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Ghana: Press highlights directive on comprehensive integrity audit of public buildings, structures

The directive by President Akufo-Addo to the Engineering Council of the Ministry of Works and Housing to undertake a comprehensive…

The directive by President Akufo-Addo to the Engineering Council of the Ministry of Works and Housing to undertake a comprehensive integrity audit of all public buildings and structures and advise the government appropriately is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the Engineering Council of the Ministry of Works and Housing to undertake a comprehensive integrity audit of all public buildings and structures and advise the government appropriately.

That was to enable the government to prepare the country to withstand any seismic activities, particularly earthquake, he said.

The President said although earthquakes in themselves did not kill, the collapse of structures did, meaning that “to avoid or reduce these losses, we need to ensure that buildings and dwellings, dams and bridges are structurally competent and resilient to earthquakes of higher magnitude”.

He also urged the Ghana Geological Survey Authority to advise the government on the logistical needs and equipment required by the authority to undertake round-the-clock monitoring of seismic activities for urgent action.

President Akufo-Addo gave the charge in Accra yesterday when he opened a stakeholder conference to study a report compiled by a committee of experts that assessed Ghana’s state of preparedness for earthquakes.

The conference is on the theme: “Building Resilience To Earthquake: A National Response”.

According to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ghana’s major installations, including the Jubilee House, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the Akosombo Dam, ministries in Accra and Burma Camp, were on the fault lines for earthquakes.

The newspaper says that the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) yesterday donated COVID-19 testing equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the government to boost the national capacity at fighting the virus and also sustaining the gains in its containment.

The items consist of face masks, protective goggles, overalls, gloves, oxygen concentrators and a pulse oximiter.

The donation formed part of a $50-million support facility to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enhance the regional fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was financed by the European Commission, the German government and ECOWAS and procured by the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP).

The donation, which is the second allocation under the ECOWAS emergency support facility, has been described as the biggest to any member state.

It was received at the Kotoka International Airport by some government officials, including staff of the Ministry of Health.

Since the pandemic broke out, Europe has mobilised support for response in Africa through a variety of actions designed to help bridge supply and capacity gaps to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the continent.

Utilisation

The Graphic also reports that the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources will leverage the image of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GGCL) as a “big fish” in the media industry to take the national sanitation drive a notch higher.

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s quest to make Ghana and Accra the cleanest country and city in Africa was not a fluke, for which reason the ministry, which is leading the charge, would bring all on board and seek the right partnerships to drive the dream forward.

Speaking when a delegation from the GCGL, led by the Editor of the flagship Daily Graphic, Mr. Kobby Asmah, called on her in her office in Accra last Wednesday, the minister said: “We are on the path of getting it right, and we shall definitely get there.”

The GCGL has declared 2021 the ‘Year of Sanitation’ and is focusing on efforts to whip up the citizenry to adhere to good sanitation practices.

As part of the campaign, the Daily Graphic will publish a special supplement on ‘Sanitation in Ghana’ on April 29, on the theme: “Keep Ghana Clean”.

Consequently, the delegation was in the minister’s office to seek the support of the ministry as a major partner for the advocacy.

The company has set out a six-point rationale for the publication of the special supplement.

These are: to offer a credible platform for players in the industry to demonstrate what they have done and are currently doing to boost the sector, examine best practices and challenges in the sanitation sector in Ghana and offer the opportunity for businesses to advertise their products or services.

The Times says that a pathologist and researcher, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, has reiterated the need for public institutions and individuals to undergo regular check-ups to reduce the threats of silent killer diseases in Ghana.

He argued that such regular check-ups at least once a year, serve as a ‘reference point’ to control the upsurge of, hypertension, heart attacks and sudden deaths causing great losses to families and the society.

“These sudden deaths are reported everyday in our communities. The silent killers are preventable,” Prof. Akosa stressed when he delivered a lecture on ‘The silent killers: A public health challenge’ organised by University Teachers Association (UTAG) and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, on Wednesday to mark the World Health Day.

The silent killers include diabetes, stroke, fibroid, and cancers.

Questioned as to whether government should legislate a policy on check-ups for institutions, he remarked “If we are waiting for government on a policy, things won’t work. There are lots institutions can do like UMaT has started. Who pays for it? They won’t do it.”

“Technological advancements have changed things– but, the bulk of the diseases we face today are preventable. We eat to live, but, some people live to eat. Eating fufu to go to bed. Lifestyles and wellness have become more important today because our world has become stressful.” Prof. Akosa said.

He suggested the need for people to have more sleep to reduce the stress each day, adding that one should sleep at least for eight hours before next day.

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