it doesn’t translate well when used as addresses. A single property can easily span multiple grids and therefore will technically have multiple addresses.

All the above existing systems bill themselves as location sharing services (nowhere is this clearer than in what 3 words). GhanaPostGPS with its unnecessary barriers causes it to fail at being even that.

A proper addressing system would have accounted for anomalies such as large properties and implemented a separate registration process (which could involve marking out your boundaries) for businesses and interested individuals. Many people really could care less. Most codes will be generated on the fly to give directions to friends to meet up or for events such as weddings and the like. Most use cases of this system would not even require one to register an address.


Today, any competent smartphone user can easily share their location over WhatsApp and get turn by turn directions in Google Maps. Why would anyone want to use this? What is its differentiating feature?

Tech is tech. And this is 2017. People will use what pleases them whether the government throws millions at a solution or not. And right now, this looks like money poorly spent! You simply cannot will people to use what they don’t like.

I believe more should have been done by Vokacom to translate AsaaseGPS into a true addressing system for the nation. They were definitely given the resources. $2.5 million is not a sum to laugh about.

Government officials have no understanding of how tech works and thus, as the consulting firm in charge of developing the system, Vokacom had every responsibility to ensure that it was delivering the best. This was our first opportunity to prove to the world that we can do homegrown and we blew it!
This is a sad day for tech in Ghana.

By Stefan Froelich||Ghana

Minority NDC behind recent Bimbilla chieftaincy crisis – Nakpa gate

By | News | No Comments

The family of the late chief, Naa Salifu Dawuni, has cited the Minority in Parliament for being behind the recent tension in Bimbilla in the Northern Region.

The burial of the late chief last Wednesday instead of the originally planned Thursday stirred controversy with the Regent of Bimbilla accusing the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, and Interior Minister Ambrose Dery of backing the Nakpa gate.

The Regent wanted the two summoned by Parliament.

But at a press conference on Thursday, the family of the late Nakpa-Naa rather pointed accusing hand at the Minority NDC in Parliament “whose acts of commission and omission,” they said, “precipitated and fanned the current chieftaincy crisis during their regime”.

The family said the NDC is only trying to “find scapegoats in some officials of the ruling NPP government”.

They expressed gratitude to the government and its leader, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is said to have ordered the release of Nakpa-Naa’s body to his family, for “demonstrating that they are truly an embodiment of the rule of law and natural justice and a respecter of the fundamental human rights of every citizen of this country”.

The family mentioned NDC Member of Parliament for Builsa North Constituency, James Agalga, who was a Deputy Interior Minister in the previous government, for the tension that surrounded the prior arrangements then of the burial of the late chief.

“We recall there was a pronouncement made by the Hon. Agalga, during his days as the deputy interior minister, banning with impunity, a section of butchers in Bimbilla from practising their trade.

“Without any basis, the pronouncement was subsequently enforced by the DISEC of the Nanumba North District. This was a case of the violation of their economic right with economic vulnerability of the innocent butchers as only a consequence.

“It has therefore become abundantly clear that Hon. James Agalga and the rest of the minority in parliament are bent on completing their unfinished executive fiat to halt the burial of this noble chief.”


Rousing welcome for Asantehene

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Scores of indigenes of Ashanti trooped to the Kumasi International Airport on Thursday night to welcome Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II back to the Asante kingdom.

The elated crowd, most of whom were clad in traditional attires, chanted in praise of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

It was amidst drumming and dancing.

The Asantehene returned from Brazil, where he has been for the past couple of days.

It is unclear the reason behind the “happy” welcome for the Asantehene but a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Justin Kodua, explained that the gesture is to symbolize the love the people have for their king.

“It is good we come to welcome [him] so that he feels we the young ones are proud of what he is doing for us,” the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) said in Twi.

“We are happy Nana is coming,” he told Onua FM.

Among the people at the Airport to welcome the Asantehene back to Kumasi was the Kumasi Youth Association (KuYA).

Members of the Association on Wednesday locked up the Ashanti Region office of Daily Guide to register their anger at recent publications against Asantehene.

The publications were said to implicate the Asantehene in a money laundering scandal in the United Kingdom.

But the bank involved, Ghana International Bank, has apologized to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

READ: We’ve no evidence Otumfuo was involved in money laundering – Gh Int. Bank

“There has never been any suggestion by the Bank that the King was or is involved in money laundering. In fact, we have no evidence to that effect. The bank has also not in any of its submissions questioned the integrity of the King.”

The issue may be the reason for the ‘unusual’ welcome for the King of the Asante Kingdom.


Teacher unions issue a week ultimatum to government

By | Education | No Comments

File photo

Three teacher unions have given the government a one-week ultimatum to address issues concerning their salary arrears.

They are Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT).

In a letter dated 17th October 2017, addressed to the Finance Minister, the teachers regretted that their concerns raised have been left unaddressed to date.

According to the teacher three unions, in the meeting with Finance Ministry, stakeholders agreed in principle to commence the validation exercise of teachers for payment of salary arrears on September 11, 2017, for which notices were sent to members across the country.

In addition to the resolution of the meeting, it was agreed that 65,013 forms were to be validated in 88 days.

However, the teacher unions say they are amazed that “one month on, no action has been taken to commence the exercise and we see this as a deliberate ploy and betrayal of good faith in dealing with the matter”.

The statement from the three teacher unions added that the circumstances in which they find ourselves, it would be extremely difficult for leadership to restrain its members from expressing their anger in forms that may affect the sanctity of the school environment.

The unions have therefore urged government to address their concerns within the stipulated period or they will be forced to use other channels to seek redress.

Source: | Ghana

No more ‘wahala’ in business registration – Dr. Bawumia

By | Business | No Comments

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched the automated business registration system, ‘e-Certificate’ and ‘e-Payment’ on the online portal of the Registrar General’s Department with an assurance that the long delays associated with business registration is now a thing of the past.

Launching the event at the Banquet Hall, State House on Thursday, Dr. Bawumia described it as the “starting point to make Ghana the most business friendly nation in Africa.”

During a surprise visit to the Registrar General’s Department on 18th January, 2017, the Vice President charged the acting Registrar General to improve the turnaround time for business registration and speed up the process of going online with business registration after bitter complaints from clients of the Department.

“The objective of the e-Registration is to put in place an appropriate business registration and filing regime. Reforms are also intended to lead to a reduction in the time and cost of registering businesses, the provision of customer friendly business registration” Dr Bawumia disclosed at the launch.

The Vice President highlighted how critical Information Communication Technology (ICT) is in the 21st century and pointed out that Ghana will leverage technology to effect a digital transformation.

“His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s administration has embraced this digital transformation and will lend his support to ensure the smooth operation of this process for improved customer satisfaction. The importance of ICT cannot be overstated in this 21st century and Ghana will leap frog to catch up whenever the opportunity arises.” Dr.Bawumia assured.

The Vice President urged the management and staff of the Registrar General’s Department to adopt innovative approaches to maximise revenue and also customer satisfaction.

“I therefore urge staff and management of the Registrar General’s Department to intensify their stakeholder engagement programs through the use of all available channels, including print and social media to build consensus to enhance its revenue operations and boost revenue collection. In addition, management should brainstorm and adopt other innovative revenue enhancing strategies to raise the level of compliance and transparency in the Ghanaian business registration system.” he said.

The automated business processes will reduce the human interface and turnaround time associated with registration. The e-Registration portal makes use of the Tax Identification Number (TIN) to distinguish portal users and the e-Certificate has been designed to provide flexibility, transparency and accountability for businesses.

Source: | Ghana

Ho Airport completion date pushed to March 2018

By | Business | No Comments

The container currently being used as the Air Traffic Control Station

The completion date for the Ho Airport in the Volta Region has for the second time, been revised to March 2018 after contractors failed to meet the deadline seven months ago due to a number of factors.

Aviation Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah who announced the new date blamed the delays in the project on delays in releasing funds to the contractor, activities of Fulani herdsmen and consistent rainfall, 3FM’s Mercydalyn Lokko reported Thursday.

Work on the 24million-dollar project started in September 2015 and was first scheduled for completion on November 4, 2016 but was revised to March 18, 2017 which was missed by the contractors.

An artist impression of the frontage of the airport

The facility, according to the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL), would have among others, a runaway of 1,900metres in length and 30metres wide, an aircraft parking area, a terminal building to hold at least 150,000 passengers a year, a VIP and VVIP facility, a parking area for the staff and nine-kilometer network of roads around the airport.

It is being constructed on a1500-acre land released by the Asorgli Traditional Area.

In December 2016, President John Mahama commissioned the first phase of the project – runway, and paved the way for the beginning of the second phase which included the construction of the terminal building for the airport.

READ: A-Plus mocks Mahama; describes Ho Airport as “Air-Kiosk”

But the project has since not been completed.

Answering questions in Parliament Thursday on the progress of work, Ms. Abena Dapaah said her ministry engaged the contractors together with the GACL at which it was relayed that the “contractor has requested for an extension of the completion date to March 2018 as a result of delays in payment”.

Aside the issue with payment, there has been some challenges with Fulani herdsmen, who she said have been “cutting the perimeter fence for their animals to graze”.

“As at August 2017, the overall project completion was 88.49 per cent. The value of work certified to date is 19.7 million dollars and payments have been executed. There is no outstanding payment,” she told Parliament.

She said the contract is currently on site continuing with work on the project.

But MP for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, rebutted the claim, insisting the contractor was not on site and asked the sector minister to crosscheck, 3FM’s Mercydalyn Lokko reported.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana

Mother of 4 children with special needs rescued from suicide attempt

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Golda says the family has been shunned completely by people

Mrs Golda Nunoo, Mother of four children, all with special needs, has been rescued from a suicide attempt by members of a support group she belongs to.

Mrs Nunoo made a frantic call to one of the members of the Special Mothers Group Madam Linda Clarke amidst tears that someone in her neighborhood has been constantly ruining insults on her, referring to her as “mother of mad children”

She thus decided to end it all for herself and three of the children currently living with her. When Madam Linda Clarke and Mrs Ellen Affam-Dadzie both members of the Special Mothers group, got to her house in Ashiaman, a suburb of Tema, she had locked two of the children in a room and had left to a church with the two year old son to say her last prayers to God.

According to Golda, she has been shunned completely by people in the area.

Golda, 36 years, said: “No one talks to me, even if I am holding money to buy things people refuse to accept the money, they call me the curse one, saying I have given birth to mad children, I feel very isolated and want to move away from this neighbourhood.”

Mrs Hannah Awadzi, initiator of the Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy, said the project was introduced to Golda about two years ago when she gave birth to her last son with severe club foot.

“We tried to no avail to get the children into schools, even with a letter from the Ghana Education Service Special Education Unit, the children were refused admission,” Mrs Awadzi said.

Two years ago Ghana launched the Inclusive Education Policy supposed to ensure that all children go to school regardless of their disabilities; however, many parents of children with special needs think that the policy is not inclusive enough.

Majority of children with special needs in Ghana are refused admission even in government schools

Golda spends the whole of her life attending to her four children, three of them non-verbal and she is unable to work, her husband even though very supportive earns only 200 cedis a month as a security man.

Her first child has been adopted by her brother to lessen the burden on her

Mrs Awadzi called on the Department of Social Welfare, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists and corporate organizations to come to the aid of Golda

Source:  | Ghana

NDC ‘never had a biometric register’

By | Politics | No Comments

NDC had no biometric register, according to an ex-MP

Former Member of Parliament for North Dayi Constituency George Loh says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) never had a biometric register contrary to claims that they did.

According to him, what the NDC had prior to its 2015 primaries was an “extended” manual registration.

He explained that a biometric registration requires the capturing of the ten fingers with a biometric device but nothing of that sort happened.

The legal practitioner made this revelation while speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise on Thursday.

Mr Loh said he was only given a card without any biometric details of his taken prior to the party’s primaries in the North Dayi Constituency.

This revelation comes on the back of the largest opposition party discrediting the ‘biometric’ register it has had and going back to a manual register.

The National Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, on Wednesday said as per the recommendation of the election review committee led by Dr Kwesi Botchwey, “NEC has voted for the scrapping of the register used to conduct the party’s internal election last year”.

But the former North Dayi MP said even the CD-ROM given him for his constituency’s primaries was blank.

He said he had to restrain his supporters from protesting. He lost that November 21, 2015 primary to Joycelyn Tetteh, 27.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

New regions will bring development – Dan Botwe

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Dan Botwe

The Minister for Regional Re-Organisation, Dan Botwe is hopeful if Ghanaians buy into the idea of adding at least four regions to the existing 10, it will boost the country’s development.

The Upper West is the last region created out of the Upper Region in 1983 by the then Head of State, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings under the Provisional National Defense Council.

Dan Botwe told TV3 some Ghanaians have for decades been craving for additional regions for easy administration.

President Nana Akufo-Addo Thursday inaugurated a nine-member Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice S. A. Brobbey.

He said the inauguration of the commission sets the tone for his ministry to kick start processes to create the new regions.

“It will bring government to the people and accelerate development,” he remarked.

Constitutional steps to creation of new regions

Article 5 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic forms the constitutional bases for the formation of the Commission of Enquiry by the President. It states as follow;

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, the President may, by constitutional instrument –

(a) create a new region;

(b) alter the boundaries of a region; or

(c) provide for the merger of two or more regions.

(2) If the President, upon a petition being presented to him and, on the advice of the Council of State, is satisfied that there is substantial demand for –

(a) the creation of a new region;

(b) the alteration of the boundaries of a region, whether or not the alteration involves the creation of a new region; or

(c) the merger of any two or more regions;

he shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merge.

(3) If, notwithstanding that a petition has not been presented to him, the President is, on the advice of the Council of State, satisfied that the need has arisen for taking any of the steps referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of clause (1) of this article, he may, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merger.

(4) Where a commission of inquiry appointed under clause (2) and (3) of this article finds that there is the need and a substantial demand for the creation, alteration or merger referred to in either of those clauses, it shall recommend to the President that a referendum be held, specifying the sues to be determined by the referendum and the places where the referendum should be held.

(5) The President shall refer the recommendations to the Electoral Commission, and the referendum all be held in a manner prescribed by the Electoral Commission.

Source: | Ghana