One hundred and forty-three thousand, four hundred and seventeen people have been reached with Polio messages in the second phase of the Polio Emergency Response in the Northern, Upper East and Greater Accra Regions.
Among this, a total of Fifty- six thousand, Seven Hundred and eleven children between the age of 0 to 59 months were identified to be eligible for the vaccination.
The active Social Mobilization Campaign undertaken from the 11th to 14th September 2019, came after the Ministry of Health pronounced an outbreak of the Poliovirus in Ghana.
Before the discovery of the virus in the Capital on 8th July 2019, Type 2 circulating Polio Virus was confirmed from an environmental sample obtained on 11th June 2019 from a drain in Koblimahgu in the Northern Region.
Data from the Ministry of Health revealed that on 17th August 2019, a polio case in a two-years eight-months-old girl in Chereponi, Northern Region was recorded, triggering a national emergency response including advocacy, communication and social mobilization on vaccination and environmental hygiene.
The Red Cross Society of Ghana as part of its key mandates trained and deployed 336 volunteers in all three regions comprising 186 volunteers in Greater Accra, 80 volunteers in Northern and 70 volunteers in Upper East region, to embark on a social mobilization campaign to create awareness on the distribution of the Polio vaccines.
Activities that were earmarked by the National Society for the campaign was door to door demand generation, community durbars, school sensitization and sensitization in Mosques.
The Red Cross Society of Ghana has held an orientation workshop for its newly elected Board Members and Management Staff to apprise them of their roles and responsibilities for their two-year term.
The two-day orientation came off, Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th September 2019 at Koforidua, in the Eastern Region.
The programme was facilitated by the Head of Policy, Strategy and Knowledge for IFRC, Mr. Samuel Asamoah and the Regional Movement Cooperation Adviser for ICRC, Ms. Wangari Kiluva.
In his presentation, Mr. Samuel Asamoah dilated on the topic National Society Developmentframework-2013 and called members to work to achieve and maintain an organization that will consistently deliver through its volunteers and staff.
He entreated the national society to urgently focus on diversifying and to look for a sustainable domestic support and to provide service to vulnerable people as the key driver to promoting effective national Society image.
Mr. Asamoah said for the national society to become effective, it should have a strong leadership, of which management is an integral part, with the primary responsibility to grow the national society.
To ensure high-level performance and efficient operating and prudent financial management. Mr. Asamoah advised that the Board should be availed of all activities, regular and annual reporting to fully strengthen the society.
He said the optimal relationship between Board and Management should be strong and mutually reinforcing. A well-functioning Board needs a strong Management team and a strong Management team, a strong Board and the senior manager, the Chief Executive officer, he asserted.
The Board and Secretary General should recognize that optimal relationship is a partnership and therefore clearly defined roles, responsibilities and lines of authority and the Board members formulating the mission and policies for management to achieve the goals of the society.
Mr. Asamoah asked the national society to develop a risk management framework to help the society to envisage all forms of risk within its activities and take the necessary steps to combat them. The Board should again institute a code of conduct to ensure integrity at work, he advised.
Ms. Kiluva said it was important as a National Society, to inculcate the principles of the Red Cross Movement into the everyday activities of both members and the society.
The President of the Ghana Red Cross Society, Mr Kwame Gyima-Akwafo, has called for the review of Act 10 of 1958, the act that established the Society in the country.
He was speaking to the media at a two-day governance orientation workshop organised by the Ghana Red Cross Society for its newly elected executives in Koforidua.
The workshop was also intended to build the capacity of the participants on governance and expose them to certain targets and strategic directions of the Society.
Mr Akwafo said the workshop will also afford the Red Cross the opportunity to do a self-examination and appraisal to position themselves to be able to better serve the nation.
He said the Society currently lacks needed resources and called for a meaningful framework to enable the society to mobilize resources to serve communities better.
Mr Akwarfo said the Society is currently not getting much governmental support but they are engaging with some public institutions including the Ministry of Health and have had some positive response.
He said the Ghana Red Cross Society will forever insist that government open doors so that they will be able to get more resources.
Mr Akwarfo said the Society has survived based on the benevolent support from external sources such as the International Federation of the Red Cross, the International Community of the Red Cross and the Red Cross community Worldwide.
The General Assembly of the Ghana Red Cross Society has elected Lawyer Kwame Gyimah-Akwafo as the New President for the National Society for the next two years, he took over from Nana Dr Michael Agyekum Addo who served for six years in three terms.
Mr Gyimah-Akwafo has over 33 years’ progressive working experience in the public and private sector. He holds an LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution (University of Ghana, Legon), LLB and BL from the Ghana School of Law.
He further holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the Institute of Housing & Urban Development Studies, Rotterdam, Netherlands as well as other professional certificates from the Royal Institute of Public Administration, UK; Crown Agents, UK; Institute of Capacity Development, Pretoria, South Africa; London Corporate Training, and the International Law Institute, Washington DC.
He is a member of the Ghana Bar Association and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Nigeria Branch) and has wide experience in youth and voluntary service having once served as Chairman of the Coalition of Youth NGOs in Ghana (comprising The Ghana Red Cross Society, Ghana Girl Guides, Ghana Scout Association, Head of State Award Scheme, YWCA and YMCA); as well as a former National President of Ghana YMCA.
Until his election as President of Ghana Red Cross Society, he held the positions of Honorary Legal Adviser of the Society and a Member of the African Legal Advisers Forum.
He is also a trained estate and valuation surveyor as well as a goal-driven skilled project management person with in-depth experience in public and private sector management, organisational systems and strategic management.
Currently, Lawyer and Head of General Services of the Forestry Commission, Ghana
The General Assembly of the Ghana Red Cross Society has elected New National Executive to run the affairs of the National Society for the next two years.
The elected members were:
Lawyer Kwame Gyimah-Akwafo – National President
Dr. Kingsley A. Preko – Vice President
Mr. Emmanuel Ashley Djan – Hon. Treasurer
Mr. James Dodoo Addy – Hon. Public Relations Adviser
Mr. Abeka Adjei – Botchwey – Health Adviser
Mr. Patrick Asante-Nuro – Legal Adviser
Kamara Hussien – National Youth Rep
Mr. Kwabena Nketia Addae – Member
Dr. Christiana Baah – Member
Mr. George Kwaku Ankomah – Member
Mr. Patrick Awuku Owusu – Member
Dr. Mawuli Dzodzomenyo – Member
Congratulating the new executives, the Outgoing President, Nana Dr Michael Agyekum Addourged them to work relentlessly with the staff and volunteers to make the humanitarian activities of Red Cross more visible to the society.
Dr Addo assured them of his preparedness to support them with the valuable experience he acquired during his tenure as the President of the Ghana Red Cross Society to propel the society to a higher pedestal.
Speaking on behalf of the elected executives, the president-elect Lawyer Kwame Gyimah-Akwafo congratulated all outgoing executives for the good work done and indicated that the new executives are ready to tap from the rich experience of the old executives to place the Ghana Red Cross Society on the world’s map. He charged the new executives to see their victory as a forward march for the Society and not their individual honours.
The Ghana Red Cross Society has held its annual General Assembly at Abba Bentil Lecture Hall, Koforidua in the Eastern Region on the theme “Applying Business Models to Deliver Humanitarian Services”.
The annual event which took place from Thursday, 15th to Friday,16th August 2019, served as an occasion for officeholders at the national level to account for their stewardship. It also served as a platform for the Secretary-General of the Society to address delegates, staff and volunteers on the state of the society and the way forward.
Speaking at the forum, renowned entrepreneur and outgoing President of the Society, Dr Nana Michael Addo Agyekum outlined some remarkable achievements his team chalked since they assumed office in 2013.
He said the issue of sustainability of the operations of the Society and also the public image which was very low has now been salvaged. He disclosed that the Act which established the Society had been reviewed and is awaiting cabinet approval.
Dr Addo explained that the new Act would among other things, seek government support to meet some of the Society’s administrative expenses and obtain tax waivers for vehicles including ambulances and other equipment used for humanitarian services.
The outgoing Red Cross President said his team provided a new facelift to the headquarters of the Society by putting up a new three-storey structure and renovated some regional offices including the Northern, Central, Upper East, Western and Eastern Regions.
He said about a thousand youth have been given some entrepreneurial training and hoped it would make them earn income and prevent them from engaging in social vices.
Dr Addo urged the incoming executives to continue to support projects for the internally-generated funds which his team introduced such as the Aqua-Red Filtered Water project, the corporate membership drive and the ‘3701’text message system.
He appealed to officers and volunteers of the Red Cross to uphold the integrity which would push them to higher heights
The Krontihene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Baffour Tutu Boateng congratulated Dr Nana Michael Addo Agyekum who is also the Nkabomhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area for his meritorious services for the Red Cross Society and his subsequent nomination to the Mediation Committee of the Federation of Red Cross and charged the chiefs present to emulate his example
The Ghana Red Cross Society in collaboration with Nestle Ghana has installed a Cashless Water System (CWS) in Fenaso Nkwanta in the Ashanti region following the perennial water storage in the community.
The intervention, which is the first of its kind to be rolled out as part of the Ghana WASH Phase II Project, is intended to be a Sustainable Water Project which will be installed in 11 selected communities in the Ashanti and Eastern regions respectively.
Fenaso Nkwanta is a cocoa growing community in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region. With a population of one thousand and twenty-one people (1,021), majority of the people in the community are youth of school-going age.
There are currently four hand pumps that serve the people in the community out of which two are non-functional.
The CWS constructed by Maji Foundation, which includes an iron removal plant, is expected to serve six hundred (600) people in the community.
The CWS was dedicated to the chief and the people of the community to help ease the stress that comes with using the hand pump, and to improve the sanitation situation of residents.
Madam Afia Konadu, a cocoa farmer and a mother-of-eight, lamented that her children had to wake up as early as 4:30 am to join the queue of early birds at the standpipe before they could get a bucket of water each to bath before going to school.
She said they could no longer fetch water from the river because of the activities of illegal miners, so the entire community depended on the two hand pumps functioning in the community which was not sufficient to serve all of them.
The Odikro of Fenaso Nkwanta, Nana Yaw Asare, expressed joy at how the Ghana Red Cross Society had remembered them in their series of projects to be undertaken in the region.
He also commended the National Society for installing the water system in the community.
Nana Yaw Asare, said they would cherish the water system, ensure its usage to the benefit of the people and will go all out to sustain it as well.
He further appealed to the Ghana Red Cross Society to help build an additional toilet facility for the community.
Addressing the people, Mr. Kenneth Frimpong, the Technical Engineer of Community Water Sanitation and Hygiene (CWSA) said they would help the community set up a committee to oversee the smooth running of the Cashless Water System.
He also urged them to maintain the Cashless Water System.
The Project Director for Maji Foundation, Mr. Sunil Lalvani, acknowledged their partnership with the Ghana Red Cross Society, saying they have constructed a number of Cashless Water System in many communities in the three Northern Regions of Ghana but this is the first time they have included an iron removal plant and will inculcate this plants in all their subsequent projects.
Dr. Eric Asamoah Darko, the Head of Business Operations Management for the Ghana Red Cross Society, applauded the chief and people of Fenaso Nkwanta for maintaining the boreholes and toilets which were donated to the community two years ago.
He entreated them to preserve the water system and encouraged people to buy the token.
Dr Darko called on the chief and people to place a premium on the Cashless Water System and went on to appeal to the chief to help increase Red Cross’ membership in the community.
The aged in the community were also very much delighted as the water system was closer to them.
“Crossing the road has always been difficult for me, but now that the water system is closer to my house, I am really happy” said Agya Kojo Osei, a 58-years old farmer.
Red Cross Mothers support quadruplet mother to deliver safely at a health facility. The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) in collaboration with the Ghana Health Services (GHS) is implementing Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Project in 120 needy and hard to reach communities across 10 districts in both Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana. The community-based intervention, which is being implemented through the use of GRCS Mothers Clubs was intended to complement the government’s efforts to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in the project beneficiary communities.
The activities of these dedicated and committed women have impacted significantly over the years in their respective communities. They promote healthy maternal and child health practices with special emphasis on antenatal care, skilled delivery and postnatal care among others.
The support of these groups of women led to the safe delivery of quadruplets at Tari Health Centre in the North Gonja District of the Savanna Region of Ghana. The Red Cross Mothers in the Singa community identified the pregnant mother. She was taken through the importance of antenatal care and skilled delivery and other maternal related health messages. When the labour signs began to show, the pregnant mother informed the Red Cross mothers. Four of them quickly escorted her to the Tari Health Centre for skilled delivery.
The mother and the 4 babies were immediately referred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital by the midwife for further medical care at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Northern Regional Secretariat of the Ghana Red Cross Society, led by the Project Coordinator Mr Evans Kevi visited the postnatal mother and the babies at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital to ascertain the condition of the babies and their mother. The team made donations (cash and non-food items) for the upkeep of the mother and the babies.
Narrating the condition of the mother and the babies, the in-charge of the unit informed the team of the need for additional support to the children with babies feed when they are discharged as the breastmilk of the mother cannot suffice the babies. The Red Cross Mothers will provide the needed support to the mother and babies when they are discharged by ensuring a healthy and hygienic environment to avoid infections. The mother and the babies will also be supported by sanitary materials and food items.
The Ghana Red Cross Society MNCH project is currently operating in nine communities in the North Gonja District of the Savanna Region. These include Dissah, Wawato, Grubagu, Yagbon and Somum. The others are Gbasimpa, Singa, Guo, and Solugu. The efforts of the Red Cross mothers are contributing to positive change to the community behaviour and practices related to maternal and child health.
The GRCS Mothers’ Clubs are groups of trained women volunteers supporting Red Cross activities in their respective communities. They are the agents through which the MNCH activities are implemented. Being knowledgeable, known and respected mothers in their communities they are trusted and able to easily reach out to their fellow mothers thus contributing to maternal and child health in their respective communities.
The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) in collaboration with the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) has presented some Disaster Risk Reduction tools to some disaster-prone communities in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region.
The tools, which included Life Jackets, Fire Extinguishers, Shovels and Pickaxes, cutlasses, Wheel Barrows, Veronica Buckets, Rescue ropes, bicycles and First Aid kits, were given to five selected communities to help prevent and manage the incidence of disasters.
The gesture, which was given to communities including Ania –Kunkua, Asebga, Atonobugoro, Asebre and Azorsidaana, was part of efforts to help train Community-Based Management Volunteers in the disaster zones in the District to help curb and deal with disaster issues.
Mr Paul Wooma, the Upper East Regional Manager of the GRCS, explained that the presentation of the tools was in fulfilment of the promise his outfit and the SRC made during the training of the Community Preparedness Response Teams last year.
He mentioned that last year the GRCS in collaboration with NADMO, the Forestry Commission and the Ghana National Fire Service trained 400 selected community members in Community Disaster Preparedness and Response and mentioned the beneficiary Districts as Bongo, Nabdam, Binduri, and the Kassena-Nankana Municipal.
The Regional Manager stated that before the training was organized, a baseline survey was conducted with funding support from the SRC to establish the Disaster-prone areas in the above-mentioned beneficiary Districts.
He called on the government to place more premiums on disaster prevention instead of waiting for them to strike before the country uses huge sums of money to respond to a disaster when they occur.
Mr Peter Ayamga Ayinbisa, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bongo, who received the items on behalf of the communities, commended GRCS and the SRC for presenting Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) tools to his district.
The DCE, who stated that the Bongo District was among the disaster-prone Districts in the region, indicated that apart from those five disaster-prone areas, there were still many communities in the District which were also disaster endemic.
He cited for instance that but for the assistance of the Community Based Management Volunteers in the District trained by the GRCS and its development partners including the SRC and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), many vulnerable groups in the area particularly children, women and the aged would have lost their lives during the last rainy season as result of flooded rivers and streams.
Whilst calling on the Community Based Management Volunteers to use the DRR tools for their intended purposes, the DCE appealed to the communities to desist from practising open defecation and indiscriminate burning and littering of the environment.
Bonaba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyaarum, the Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, also impressed upon the Community Based Management Volunteers to work hard to justify the confidence reposed on them.
He expressed worry about the indiscriminate felling of trees for sale and charcoal production and warned those who were engaged in such activities to desist from that and to embark upon vigorous tree growing to replace the lost vegetation.
Ghana Red Cross Society in partnership with Nestle Ghana has held a community durbar to commission a hand pump water at Kofi Pare, to join in the celebration of UN World Water Day, on Friday, March 22, 2019, with the theme ‘ Leaving no one Behind’. The event was used to raise awareness on the importance of water, sanitation and good hygiene which in all contributes to the economic development of the community, and also to raise global awareness on how nature can be explored to address water challenges, including pollution threats of new and re-emerging water-related and sanitation-related diseases which are threats to livelihoods.
The project evolved from the Ghana Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project (Gha- WASH), a long term partnership between Nestle Ghana and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) that started since 2002. This partnership is in accordance with Nestlé’s Creating Shared Valued concept and the IFRC Global Water and Sanitation Initiative (GWSI), which recognizes the importance of fostering a more favourable environment for rural communities with a special focus on helping communities sustain development through improved water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Nestle Ghana; main sponsor of the project was happy to be part of such a life-changing initiative by IFRC. Mr Benjamin Paintsil, communications specialist for Nestle Ghana indicated that this project is their quota to helping Ghana attain the Sustainable Development Goal 6, which calls for clean water and sanitation for all people by 2030. He further explained that the people contributed to making this vision a reality by purchasing products like Ideal Milk, Milo, Maggi cube and the rest and urged them to continue to buy from them so the project can reach other neighbouring communities that lack access to safe drinking water.
IFRC Delegate for WASH project Mr Abel Augustinio, however, gave a background of the wash project, “IFRC has pledged to reach over 30million people globally with clean water and sanitation within the next 10 years of which Ghana is inclusive”, he further explained.
He further applauded Nestle Ghana for their support so far and called on all Ghanaians to make this vision of IFRC a possible one.
Mr Bikinteeb Annang, WASH Coordinator for Ghana Red Cross Society urged the people to try as much as possible to protect the hand pump water constructed for the community and most importantly their water bodies. He further explained that in their fishing activities, it is necessary to exercise caution not pollute the water bodies with harmful chemicals.
Kofi Pare is a small Akim town, about ten miles north of Asamankese, they are mainly cocoa farmers and fisher folks. Nana Kwame Opare Amaadi on behalf of the chief of the town expressed his joy over the project and he believes it will go a long way to improve the lives of the people in the community. He commended Red Cross for their love for humanity and also said a big thank you to all donors most especially Nestle Ghana. He also called for such developmental projects in the community and other communities within the municipality to enhance the lives of the people.
Parents also expressed their joy of having the hand pump water in the community as it will not just give them access to safe water but also improve their lives. “Our children had to travel all the way to Ayensu River to get water before going to school, hence they are always late for school and not doing well in class. Having this water will really help us”, Madam Margaret Bene Boakye, a mother of four expressed.