Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Benjamin Nyarko, on Friday 11th June 2021, led the staff of the Commission on a tree planting exercise to mark Green Ghana Day, as part of the Green Ghana Project being spearheaded by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
The two-hour exercise saw Directors of Institutes plant trees to commemorate the day. Centre Managers and leaders of the various labour associations in GAEC also planted trees to mark the event, which sought to have 5 million trees planted to mark the project across the country.
The Ladies Association of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has been advised to balance work and family life to help achieve the desired results at the professional and personal level.
This will help minimize stress and maximize positive experiences among mothers who care for the home and have to meet the challenges of the labour force.
A Senior Lecturer at the School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Ghana, Dr. Mrs. Adabie Gomez, gave the advice at a symposium organized by the Ladies Association of GAEC in Accra to commemorate the Mother’s Day celebration.
The one-day symposium, dubbed: “Work-Home Balance”, was attended by all categories of female employees of the Commission.
Dr. Gomez who was the Guest Speaker for the occasion said that the modern-day woman is expected to take on multiple roles while staying proficient at her workplace as well as keeping a loving and stable home.
She gave some tips and approaches that would help the women blend their professional and personal life.
“These are some strategies I want you to deploy in your daily lives as you take on your multiple roles. Be intentional, plan, make a to-do list, set your priorities, limit multitasking and minimize interruptions at work” she advised.
The Senior Lecturer encouraged the ladies to care for their mental and physical health by seeking help from support systems whenever they feel overwhelmed.
“Do not feel ashamed to seek professional help when the need arises. Some support systems you can lean on include; friends, family members, co-workers, and counselors” she noted.
Dr. Gomez wished the Ladies Association of GAEC a happy mother’s day and urged them to continue being good role models in the GAEC community.
The Chairperson of the Ladies Association, Prof. Mary Boadu commended the ladies for their invaluable roles they play in contributing to the wellbeing of mankind.
Prof. Boadu who is also the Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of GAEC, explained that because of women involvement in building a better society, Mother’s Day had been set aside to honor women overall the world.
“A typical mother is motivational, open-minded, tenacious, golden-hearted, enthusiastic and ultimately, rock and strong tower, she added.
The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has commenced a series of workshops to sensitize Management and staff on the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The workshops are aimed at bringing Management and staff of the Commission up-to-speed on key provisions of ACT 989 to ensure its successful implementation.
Speaking at one of the workshops organized for personnel of the Security Section, the Assistant RTI Officer of GAEC, Mr. Kwasi Ampofo Fianko noted that one of the main goals of the RTI Act is to ensure transparency and accountability in the governance of the country.
He emphasized that as part of efforts to fight corruption and build trust in government institutions, the RTI Act mandates public institutions to give credible information to individuals who request for it.
“The purpose of the RTI Act is to fulfill Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 constitution, which guarantees the right of an individual to information” he stated.
According to Mr. Fianko, an individual has the right to apply for information without giving any reasons prior to the application, except in emergency situations where the timelines are shorter.
“After we receive a request for information, we have fourteen days to respond to the request. However, in the case of an emergency we have only two days to respond” he added.
Mr. Fianko stressed that the security guards of the Commission are part of the front line staff and should to be conscious of dates and timelines associated with requests for information from the public.
He therefore urged them to promptly direct any request for information on the activities of the Commission to the Communication and Public Relations Center (CPRC) of GAEC for the necessary assistance.
The Council of the Federation of African Medical Physics Organizations (FAMPO) has selected Ghana as the host country for its Secretariat.
The decision, which received a unanimous endorsement among 30 African national member organizations was announced on April 28, 2021, during its Extraordinary Meeting held via a virtual platform.
The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to coordinate activities of the Federation in ensuring the promotion of medical physics in Africa.
FAMPO is a regional federation of the International Organizations for Medical Physics (IOMP) in Africa, established in 2009, to ensure high professional standards among national member organizations, promote collaboration and innovation through partnerships with organizations and academia, and promote talent, information, and ideas that lead to great advances in the medical application of radiation.
National Member organizations of FAMPO include, Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, and Mauritania.
The rest are Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
According to the Vice President of the Executive Committee of FAMPO, Dr. Francis Hasford, Ghana got the nod from national member organizations because of its exceptional achievements in education, training, and professional practice of Medical Physics.
“The immense contribution of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission in this regard cannot go unmentioned,” he added.
Dr. Hasford, who is also the Head of the Medical Physics Department at the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS), explained that Ghana as the host of the Medical Physics Secretariat in the African Region was a confirmation of the country becoming a regional hub for Medical Physics.
“It is highly anticipated that the placement of FAMPO Secretariat in Ghana will further contribute to attracting Medical Physics students from other African countries to study at SNAS and also attract key projects in radiation medicine to the country,” he said.
Dr. Hasford disclosed that plans were far advanced to acquire an office space for the Secretariat. He also noted that the Council of FAMPO in its communique described Ghana as a leader in medical physics practice and training within the African region.
“Ghana is one of the few countries within the region with legislative recognition for the profession. It is anticipated that the experiences of Ghana will be put to bare in managing this very important Secretariat,” he added.
Research conducted by the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has revealed extreme resistance to insecticides among Anopheles mosquitoes in a small cocoa growing village of the Ashanti Region.
The research conducted at Atatam in the Adansi Asokwa District of the Ashanti Region showed that there were two major malaria vectors, one dominating during the dry season and the other during the rainy season. Unlike in many communities, where there is only one transmission season, usually the rainy season.
The Director of BNARI, Dr. Michael Osae, made this known when he shared the findings with the Chief and people of Atatam last Wednesday, at a Malaria Awareness Campaign to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day.
The campaign dubbed, ‘Zero Malaria – Draw the line against Malaria’, was organized by BNARI, in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ghana Education Service (GES), and AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control (AGAMal). As part of the programme, the people of Atatam were screened and treated against the malaria parasite.
According to the Director, research was ongoing to proffer alternative tools that could fight the malaria vectors or prevent further resistance to maintain the effectiveness of existing vector control interventions.
“Our research found out that there are two main types of malaria-causing mosquitoes in the Atatam Community – Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus. The populations of both species have high resistance to all classes of insecticides – organophosphates, organochlorines, pyrethroids, and carbamates recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for public health use” he added.
He indicated that the ‘super’ resistance to insecticides may be due to the use of pesticides by the people of Atatam on their cocoa farms, and said the research showed that Atatam was a malaria-endemic community, with a heavy infestation of mosquitoes all year round.
Dr. Osae thanked partners and sponsors as well as the Chief and people of Atatam for supporting the institute’s research activities and the malaria awareness campaign.
The Director of Ghana Health Service (GHS) of Adansi Asokwa District, Mr. David Kunta gave some lessons on the behavior of mosquitoes and the dangers it poses to people and added that malaria was on the ascendency in the District.
He revealed that malaria topped all hospital cases with 32.5 percent for the year 2020. “Malaria cases for the first quarter of 2021 also stands at 34 percent as we speak,” he added.
Mr. David Kunta therefore, urged the people to always use an insecticide-treated mosquito net to help prevent mosquito bites and report immediately to the clinic for healthcare whenever they are unwell.
The Social and Behavioural Change Manager of AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Limited (AGAMaL), Mrs. Alberta Gordon Bosomtwe, who represented the Program Director, called for a united effort and active involvement of everybody to bring the disease under control.
“The disease, if not brought under control can affect the school performance of pupils, reduce productivity at workplaces through absenteeism, as work-hours are lost, among others,” she noted.
The Coordinator for the School Health Education Programme (SHEP) of GES, Mr. Columbus Ewusie, representing the Director of Ghana Education Service (GES) expressed gratitude for the selection of the school in the District for the occasion.
“The District is always ready to support such programmes that target the health and wellness of its pupils,” he added.
As part of the campaign, the people of Atatam were screened for malaria and those who tested positive treated. In all, 125 people were screened, with 68 (54.4%) testing positive for malaria. This level of malaria prevalence is far higher than the regional and national prevalence of 15% and 16% respectively. This calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders, if we must remain on track for the zero-malaria agenda.