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GHANA SPACE NEWS

Community Development

Four orphans receive help

Amoanda (W/R), Aug. 1, GNA- Forum for Adolescent Concerns and Transformation (FACT), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), based at Bogoso has donated items valued at four million cedis to four orphans of Amoanda D/C Primary School at Amoanda near Huni-Valley in the Wassa West District.

Presenting the items that included uniforms, school bags, books and footwears, Mr Benjamin Agbeko, Executive Director of the NGO, said FACT was taking care of 95 orphans from 10 communities in the district, out of which, 65 were in school while 30 were out of school learning various vocational skills.

He said a research carried on orphans and the vulnerable in the district last year, by Hope for African Child Initiative (HACI) an NGO, indicated that a total of 1,850 orphans and vulnerable people were living in the area.

He said HACI in conjunction with CARE International, also an NGO, was funding FACT to cater for orphans and the vulnerable.

Mr Agbeko said FACT with support from HACI would also establish a youth center at Bogoso, which would have a library, recreational center and counseling unit.

The Executive Director, said apart from FACT taking care of the orphans, it also undertakes HIV/AIDS education, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and commercial sex workers. Mr Agbeko appealed to people living with HIV/AIDS to register with FACT for support.

The chairman of the Parents Teacher Association of the Amoanda D/C primary and JSS , Mr Baidoo Cudjoe who received the items on behalf of the four pupils thanked FACT for the assistance and appealed to it to extend the gesture to other vulnerable and orphans in the school.

NGO hands over school building to community

Akrofo (V/R), Aug 01, GNA - Ghana Outlook International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), on Sunday handed over three-unit classroom block, to the Akrofu E.P. Primary School at Akrofu Xeviwofe, a farming community in the Ho Municipality.

The facility that cost 170 million cedis to be built has a computer laboratory and library attached.

Mr Joseph Achana, the Director of Ghana Outlook, commended the people for their communal spirit and expressed the hope that they would take advantage of the provision of the facility to educate their children.

Mr Joseph Kwaku Nayan, the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, appealed to communities in the region to rekindle their communal spirit and initiate their own development projects to merit assistance from district assemblies and other agencies.

He asked the people of Akrofu Xeviwofe to consider the facility as their property and maintain it regularly.

Mr Charles Agbeli, General Secretary of Akrofu Xeviwofe Development Association, expressed gratitude to the NGO for providing the facility. Mr Richard Galifford, Director of Outlook-UK, was later installed the development chief of the area under the stool name Togbe Kwaku Galifford I.

The project was the seventh to be undertaken by the NGO throughout the country.
Source: GNA

Increase in Mental Illness

Hospital
Deputy Blames Lack Of Primary Education
Ghanaians have been urged to take issues concerning mental health seriously to help reduce the high incidence of mental cases reported at the psychiatric hospitals.

"The government is spending a lot of money in taking care of the mental patients, surprisingly majority of patients at the Accra psychiatric hospital are farmers and fishermen, if we continue to lose our farmers in mental illness this country will go hungry one day."

The deputy director of nursing at the Accra psychiatric hospital, Mr. David Maculey said this during the launch of Psycho-Health Foundation International Club at O'Reilly secondary school under the motto "Eradicating drug abuse and initiating good psycho-health among students" in Accra.

He said it is very important to encourage community mental health care in order to reduce the high amount of money the government spends to feed a lot of mental patients in our mental health institutions and the stigma attached to mental illness will also be minimized. Adding, "This will go a long way to help promote good mental health in Ghana".

He said the club is a non-governmental organization working closely with the Ghana psychiatric nurses association, with the aim of promoting good mental health and carrying out educational campaigns especially in the second cycle institutions through out the country to supplement the effort of the health services.

Adding "The only way to minimize the incidence of mental health and for society to accept the mentally ill is by intensive health education to all aspects of society"

According to Mr. Maculey, who is also the chairman for the NGO the programme is aimed at the youth due to the increasing rate at which mental cases are being reported among the youth at the hospital. " The youth are our future leaders, when they are fed with the right information at an early stage it helps to mould their character" he added.

He said the use of illegal drugs and crime go hand in hand, drug users will do anything to obtain enough drugs to satisfy the habit thereby involving themselves in theft, drug peddling, prostitution, armed robbery. "Every young person has plans and goals as he grows up. Abusing drugs could destroy these aspiration," he advised.

Mr. Maculey stated his displeasure about the way society stigmatizes people with mental illness, adding that the head plays a very important role that it cannot be changed. "If you have a beautiful body and the head is bad, your whole being is bad".

A 15 member executive of the mental health club of O'Reilly Secondary School were sworn in during the launch to formally introduce the club to second cycle institutions.

The first president of the club, Charles Mensah said the target is to see to it that it is spread all over the country, to create awareness of the dangers of using hard drugs.

He appealed to all organisations interested in seeing the vision of the club materialize to help them with logistics and materials to facilitate their work so that money spent on mental patients are channeled to the development of education.

He said the school is proud to be the first educational institute to associate itself with the psychiatric hospital. Adding, " Many clubs have sprang up only to collapse, but we will make sure that this club lives to see its vision materialized".

The headmistress of the school, Mrs. Jane Chinebua, noted that society seems to sympathize with people with mental illness but do not accept them in the midst. " The launch of the club will help to educate the people and with some knowledge help to eradicate the disease" she added.

Source: Public Agenda

Government urged to concentrate on provision of educational infrastructure

Abetifi (E/R), Aug. 1, GNA - Reverend Samuel Kwame Mensah, General Manager of Presbyterian Schools, has urged the government to rescind its decision to absorb fees in basic schools.

He said instead, government should concentrate on the provision of educational infrastructures and other inputs as well as motivate teachers to improve the standard of teaching in schools. Rev Mensah said the present educational budget was inadequate to provide all the basic needs including infrastructures, furniture, text and exercise books.

Addressing a commendation service for 112 final year students of the Abetifi Presbyterian Training College (ABETICO) at Abetifi in the Kwahu South District, Rev Mensah urged the government to use whatever amount it had planned to use to pay those fees to provide basic educational needs and leave the settlement of the fees to parents. He said schools, especially those in the Northern Region were facing a lot of problems because of the inability of government to release funds on a regular basis and urged the government not to further burden the already inadequate educational budget.

Rev Mensah also urged the government to involve churches and other religious bodies in the educational decentralisation process to ensure moral discipline.

The Principal of the Collage, Reverend Fred Appertey said the introduction of Diploma in Training Collages would help attract more qualified persons to be trained as professional teachers to improve the standard of education.

He appealed to the government, district assemblies and non-governmental organisations to provide the needed resources and infrastructures to enhance effective training of teachers. Rev Thomas Boakye, Sekyere Presbytery Chairperson of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, advised the students to make effective use of the Presbyterian discipline acquired during their training to enhance discipline in basic schools.

He advised the out-going students to accept postings to the rural areas where their services were mostly needed to impart their knowledge and to improve the standard of education in the country.
Source: GNA

Getting AIDS victims to lead normal life is a major challenge

Ho. Aug. 1 GNA - Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), has said the inability to create good environment for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) to live normal life was one of the biggest challenges facing the Commission. He said the situation, which was due to society's negative attitude towards PLWHAs, posed a major social and psychological problem in respect of increased stigmatisation.

Professor Amoa said this in a speech read for him at a graduation ceremony for 24 adult students made up of five women and 19 men, who undertook a four-month course in HIV/AIDS counselling and care-giving at Ho. He said: "A major problem we have to deal with is that society, as a whole does not treat PLWHAs the same way as other people who are faced with other forms of ill health".

Professor Amoah, therefore, said the epidemic of stigma, discrimination, blame and collective denial was making all preventive interventions to drive the HIV epidemic out of sight very difficult. He underscored the importance of an environment, which protected the human rights, and dignity of PLWHAs and the need for society to re-evaluate its attitudes, prejudices and behaviours towards PLWHAs. "We hope that all well meaning Ghanaians will come out boldly to support and protect the compassion campaign throughout the country and to help us bring about the change in the hostile attitude that we have towards PLWHAs" he said.

Mrs Kate Addo-Adeku, Former Acting Director of the Institute of Adult Education, University of Ghana, Legon, who presented certificates to the graduands, said the course introduced by the Institute was in fulfilment of its social obligation to translate new knowledge from the University to members of the society.

She said she was not happy about the region not having a Workers College to promote efforts of the Institute and appealed to the Regional Minister and other stakeholders to mobilise resources towards its establishment.

Mr Charles Agbelie, Course Pprefect, said the course was systematically structured and covered topics such as "Distance Learning-Merits and Demerits", "Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS Infection" and "Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Socio-Economic Life of the People" and "Strategies for Behavioural Change".

The graduands were later inaugurated as members of the conference of Professional HIV/AIDS Counsellors and Caregivers (COPHACC-Ghana)
Source: GNA

NADMO tackles HIV/AIDS

Dormaa-Ahenkro, Aug 01, GNA - The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) is to add the campaign against the spread of HIV/AIDS to its primary responsibility of disaster management and prevention.

Nana Atta Afena, Brong Ahafo Regional NADMO co-ordinator, said this at a workshop for 50 assembly members, some opinion leaders and heads of departments. He said the organization had found it prudent to join the campaign trail, "because the menace, if not checked in time, will assume disastrous dimensions, thereby compounding society's demands from NADMO".

Nana Afena said the organization had started intensive HIV/AIDS sensitisation programmes on pilot basis in the Techiman municipality, Dormaa and Berekum districts as well as in Sunyani municipality.

"NADMO hopes to impact positively on the on-going nation-wide campaign against the spread of the pandemic by adopting exceptional approach to information dissemination in a bid to making the message more friendly to people from all walks of life", Nana Atta Afena said. Nana Afena said as part of its strategies, the organisation would mount photo exhibitions on the pandemic to drive home why people need to heed to the clarion call for self-protection and attitudinal change.
Source: GNA

Chief says it is the responsibility of all to fight crime

Koforidua, July 31, GNA - Nana Adjei Tuffuor, the Krontihene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, has appealed to the public to provide information to the police to enable them to track down criminals. He said stamping out crime was not the responsibility of the police alone but a collective duty that required the effort of both civilians and the security services.

Nana Adjei Tuffuor said this during the send-off party organized by the Eastern Regional Police Command for the former Regional Commander, his deputy and other high-ranking officers who had been transferred from the region.

Nana Tuffour said the Regional Security Council had permitted the formation of neighbourhood watchdog committees in the area to help control armed robbery that was gaining grounds in the Koforidua municipality.

The Akropong Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Emmanuel K. Bleduma assured the public that the police was prepared to deal with the criminals and called for co-operation from the public.

The officers on transfer include Assistant Commissioner of Police Vincent Kwaku Dzakpata, Assistant Commissioner of Police Alhaji Hamidu Mahama, Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Allandu, Deputy Superintendent James Amoah and other divisional commanders.
Source: GNA

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