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Rainbow Radio - Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu has expressed worry over the decision by some parents to withdraw their wards from the Kumasi Academy following the ‘mysterious deaths’ of students.   Appearing before Parliament today [Wednesday], he said, if it is established that the cause of deaths is contagious, it will have serious health implications for others within the communities where these students reside. According to him, initial findings of the tests conducted on blood samples and cerebral spinal fluid taken by health authorities are negative of viral hemorrhagic fever and also, the initial autopsy of the dead was inconclusive. The Minister said some parents as at Tuesday evening, have taken their wards from the school and this, has become another health challenge because the medical advice is such that, we should contain them in the school and manage them…’’   He added, ‘’…the problem we are now having is that, if the disease is confirmed as a very contagious disease , then it will mean those who have come out of the school into their family homes are going to help spread the disease.’’       He further stated that,  surveillance at the school has been intensified with record review of the Out Patient Department (OPD) register at the school. He said follow up visits on cases at the KNUST and Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals are being carried out by the team handling the development with a list developed for suspected cases. He said close to about GHC100, 000 has been released for the initial public health interventions.
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Although the cause of multiple deaths at the Kumasi Academy is yet to be established, General Overseer of the God’s Crown Chapel in Kumasi, Prophet Reindolph Oduro Gyebi, has attributed it to an evil spirit. The man of God who predicted some happenings in the country, said the spirit killing the students, is hovering around the dining hall at the school. According to him, the spirit per its modus operandi, invokes into the food of the students the spirit of death. He also charged authorities to check those working at the canteen.   He said, ''I am standing as a prophet of God. The spirit is hovering around the dining hall and when the children are eating, the spirit invokes death through their meals. What is happening is in the dining hall. The spirit killing the students is in the dining hall and so those working at the canteen, should be checked,’’ he said. He stressed that the spirit was still hovering around the dining hall and has therefore called for prayers against the evil spirit before it worsens.   Meanwhile, students at the school have been given antibiotics ollowing a suspected bacterial infection which has claimed four lives within a week, our reporter Kwabena Amoateng has reported.   According to him, over 1,500 students have received the drugs being administered.   Parents have been advised by the Ministry of Education to allow their wards return to the Kumasi Academy to take the antibiotics which are being distributed to students and teachers of the school.   19 students of the school are currently on admission, with 16 at the KNUST hospital, and three others at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).    
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An Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee and a National Cyber Security Secretariat has been set up in connection with Ghana’s implementation of a National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy. Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who disclosed this said the two bodies have been tasked to advise, devise and oversee a robust defense of Ghana’s cyber security assets, especially in light of the Akufo-Addo government’s digitisation agenda as part of plans to formalise the economy. “The rapid growth of exponential technologies in the country, comes with its associated security concerns. In view of this impending threat, our government has set up an Inter-Ministerial Advisory Committee and a National Cyber Security Secretariat as we begin the implementation of our National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy. “We are determined to take the necessary steps to ensure the enactment and enforcement of Cyber Security Laws in order to strengthen the local industry and attract foreign investments.   Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2017 edition of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence’s Innovation week in Accra on Tuesday December 5, 2017, the Vice President said “We will also ensure that global standards and practices are adhered to in the deployment of these technologies.     Dr Bawumia explained that implementation of the Akufo-Addo government’s Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) policy “is one that will see to the realization of our vision to transform this nation into an Information-rich Knowledge-based economy through the development, deployment and exploitation of ICTs within the economy and society”, and the protection of such data was crucial for its acceptance by local players in the industry and help attract foreign partners. According to him, technical work has been completed on the interoperability of the financial system and the full implementation is expected to begin in January, adding another plank to Government’s plan to formalise the Ghanaian economy. On the reason for the interoperability, Vice President Bawumia stated: “We need to formalize this economy, and to do so in a hurry, and this is why we have moved to bring in place the digital drivers’ licence, digital vehicle registration, digital online registration of businesses at the Registrar General, Paperless port and also interoperability that we are about to introduce. “Financial inclusion is very key to the economy. We have to make sure everybody practically has a bank account; this is how we are going to change the economy. Everyone has to have a bank account. So many people, close to 70% of our population do not have a bank account; that has to change but for that to happen the technology must be available for it to happen. “Finally I’m glad to say the technical work has been completed on the interoperability of the financial system and by January we should have it go live. We will launch interoperability so that whether you are using a mobile phone or a traditional bank account you can all communicate and send money across. Practically where we are heading is wanting everybody to have a bank account and this is where we expect to be next year.”        
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Gunfire exchanges between Kalampor and Kafaba, , two farming communities near Salaga in the East Gonja district of the Northern region at dawn of Wednesday has led to the death of six people and several others injured.         Regional PRO for the region,  Assistant Superintendent of Police Mohammed Yussif Tanko, said police officers have been deployed to the area to maintain law and order.     The incident has been linked to a long standing chieftaincy dispute  over who is the rightful ruler of the Kafaba and Kalampor traditional areas with the people of Kalampor contesting the kingship of the overlord of Kafaba, our correspondent, Prince Kwame Tamakloe said.    
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KUMUCA students given antibiotics

A medical team in the Ashanti region,  have begun administering antibiotics to students of the Kumasi Academy following a suspected bacterial infection which has claimed four lives within a week, our reporter Kwabena Amoateng has reported.   According to him, over 1,500 students have received the drugs being administered.   Parents have been advised by the Ministry of Education to allow their wards return to the Kumasi Academy to take the antibiotics which are being distributed to students and teachers of the school.   19 students of the school are currently on admission, with 16 at the KNUST hospital, and three others at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).   Speaking to the media, Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Adutwum said: ‘’ “We are giving the dose to the students and the staff. For the meantime, we have 19 on admission, 16 at the KNUST hospital and three at the Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital. There have not been any reported deaths.  We have a total of 44 cases. All of them are alive and responding to treatment. We started with the antibiotics, and they are all responding to treatment. When we gave them the antibiotics, we realized that their temperature began to settle and they started doing well. That is the same reason why we decided to do the mass drug administration so that in terms of those who are having the infection, we cut the transmission immediately,” he added.    According to him, blood samples have been sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of the University of Ghana, as well as the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, in a bid to determine which bacteria was causing the problem.   “The next thing we will do is to continue with investigations. The lab investigations are ongoing. On Tuesday night we took some blood samples to Noguchi, and we have also taken some to Korle Bu. We believe that all the results when put together, we can lay our hands on the specific organism that is causing the problem, and from there we could have a very clear way forward.’’
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Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Mr. William Boateng has explained that technical itches with their servers dedicated to the pre-paid system was the reason why customers were unable to buy pre-paid credit. He told Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that their IT experts are working on addressing it. He said: “We had a challenge, and it was Sunday evening that we got hint of some technical hitch with our server that is serving the BOT prepayment system, and we are talking about Achimota district, Kaneshie district, Dansoman district and Korle bu district. We had a problem with the server, it was not responding to the data of our customers.”   According to him, the data of customers have been migrated unto a new server, and the system is currently running but a bit slow.       “As at Tuesday afternoon, our ICT experts had transferred the data onto a new server. So we started serving from Tuesday. I know it will be slow because of the numbers we are dealing with but this [Wednesday] morning, I’ve been updated and I know we are on course. If you go on our website we said that we are still working on it, and that it has not been completely resolved,” Mr. Boateng added.
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  The Noguchi Memorial Centre for Medical Research have ruled out meningitis as the cause of multiple death at Kumasi Academy.     Blood samples of deceased students were sent to the centre for examination after some four students died this between Saturday and yesterday [Tuesday].   Students have begun receiving Azithromycin antibiotics against possible bacterial infection.   Officials hope the treatment will help stem further transmission as further tests and surveillance continue.   The school is expected to be shutdown on Friday after the treatment of the over 2,500 students.   Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Whip in Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak has blamed school authorities over their negligence. The school he said failed to manage the situation when it claimed lives in March this year. The authorities should have called upon the World Health Organization (WHO) when they first recorded the case.   He was however optimistic that it would be managed now that the WHO has been alerted.
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Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Banda has insisted that government still has the intention to tax mobile money. He alleged on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that government was in talk with the telecom companies on the move to tax mobile money.   Before the 2018 budget statement was presented, the Minority held a roundtable breakfast meeting where they alleged that government was planning to tax mobile money. The Minority in Parliament at the time pushed government to shelve any plans to tax mobile money transactions. Describing the move as “retrogressive”, Minority also said the tax will affect millions of low-income families.   “The intention to tax mobile money transaction must be abolished immediately since it constitutes a serious threat to financial inclusion and economic growth in Ghana,” Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority spokesperson on finance said on Monday. But the claims by the Minority were not captured in the budget presented by Finance Minster, Ken Ofori-Atta.   However, the legislator has insisted that government has plans to tax mobile money. ‘’As a I speak to you today, it will not take too much time the Bank of Ghana regulation on mobile money will soon come to Parliament. It is before Cabinet as I speak. The Minority speaks on behalf of Ghanaians. We do not speak without evidence. Very soon, it will come out. You be on the watch out and soon it will be implemented.’’   On his part, MP for Nhyiaso, Mr. Andy Kankam said the Minority may have access to certain information hence their insistence on the mobile money tax. According to him, the opposition usually get people from government give them information especially when they are unhappy with certain directives by government.   He however asked that we relook into the decision to tax mobile money.
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The MCE for Asokore Mampong, Hon. Alidu Seidu says authorities have declared the situation at Kumasi Academy as an emergency crisis.   He confirmed that only four students have died as against the seven reported by some media firms.   According to him, although an emergency crisis has been declared, there was no need for people to panic but remain calm as authorities are doing their best to manage the situation. Four students have died whereas 44 more students are on admission at the KNUST hospital with authorities unable to determine the cause of deaths.   Four students died earlier in 2017, whilst four have died within the last week, with the latest being yesterday [Tuesday].   Already, blood samples of some of the students who died in mysterious circumstances have been sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to ascertain the cause of death. Officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) visited the school to distribute Azithromycin, an antibiotic, to contain the situation. The MCE advised parents against withdrawing their wards since it may serious implications for them.   He admonished them to trust the health authorities on the matter as they are on course to resolve the crisis.
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Member of Parliament for Asawase constituency, Muntaka Mubarak has taken a swipe at authorities for failing to manage the cause of deaths at the Kumasi Academy when it started in March this year.   The Minority Chip Whip accused authorities of negligence. He wondered why government failed to call on the World Health Organization (WHO) when the first case was recorded in March 2017 and doing it now when the situation has reached a crisis level. The school in March recorded 7 deaths and meningitis was established as the cause.   Four more students have died and the cause has been linked to bacterial infections. He told Kwame Tutu that: “ The authorities were negligent because this problem started in March and they failed to find solutions to it. If they had found solutions in March, it would not have repeated itself.’’   In his view, because of the poor way in managing the situation in the past, it has worsened. Some of the parents who have withdrawn their wards did so because they’ve lost trust in the school authorities, he stated. He also expressed fear that if the students are not properly treated, they may spread the infections to other residents in the communities they live in. He further appealed to parents not to withdraw their wards to help  authorities treat them effectively. He added: “Now the World Health Organisation has also come in to help deal with the situation, that is good and so I'll urge parents who have gone for their wards to send them back to be vaccinated.” He expressed his condolence to parents who have lost their wards.          
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