Deputy Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation Inaugurates GAEC Ladies Association

The Deputy Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation and MP for Asokwa constituency, Hon. Patricia Appiagyei on Friday June 7, 2019 inaugurated the newly formed GAEC Ladies Association, at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Auditorium in Accra.

The theme for the event was “Harnessing the Power of Synergy among Women to promote GAEC Agenda”.

Delivering the inaugural address, the Dep. Minister was extremely grateful to the leadership of the GAEC Ladies Association and Management of GAEC for the invitation.

She stated that GAEC’s Vision and Mission, positions the Commission to become the leading organization contributing to sustainable national prosperity through the effective utilization of nuclear, biotechnology and other related technologies, but this cannot be achieved without the contribution of women.

“There have been women engagements in various fields of expertise within the Commission including research, technical, administration and others”, she added.

Akosua Agyapong at the Inauguration

Hon. Appiagyei lamented that although there is increasing gender diversity compared to two decades ago, she believes that more can be done to achieve great milestones as women. “Currently only one out of the ten Directors within the Commission is a woman. This observation is worse that the McKinsey 2018 ‘Women in Work’ report, where only one in five women make it to the C-Suite and the crucial gaps in the talent pipeline”, she revealed.

“The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission at 56 years has entered a new era of corporate development with responsiveness towards United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, she charged.

She opined that in this new era, GAEC Management in responding to SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, should eschew all forms of discrimination, violence and undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources among others.

She advised all the ladies to do away with the toxic culture of fear, uncertainty and self-interest. “There should exist a new culture where women support each other and develop their careers through hard work, dedication and integrity”, she encouraged.

Delivering a statement in solidarity with the women, the Director General of GAEC, Prof BJB Nyarko was glad for the formation of the association. “This will empower ladies in the Commission and is in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) agenda to increase women Staff at the top management of the Agency”, he said.

The Director General was mindful of the cost implications on personal lives of women who pursue greater career development and higher qualifications on the academic ladder.

He lamented on the low numbers of women in the core nuclear sciences. “Our current Staff strength is 890, down from 1030 a few years ago, mainly due non-replacement of retiring Staff. Out of this number, 271 representing 30% are women, but majority of this number are at GAEC hospital and the Basic School. Also, in 2019, out of a total of 233 Research Scientists, only 52 are females and out of 106 Technologists, only 16 are females, he enumerated.

The president of the GAEC Ladies Association and Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute, Prof Mary Boadu, in in her welcome address said the association was created in order to help organize female Staff of the Commission and ensure their active involvement in GAEC’s agenda and programmes in order to promote the development of women as a whole.

Also present at the inauguration were the Board Chairman of GAEC, Dr. Kweku Aning, the Chief Director of MESTI who doubles as a Board member of GAEC, Mrs. Levina Owusu, former Director General, Prof. J.H. Amoasi, Former Deputy Director General, Prof. Mrs. Victoria Appiah, Deputy Director General of GAEC, Prof. Shiloh Osae, Directors of Institute, Ghanaian ace broadcaster, Oheneyere Gifty Anti, Ghanaian musician and motivational speaker, Akosua Agyapong, representatives of GBC Ladies Association and the representative of the CEO of Cocobod, Madamme Agness Owusu Ansah.

Gifty Anti Charges GAEC Ladies

Popular Ghanaian Journalist and Broadcaster, Oheneyere Gifty Anti, encouraged Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) ladies, at the inauguration of the GAEC Ladies Association on June 7, 2019, to strive for higher heights regardless of limitations imposed on them.

In her remarks at the ceremony, she said that the association is coming at a dicey time in Ghana where the gender fraternity is divided on some comments made by the President of the nation, H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akuffu-Addo. “we need to do something to make our impact felt and clear all doubts in the minds of people”, she stated.

She hinted that the women need to employ the power of synergy which is a binding force that leaves no room for divisions. “It will be difficult to maintain women groups, but it is possible”, she added.

Ohene Yere revealed that women have to juggle between domestic and professional duties and are still required to produce the same results as their male counterparts. “Just at the time that you have to go for a programme, the baby starts to cry, do you do a quick breastfeeding or leave for the meeting, knowing that the nanny will have a difficult day if you don’t”, she asked.

She was very grateful to the Deputy Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation, Hon. Patricia Appiagyei, for imparting some life lessons into her when as a journalist she interviewed the Minister some years ago.

She concluded by stating that when there are challenging times, GAEC Ladies Association should not be afraid to ask for help and counsel. “We are all here to help”, she reassured.

Freight forwarder praises the Radiation Protection Institute of GAEC

The Managing Director of Bajfreight and Logistics Limited, Mr. Eric Kofi Owusu, has praised the role of the Radiation Protection Institute (RPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in the training of occupationally exposed persons on how to protect themselves from the potential harmful effects of radiations and radioactive materials.

He made these remarks at the closing ceremony of a 3-day refresher training programme held at RPI, GAEC from May 13-15 2019, to train members of his Staff on Occupational Radiation Protection and Safety during transport of radioactive materials.

The course objectives among others were to equip the workers with basic radiation physics and adequately informing them of the effects of ionizing radiations. It was also aimed at teaching the workers on the possible health hazards associated with radiation and radioactive substances and training them on the basic principles of radiation protection and how they can apply them in their work environment and also during transportation.

Mr. Owusu opined that due to the potential hazards that radioactive sources pose to the workers and the public, during transportation of radioactive materials from one point to the other, it was essential that his team’s capacity was built and brought up-to-speed with current trends in safely transporting radioactive materials.

He revealed that they have benefited greatly from these trainings and this session is the company’s third time. “The benefits have been immense because it served as a refresher course for some of us and has taught the new trainees among us on how to work safely during transportation of radioactive materials”, he added.

He encouraged other freight forwarding companies to follow their footsteps to train their staff on safe handling and transportation of radioactive materials to avoid penalties and sanctions as well as reducing unnecessary radiation exposure to the public and workers.

 

Dr. Francis Otoo, a Senior Research Scientist of RPI and a Facilitator of the training programme said the Institute, will continue to offer training to all end users of radiation sources as well as companies involved in the transport of radioactive materials. He also commended the Bajfreight Logistics Limited for availing themselves for the training. He expressed confidence that the knowledge acquired by the trainees would be put into practice in order to ensure safety and security in the transport of radioactive sources/materials.

By: OCPA, GAEC

“Eat Your Food as your Medicine, Otherwise you will have to Eat Medicines as your Food” – Dr. Michael Osae, GAEC

Dr. Michael Osae

He made this statement at the World Biodiversity Day celebration, held at the Academy of Arts and Sciences auditorium in Accra, on May 22, 2019.

This year’s celebration was on the theme: Promoting our Indigenous Foods and Medicines, a Catalyst for Achieving the Ghana beyond Aid Agenda

In his introductory statements at the panel discussion session of the programme, Dr. Osae said that as humans, we have the luxury of selecting from a myriad of flora and fauna as food and medicine, but we also have the responsibility of maintaining the ecological balance that exists in nature. “All life forms are interlinked and interdependent. Something may be eating one thing today but can itself be food for another tomorrow, and we have the responsibility to protect this food web,” he added.

He lamented that Ghanaians in particular have not cared much about our biodiversity. He indicated that the indiscriminate use of pesticides has ravaged the population of many of the indigenous beneficial insects found in Ghana and this can be catastrophic if care is not taken. “Without the insects, pollination of most crops may not take place and without pollination, fruits which bear the seeds for the next generation cannot be produced”, he explained.

Dr. Osae further stated that the invasion of foreign species such as the fall armyworm could be attributed to human practices that have made our region conducive to these pests. “It is our responsibility to safeguard our own biodiversity and to protect it from invasive species”, he said.

The programme was attended by the Minister and Directors of the Ministry Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), representatives from the Traditional Medicine Association, representatives from the agencies of MESTI including Ghana Atomic Energy Commission,  Scientists involved with the protection of Ghanaian indigenous foods, members from the media, among others .

Ghana Acquires Fully Automated Ultramodern Equipment for Monitoring of ‘Radon’ – A Lung Cancer Causing Agent

The Director General of GAEC Prof. B.J.B Nyarko inspecting the equipment at the RPI laboratory. 

 

Ghana through the Radiation Protection Institute (RPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has taken delivery of a top-of-the-range fully automated ultramodern laboratory equipment for monitoring radon gas.

The equipment Radosys RadoMeter 2000, is a system that comes with full laboratory solutions for measuring deadly radon gas (which is the second leading cause of lung cancer apart from smoking) levels. It has an inbuilt fully automated Radosys Watch Dog software, Microscope, CR-39 passive detectors, among others.

Radosys RadoMeter 2000 laboratory equipment for measuring radon gas 

In a short ceremony held at GAEC, in Accra, to officially receive the items, the Director of RPI, Prof. E.O Darko, disclosed that Ghana is now at par with top laboratories in Europe, Asia, North America and the rest of the world to ensure safe radon levels in offices, residential buildings as well as the mining, oil and gas, and other extractive industries.

“The facility is an ultra-modern device that will be used to measure the concentrations (levels) of Radon Gas in Buildings (i.e. homes, offices, factories etc.), underground mining sites, among others”, he added.

Prof. Darko explained that the facility is environmentally friendly and can perform multiple tasks concurrently in real time.

“This has by far taken away the troubles of manual sample analysis and it can measure approximately 400 to 1600 exposed detectors in a day”, he revealed.

A Senior Research Scientist at RPI, Dr. Francis Otoo, who initiated the project, said GAEC has now met all the conditions necessary to launch a nation-wide radon monitoring exercise as well as mapping campaigns in Ghana and neighboring countries.

He disclosed that as part of the process to start using the equipment, a radon specialist from Radosys Atlantic, Portugal, helped in the installation of the equipment and also engaged selected RPI Scientists and Technologists in a weeklong training programme on its use.

Dr. Otoo stated that GAEC is not keen on the financial benefits of the facility per se, but is focused on finding solutions or reducing the risks associated with deadly radon gas which comes as a result of the decay of naturally occurring uranium present in the soil. This gas then emanates into enclosed areas such as rooms, offices, mining sites, etc. and can cause lung cancer in exposed persons.

The Director General of GAEC, Prof. BJB Nyarko, in a short statement commended RPI for the establishment of the laboratory and said this development has placed Ghana ahead of other African countries as part of efforts to enhance health and safety in radiation monitoring.

The radon Specialist, Paulo Gustavo Alecrim Norte Pinto, from Radosys Atlantic, Portugal, also commended Ghana for taking this bold step to obtain this multi-tasking automated RadoMeter 2000 facility. He expressed confidence in the rich human resource available at GAEC, and said he has no doubt that the facility will be fully utilized by Ghana.

He called on other African countries to emulate Ghana’s example to help fight lung cancers as a result of inhalation of this deadly gas.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey, Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA)-GAEC