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Ghana: Press highlights increase in daily minimum wage, others

The report of the increase in 2021 National Daily Minimum Wage by six percent to GH₵12.53 effective June 4, 2021…

The report of the increase in 2021 National Daily Minimum Wage by six percent to GH₵12.53 effective June 4, 2021 and the report that about 376,169 people have so far received the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the second round of the vaccination exercise are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the 2021 National Daily Minimum Wage has been increased by six percent to GH₵12.53 effective June 4, 2021.

The new figure represents a 71 pesewas increase on the GH₵11.82 that took effect on January 1, 2020.

A communique by the National Tripartite Committee (NTC) on the 2021 and 2022 NDMW said the new wage was in line with the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) section 113 (1) (a) and after negotiations between members of the committee.

The negotiations also set the 2022 National Daily Minimum Wage which is to take effect on January 1, 2022, at GHc13.53.

The communique was jointly signed by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the President of the Ghana Employers’ Association, Mr. Daniel Acheampong and the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah.

“In determining the new rates, the NTC took into account the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the national economy, cost of living, sustainability of businesses and desirability of attaining high level of employment,” the communique reads.

“All establishments, institutions or organisations whose Daily Minimum Wage is below the 2021 National Daily Minimum Wage should adjust their wages accordingly with effect from 4th June, 2021.

“Any establishment, institution or organisation that flouts the new rate shall be sanctioned in accordance with the law. The NTC recommends that the NDMW should be tax exempt”.

The newspaper says that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said about 376,169 people have so far received the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the second round of the vaccination exercise in some parts of the country.

The number comprises 194,103 females, representing 51.6 percent, and 182,066 males or 48.4 percent in 42 selected districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions.

The exercise took off on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Together with those who have taken only one round of the dose, the GHS has in total administered 1,228,216 doses in the first and the second rounds of the exercise.

The Programmes Manager of the Extended Programme on Immunisation (EPI), Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, who made this known to the Daily Graphic, said Ghana had, therefore, met its expected target in both the first and the second rounds of the exercise.

According to him, the GHS would use lessons learnt from the recent exercise to improve on the vaccination of the general population.

He said the service would continue to monitor vaccine safety and gather data to inform decisions in the future.

Dr. Amponsah-Achiano said all COVID-19 vaccines which would have expired by June 24, 2021 had been used and, therefore, there was no cause for alarm.

The Graphic also reports that the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Novo Nordisk, a Danish healthcare company, have launched an initiative to provide accessible and affordable diabetes care for children and the aged in Ghana.

Known as iCARE, the initiative involves a changing diabetes in children (CDiC) and insulin for seniors programmes to build the capacity of health professionals to provide early diagnosis.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the programme was signed between the health ministry and Novo Nordisk in Accra last Wednesday.

The CDiC programme will be undertaken at 17 hospitals to support 1,500 needy children and adolescents with type one diabetes within a five-year period, while the insulin for seniors programme will come off at 21 hospitals to provide holistic diabetes care and insulin access for 4,000 patients aged 60 and above within three years.

The iCARE initiative will leverage four key areas: capacity, affordability, reach and empowerment, to help patients defeat diabetes.

The Minister of Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the launch of the iCARE initiative was a continuation of an already established partnership with the Danish company in 2014 when they signed an agreement to promote private-public participation to bridge the gap in the growing health needs of the people.

He said the international diabetes federation had projected that 1.32 million Ghanaians would be living with diabetes by 2045.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the federation also estimated that there were 1,200 children with diabetes in the country who needed access to quality care and insulin.      

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