Friday, October 29, 2010

Doctors advised to prepare for oil, gas cases

A member of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Board, Mr Kyeretwie Opoku, has stated that in spite of the country’s desire to get more Ghanaians employed in the petroleum industry, the country lacked such calibre of personnel.
He said that was partly due to the fact that about 20 years ago, when the GNPC indicated that there was the possibility of the country striking oil in commercial quantities in the near future, the country did not take it seriously and, therefore, did not prepare for it.
Mr Opoku was speaking at the 2nd annual general meeting of the Ghana Association of Quasi-government Health Institutions (GAQHI) in Accra on Wednesday. The theme for the event was: “Emerging Oil and Gas Industry: The role of Quasi Government Health Institutions”.
Mr Opoku took the opportunity to advise members of the association to adequately equip themselves on how to handle health conditions which were peculiar to the oil and gas industry in order not to be found wanting.
He, however, said the situation was not hopeless since the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and other institutions were currently training people to work in the industry.
He noted that until that time, organisations such as Tullow Oil and Kosmos Energy, which were operating in the country would continue to rely on the expertise of foreign nationals.
Mr Opoku said there was the possibility of an intensification of the migration pattern to places where there was oil but that also had its attendant health implications.
He also touched on the emergence of slums along the coast, a larger influx of foreign nationals with different lifestyles and health conditions, work-related stress and change of diet from local foods to processed ones, which was likely to have an effect on the health of Ghanaians who would be working on the oil rigs.
For his part, the Director of Human Resource at the Ministry of Health (MoH), Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, advised the doctors that in addition to caring for the health needs of people, they should also consider promoting environmental cleanliness.
He also urged them to specialise in appropriate areas such as occupational health and safety now that the country was getting ready to enter the oil and gas industry.
The President of GAQHI, Dr E. Kofi Asiedu, expressed the hope that the Occupational Health and Safety Bill which was receiving comments from various stakeholders would be laid before parliament for consideration and approval.
He said it was a major concern to the association since most of its members such as the health facilities of Anglogold Ashanti, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and the Volta River Authority had environmental and health challenges.
The chairman for the occasion, Dr A. B Quainoo, commended members of the association for coming up at long last and encouraged them to rise up to the occasion.
Quasi-government health institutions include Cocoa Clinic, Police Hospital, Military Hospital and the Trust Hospital and other health facilities run by government institutions..

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BRING ON NDC, NPP OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES-P.V Obeng suggests; Apraku, Nduom agree (Front Page)

RIVAL parties across the political divide yesterday agreed on the inclusion of all political parties on the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the formulation of a common development agenda for the country.
The suggestion, which was made by the Chairman of the NDPC, Mr P. V. Obeng, received instant endorsement from Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku and Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), respectively.
Canvassing the view at a forum organised by the Institute for Progressive Research and Advocacy (IPRA), the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel and Joy FM in Accra yesterday, Mr Obeng said to ensure that long-term national development plans were sustained, all political parties should be allowed to “co-author and co-own” those long-term plans that would emanate from the commission.
He condemned the lack of continuity of national programmes and projects, adding that “if all political parties are allowed to make inputs into the national agenda, even while outside office, those parties will readily continue from where others leave”.
Speaking on the topic, “Perspective on Building a National Development Agenda”, Mr Obeng stated that such an all inclusive commission would help eliminate areas of friction, pointing out that if the political parties had faith in such plans, they would defend and sustain them.
Reacting to the suggestion, Dr Apraku described Mr Obeng’s idea as an excellent one.
He told the Daily Graphic that it was not the best for the nation to go back and forth with its national development policy, adding that what was happening on the educational front should let every Ghanaian realise that there was a lack of national consensus.
For his part, Dr Nduom, who is a former Chairman of the NDPC, agreed with Mr Obeng but went further to suggest that more could be achieved if the commission was made independent under the Constitution, with equally independent and well-resourced personnel to come up with a well-prepared long-term development programme.
He told the Daily Graphic that the implementation of policies had always been a challenge in the country, adding that the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution already provided what the nation’s vision should be and required that the President should, on a regular basis, tell the people what had been achieved.
At the forum, the Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Paul Asimenu, said there already existed a framework to ensure participation by all in national development, as contained in the Constitution under the Directive Principles of State Policy.
He said there were antecedents to support that point and mentioned a policy dialogue in the 1990s which led to economic liberalisation, the introduction of the Peoples’ Assembly concept, as well as the process by which annual budgets presented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had inputs from groups and individuals.
He touched on the lack of tolerance for opposing views and the use of abusive language which, to him, did not encourage national consensus building.
Mr Asimenu called for an effective waste management system throughout the country so that the huge sums of money spent annually on the treatment of diseases could be used for development.
In his contribution, Dr Kwaku A. Danso of the Ghana Leadership Council (GLU) defined national agenda as a “vision that sets a policy that benefits the greatest number of citizens, cuts across all boundaries of race, ethnicity and generations and that is seen to be selfless”.
He explained that the leadership of the nation was responsible for setting an agenda for the country through the vision statements usually crowded in speeches and party manifesto.
Touching on the characteristics of a National Development Agenda, Dr Danso said it must be non-partisan in nature, long lasting, cut across all generations, set new standards, benefit the largest number or percentage of people and be seen as selfless.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chinese businessman under arrest— Dealing in unregistered, expired drugs

A 52-year-old Chinese, Wang Dawei, has been arrested by the police for activities which the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) says pose serious threat to public health and safety.
The suspect, who is the owner of Tasly Company Limited and Qunloon Ghana Limited, both Chinese companies based at East Legon in Accra, is alleged to be repackaging expired drugs and selling them and unregistered medicine to the public.
He is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, but currently on bail to report to the police daily.
The Communications Manager of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), Mr James Y. Lartey, told the Daily Graphic that initial police investigations revealed that the suspect had been operating in the country since 2004.
A statement on the issue signed by the Chief Executive of FDB, Dr Stephen K. Opuni, earlier yesterday indicated that unregistered products allegedly being imported and distributed by Qunloon included Male Nourishing Oral Liquid, Roma Capsules, Femicare and Araba Ba Zhen Pills II.
In addition, the company was alleged to be distributing unregistered antimalarial tablets — Qunloomar 20/120, Qunloomar Paediatric 20/120, Qunmatab Paediatric and Qunmatab.
The other company, Tasly Company Limited, also allegedly deals in products which have not been registered by the Food and Drugs Board and the products include Bee Pollen Soap II, Honey-Pollen Soap II, Shusha Pads-Night and Shusha Pad-Daily.
“Qunloon Gh Ltd is repackaging expired medicines and affixing new expiry dates on them; forging FDB registration number on products that have not been registered with the FDB; and flouting the labelling requirements of Ghana (LI1451) by labelling its products only in Chinese without any English translation. Some of its products have no inscription at all on the primary package,” it stated.
The FDB said the activities of the companies came to its notice through its post-market surveillance activities and cautioned the general public that since the listed products had not been tested and given approval by the FDB, their safety, efficacy and quality could not be guaranteed.
It reminded the general public that the action of importing, selling and supplying medical devices and herbal medicinal products without registering them with the FDB flouted Section 18 of the Food and Drugs Law, PNDCL 305B, which states that “No person shall manufacture, prepare, sell, supply, export or import into Ghana any drug, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical unless the article has been registered with the Food and Drugs Board....”
“The Food and Drugs Board has, meanwhile, directed Tasly Co Ltd and Qunloon Gh Ltd to halt the importation, distribution, supply, sale and usage of such unregistered products and advises anyone who has purchased such products from them or any other distributor or importer to return them since the FDB will not deal kindly with anyone found dealing in such unregistered products,” it added.
The FDB, in pursuance of its mandate, directed that all companies or individuals who were either using, importing or supplying those unregistered products should immediately halt the practice and seek further directives from the FDB.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wellcome Trust supports research in Africa

Saturday, October 23, 2010

WELLCOME Trust, a UK-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) has donated five million pounds to research institutions in six West and East African countries to develop research careers for post doctoral scientists.
Countries to benefit from the funding which will spread over the next five years are Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Chad, Uganda, and Tanzania. To ensure efficient use of the fund, scientists in those countries have formed a partnership known as Afrique One.
This was made known at a press briefing organised as part of the 3rd Planning and Evaluation Workshop organised by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with “One Health” consortium.
The Consortium, funded by the Wellcome Trust (UK), aims to build a critical mass of sustainable local research and capacity across Africa, through strengthening African universities and research institutions and promoting the “One Health” concept.
The press briefing, according to the organisers was to build the capacity of media personnel on the One Health concept which is a co-operation between human and animal health to strengthen health systems.
In his remarks, the Head of Bacteriology Department of the Noguchi Memorial Institute on Medical Research, Dr Kwasi Addo, said many diseases which affected humans could be prevented if animal health was taken seriously.
He explained that many of the diseases which affected human beings had links with animals and so if animals were taken care of properly, they could be prevented from getting sick and cited cases such as mad cow disease, Avian Influenza (bird flu), rabies, and bovine TB.
Dr Addo touched on the need for effective collaboration between medical doctors and veterinary doctors to ensure effective disease prevention.
The Director of Afrique One, Professor Bassirou Bonfoh, indicated that the problem most African institutions faced was brain drain and therefore, made it difficult to build careers of African scientists at post doctoral level.
He expressed the hope that the Afrique One project would help many of the scientists on the continent to benefit from the development of the continent.
Professor Brian Perry of the Scientific Advisory Board, Afrique One Consortium, said the consortium had a mix of institutions and scientists from both Anglophone and Francophone Africa, who were now working together to raise the credibility of their organisations, of the science that they were engaged in and of human resources they were nurturing.
He explained that the training being offered by Wellcome Trust, will provide a fundamental basis to develop the capacity to manage and administer research funding.
For his part, Professor Jacob Zinsstag who was described as a northern partner, said Afrique One brought together seven public health, veterinary and wildlife institutions from West and East Africa to build up research capacity for the betterment of human and animal health as well as welfare adding that “A principal foundation of Afrique One’s work is to work closer between doctors, veterinarians and wildlife specialists”.

Children to be immunised against measles

Friday, October 22, 2010
CHILDREN between nine months and five years throughout the country will be immunised against measles from November 3 to November 6, 2010 under the National Campaign Against Measles.
Children within that age group will also be given Vitamin A capsules to make them strong and immune against certain diseases.
Measles is a dangerous disease, which kills children. It is caused by a small germ called the measles virus.
Signs and symptoms of measles include fever, skin rashes, runny nose and cough. Some complications of the disease are diarrhoea, brain damage, pneumonia, eye infection/blindness, and sores in the mouth. If not well treated, the disease could also lead to the death of an affected child.
As part of the campaign, the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate has organised a stakeholders’ meeting to solicit support for successful exercise in the region.
Participants were media personnel and representatives of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Police Service, Coalition of NGOs in Health, National Association of Private Schools, National Population Council and the Greater Accra Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC).
Addressing the participants, the Greater Accra Regional Deputy Director in charge of Public Health, Dr Edward Antwi, said during the period, immunisation centres would be created within the communities, where children could be sent for the vaccines, adding that the vaccine was the same as the one which had been used over the years and proven to be safe.
He said a total of 657,352 children were expected to be immunised during the period and advised parents to send their children to immunisations centres for the vaccination irrespective of whether they had received previous doses or not.
In her presentation, the Head of Health Promotion Unit of the Regional Health Directorate, Ms Honesty Numetu, said mass measles campaigns were organised each year to vaccinate large numbers of children within a short period to prevent measles outbreaks and also break transmission, if any.
She said during the period, measles vaccination was given as an injection on the child’s left upper arm by a trained health worker.
Ms Numetu said to ensure its safety, a new vaccine needle and syringe would be used for every child and, thereafter, destroyed automatically.
She, however, said some children might react to the vaccine and some of the common reactions included fever, pain at the site of the injection, redness and swelling at the site of the injection and rashes.
She, therefore, advised parents to send any child who presented any of such symptoms to the nearest health facility for proper assessment and management.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

VRA monitors water level in Volta Lake

THE Volta River Authority (VRA) says it is monitoring the daily inflows of water into the Volta Lake for the next five to 10 days before a definite decision on spillage could be taken.
It noted that the country was not far from the usual annual dry season. For that reason, it was important the situation was looked at carefully in order not to plunge the lake into shortage of water which would affect energy supply.
At a press briefing on the issue in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VRA, Mr Kweku Awortwi, said the authority was also concerned about the large number of people who might be affected by the spill.
The head water level at the Akosombo Dam for yesterday, October 20, 2010, was 275.15 feet and the change in level as of Tuesday, October 19 was 0.15 feet as against 0.20 feet on the previous day. However, the change in level as of Thursday, October 14, was 0.30 feet.
He, however, said if the unusual rate of inflows into the lake continued, the authority would have no option but to spill.
Mr Awortwi indicated that, “Even though the maximum head water level at Akosombo is 278 feet (84.73 metres), we are still cautious about the present flow into the dam. VRA would, therefore, ensure that when it becomes necessary, a regulated amount of excess water would be released from the dam”.
In an answer to a question, a Deputy CEO, Mr Kirk Koffi, said the last time the authority faced a similar situation was in 1991.
He explained that at the time, the rise in water level occurred at the start of the rainy season and so the decision to spill was not difficult to take, since more rains were expected.
In a release issued by the Public Relations Unit of the VRA and signed by the Head of the unit, Mrs Gertrude Koomson, it said following the unusual rate of inflow into the Akosombo Lake this year, communities around the perimeter of the Volta Lake (upstream of Akosombo Dam) might experience some flooding.
It named some of the districts likely to be affected as West Gonja, East Gonja and Nanumba in the Northern Region, Nkwanta, Hohoe, Krachi, Jasikan and Kpando in the Volta Region, as well as Kintampo, Atebubu and Sene in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The remaining districts are Sekyere East and Asante-Akyem North in the Ashanti Region, Kwahu South, Fanteakwa and Afram Plains in the Eastern Region.
The list of districts in which some communities downstream are likely to be affected are Manya Krobo, Asuogyaman in the Eastern Region, Adidome, Sogakope and Keta in the Volta Region and Dangme West and East in the Greater Accra Region.
The statement indicated that VRA, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), district assemblies and other relevant stakeholders, was working together to ensure an effective management of the situation.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Disaster looms— As VRA prepares to spill Volta Dam (Front Page)

COMMUNITIES in six of the nation’s regions are in danger of being flooded when the Volta River Authority (VRA) begins spilling excess water from the Volta Dam this week to avoid possible damage to the dam.
The floods are also likely to affect more than 177,000 people nation-wide, according to estimates by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
It will be the first time in 20 years that the VRA will be spilling water from the dam, which is the main source of hydroelectric power generation in the country.
The six regions which have communities either close to the Volta Lake or lying along the path of the lake are the Northern, Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern and Volta.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mrs Getrude Koomson, the Head of the Public Relations Unit at the VRA, said some of the specific areas at the lower course of the lake and most likely to be affected were the Dangme East and West districts in the Greater Region and the Afram Plains, which covers areas within the Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions.
The places likely to be affected are Kete Krachie, Nkwanta, Kpando, the North and South Tongu districts in the Volta Region; Atebubu, Yeji and Kwame Danso in the Brong Ahafo Region; Damongo, Salaga and Bimbila in the Northern Region, among other towns and villages.
To avoid a massive disaster, Mrs Koomson said the VRA had communicated with opinion leaders in the affected districts through the mass media within the past two weeks to let the inhabitants prepare for any eventuality.
For his part, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashietey, yesterday instructed the district chief executives (DCEs) for Dangme East and East to ensure that the inhabitants close to the lake, as well as those living downstream, relocated to safer areas.
He asked that radio announcements and other methods of communication on the issue must be intensified to inform the people about the possible disaster and the urgent need for them to leave the area for safety grounds.
The Greater Accra Regional Disaster Management Team yesterday held a crucial meeting with the political heads of the two districts at the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) on how to mitigate the possible effects of the spillage and educate the inhabitants on how to handle the situation.
The team was made up of representatives of the Ghana Police Service, personnel of the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana National Fire Service, the Ghana Health Service, the Bureau of National Investigations and NADMO, with the regional minister as chairman.
A rough figure gathered from the Greater Accra Regional NADMO Secretariat indicated that about 12,997 people lived in the Dangme East District, while 14,000 lived in Dangme West.
The Greater Accra Regional NADMO Co-ordinator, Mr Winfred Tesia, said following a wireless message from the NADMO Headquarters on the possible spillage of the Akosombo Dam and the subsequent meeting between the Greater Accra Regional Secretariat and the Dangme East and West districts, on one hand, and officials of the VRA, on the other, on October 11, 2010, a monitoring team was put in place to check the daily levels of the dam.
He said since then, it had come out that the water level kept rising, adding that looking at the way things stood now, there was no option left for the VRA but to get some of the water out of the dam to save that important national asset.
The maximum operating level of the dam is 278 feet, but the level as of yesterday, Monday, October 18, 2010, was 274.80 feet.
A table from the regional disaster management team indicated that the water level, which had been 273.30 feet on Monday, October 11, 2010, had quickly risen to 274.80 feet by Monday, October 18, 2010, an indication that the dam was building up too fast and must be relieved of excess water.
At an earlier meeting, the Greater Accra Disaster Management Team had identified the lack of logistics and co-ordination among the team members as the major challenge.
The meeting had been held between a team from the North Dakota National Guard in the US and the Greater Accra team in Accra.
The US team was in Ghana to meet with representatives of the three northern regions and the Greater Accra Region on disaster management.
In his remarks, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Holly of the North Dakota National Guard had suggested the creation of an emergency operation centre where the disaster management team could meet in times of disaster to co-ordinate affairs,
For his part, Nii Ashietey had called for assistance in the area of training of local volunteers to enable them to offer basic help when disaster struck in the communities.

Food borne diseases on the increase (Graphic Business)

THE total number of out-patients reported with food borne diseases in Ghana is about 420,000 per year, with an annual death rate estimated at 65,000 and total cost to the economy at US$69 million.
Other figures gave a total number of 84,000 deaths per year with 25 per cent being children under five years. Similarly, with production and post harvest losses of 10 to 30 per cent each year, poor agricultural health conditions significantly affect rural livelihoods.
This was contained in a speech read on behalf of
The Food and Agriculture (FAO) Regional Representative in Africa, Ms Maria Helenade Morias Semedo, in a speech at a forum on food safety, organised by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) ahead of the World Food Day celebrations called on all stakeholders to help check some of these problems in the country.
The theme for the event is: “United Against Hunger”
She said the FAO would start a project with the University of Cape Coast to develop an e-learning course on food standard.
In addition, the organisation is in the process of developing a manual on safe use of waste water in vegetable production aimed at minimising the health risks associated with the use of untreated water in crop production.
Additionally, the organisation supported the Ghana Tourist Board to train selected operators of restaurants in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Central regions of the country in food safety.
Access to safe and nutritious food is fundamental human right and the backbone of FAO’s work. However, despite growing international attention, latest statistics still report one billion people living in chronic hunger and food security remains one of the most urgent world-wide concerns. Global hunger and malnutrition remains increasingly an African problem.
As part of her address, Ms Semedo said in Ghana consumption of unsafe food had impacted heavily on the health of the population and would continue to do so, explaining that the situation had seriously impaired livelihoods of the people.
On daily basis the Ghanaian public faced many dangers and hazards which are food-related, including the misuse and abuse of agricultural chemicals, environmental contamination, use of unauthorised food additives, poor sanitation at processing sites and transportation of food in unhygienic containers.
Other areas of concern are food diseases such as salmonella in poultry products, aflatoxin in grains, which could cause liver cancer, foot and mouth disease in sheep and goat, African Swine Fever in pigs and anthrax and Mad Cow disease found in cattle.
When it was his turn address the gathering, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, said concerns over food safety and quality were increasing world-wide and had become priority areas for governments, food producers, industrialists, traders and consumers.
He pointed out that for a healthy nation, it was necessary for consumers to ensure that while receiving adequate nutrients, they did not develop food-borne illness.
To meet that objective, he said Ghanaians as partners should ensure that food was produced, processed, transported and stored under hygienic conditions that met the relevant and safety criteria.
It came out at the ceremony that in our part of the world, routine laboratory examinations are not done by individuals to enable them know their health status and the extent to which food borne diseases is affecting them thus resulting in low productivity. The economy thus suffers as money would have been invested in the treatment of such food-borne diseases and several productive hours lost when the victim recuperates.
It is also important to note that the global environment is changing and scientific knowledge within the area of food safety is making tremendous advances with view to safeguard the health of consumers.
The Chief Executive Officer of the FDB, Dr Stephen Opuni, maintained that food security was an issue of national and international significance, saying food security affected all countries and had substantial impact on both public health and economic activity.
Touching on the theme, Dr Opuni said there was the need for agencies and institutions to combine their efforts at ensuring food safety and food security to achieve any measurable eradication of hunger.
The chairperson for the forum, Professor Esther Sekyi-Dawson of the Department of Food and Nutrition at the University of Ghana, Legon, stated that there was the need for co-ordinated, collaboration and national cohesion to ensure adequate food production in the country.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pay attention to patient satisfaction — Minister advises Korle Bu board

THE Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, has urged the board and management of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) to institute practical and effective measures to reduce patient dissatisfaction.
At an open day and an exhibition organised by the hospital in Accra as part of its Founder's Day celebrations, Dr Kunbuor said the ministry continued to receive patients’ complaints about the attitude of the staff and the failure of some staff members to effectively communicate with patients.
Dr Kunbuor said the KBTH, without doubt, was the leading teaching hospital and national referral centre and so there was the need to improve the quality of services it provided to all patients who sought health care there, irrespective of their societal standing.
The health minister, however, indicated that he was aware of the challenges facing the hospital and gave the assurance that steps were being taken to address them.
Dr Kunbuor said the Ministry of Health was working to secure funding for the various projects, including the $60 million new emergency centre complex.
To recognise deserving health workers and institutions that excelled in the provision of health care, Dr Kunbuor said the ministry would soon launch health awards scheme.
He said the rational was to deepen the culture of excellence in the health sector by both the staff and facilities, adding that “when the award takes off, we will have yet another opportunity to take a closer look at the work you do".
The Board Chairman of the KBTH, Professor Seth Ayettey, said the objective of the event was to open up activities and operations of the hospital and present its challenges to the public.
Prof Ayettey said KBTH primarily offered tertiary health care, provided training to health professionals and undertook research in collaboration with the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana, among other functions.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

World Sight Day - How far have we come?

WORLD Sight Day (WSD) is an annual event focusing on the problem of global blindness. Held on the second Thursday of October each year, the event aims at raising public awareness round the world about the prevention and treatment of loss of vision and low vision.
Ghana will join the rest of the world to celebrate the event which falls on October 14, this year on a global theme: Countdown to 2020 and with a local sub-theme: Countdown to 2020 -How Far Have We Come? The venue for the celebration is Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region.
Activities planned for the occasion in Ghana are interaction with the media, radio and television programmes, press releases, regional screening and mini-launches, as well as cataract surgeries to be performed in the Eastern and Upper West regions.
Included on the official World Health Organisation (WHO) calendar, WSD is co-ordinated by International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) under the Vision 2020 Global Initiative. The theme, and certain core materials are generated by the (IAPB).
On World Sight Day, Vision 2020 members work together to: Raise public awareness on blindness and vision impairment as a major international public health issue, as well as influence governments or ministers of health to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes. The day is also used to educate target audiences about blindness prevention, Vision 2020 and to generate support for Vision 2020 programme and activities.
As part of activities commemorating this year’s event, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Thursday organised a seminar for a section of the media to sensitise them on issues of the eye and how it could be protected from impairment.
Information made available at the seminar indicated that approximately 314 million people world-wide live with low vision and blindness. Of these, 45 million people are blind and 269 million have low vision, 145 million people have low vision due to uncorrected refractive errors (nearsightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). In most of these cases, normal vision could be restored with eyeglasses.
Women are said to face a significantly greater risk of vision loss than men: Two-thirds of blind people world-wide are women and girls.
Addressing the participants, the Head of the Eye Unit of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Oscar Debrah, said in Ghana an estimated 220 people were blind.
He named the major causes of blindness and low vision in Ghana as cataract reactive errors which accounted for 50 per cent of the problem; trachoma, vitamin A deficiency, onchocerciasis 15 per cent; glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, sickle cell retinopathy 20 per cent and other causes, 15 per cent.
He said Ghana was having problems with eye care because of lack of human resource and infrastructure adding that there were only 54 eye specialists in the country with majority of them working in Accra and Kumasi.
He, therefore, advised people, especially those who were 40 and above, to go for eye test at least once each year to prevent the incidence of cataract and glaucoma which were age-related.
He explained that last year for example, only 14,000 cataract operations were carried out instead of about 46,000 cases which needed attention.
Available information on blindness indicate that cataract is considered to be the cause of blindness globally, accounting for between 40 to 50 per cent of all blindness adding that the single most important risk factor was age which explained why almost all people over the age of 70 years had some degree of cataract.
“However, cataract surgery is one of the cost effective healthcare intervention”, it pointed out.
It stated that 90 per cent of blind people lived in low-income countries yet 80 per cent of blindness was avoidable which means they were readily treatable and/or preventable. “Without effective, major intervention, the number of blind people world-wide has been projected to increase to 76 million by 2020”, it said.

*The use of eyeglasses could help restore normal vision to eliminate avaidable blindness.

Global Fund to conduct audit

TWENTY-EIGHT officials from the Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund (GF) are expected in Ghana by next month to conduct an audit into the disbursement of funds released to allied agencies in the country.
Since its establishment in 2002, the Global Fund has assisted Ghana's malarial control programme to the tune of $300 million, $200 million for HIV and AIDS control and about $47 million for the control of tuberculosis (TB).
All the funds were provided through the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and the National TB Control Programme (NTCP), which in turn resourced some state agencies and civil society organisations to carry out programmes in the communities.
This was made known by the Country Chairman of the Co-ordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, Mr Frank Boateng, at the opening of the Third Civil Society Health Forum organised by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health in Accra yesterday. The theme for the two-day forum was: "Achieving the Health-Related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Where are we?".
The forum was a follow-up to two of such programmes held in 2008 and 2009, and sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and UNAIDS with participants from various health-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the country attending.
It is to afford participants the opportunity to deliberate on pertinent health issues in the country and make recommendations for improving the health of Ghanaians.
Addressing the participants, Mr Boateng said it was important for agencies and organisations which had benefited from the Fund to account for everything they had received if they expected to continue to receive funding from the body.
He pointed out that accountability had become an important and a critical issue at the Inspector General's Office of the Global Fund and, therefore, urged beneficiaries to always do the right thing.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, said the theme for the event was most appropriate, especially at the time that the country was striving towards meeting the MDGs as part of the global efforts to achieve them within the next five years.
The deputy minister urged all civil society organisations (CSOs) to have interest in the upcoming 2010 immunisation campaign scheduled for November and said the government would continue to ensure that the policy on free maternal health care was working well and as well put in place other programmes and policies that would enhance service delivery throughout the country.
The Policy Officer, Health at the Embassy of The Netherlands, Mr Theophilus Ayugane, said the theme for the forum was well chosen not because of the apparent difficulties the country faced in achieving the health-related MDGs, but it would help all to take stock, and focus their interventions on achieving results in order to make the needed impact.
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria was established in January 2002 to increase global financing for interventions against those diseases in needy countries. It is the largest international donor for programmes to combat malaria and tuberculosis, providing two-thirds of all financing, and provides 20 per cent of all international funding to combat HIV/AIDS.
The Office of the Inspector General was established by the Board of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in July, 2005 and began work in December, 2005. The office operates as an independent unit of the Global Fund, reporting directly to the board.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adults advised to go for eye tests

ADULTS who are 40 years and above are advised to go for eye test at least once every year to prevent the incidence of blindness or low vision.
Those with close relations who suffer from glaucoma should test their eyes every six months for early detection and management of the disease since they are four times at risk of getting the disease compared to others.
Glaucoma is a silent disease of the eye which affects the optic nerve, eventually leading to blindness if not managed, hence it is now called “the silent thief of sight”.
The advice to go for regular eye tests was given by the Head of the Eye Care Unit of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Oscar Ofori Debrah, at a media interaction programme in Accra, organised as part of the World Sight Day (WSD) commemoration which falls on October 14, this year.
The World Sight Day (WSD), is an annual event focusing on the problem of global blindness. Held on the second Thursday of October, each year, the event aims at raising public awareness around the world about the prevention and treatment of loss of sight and low vision.
According to Dr Debrah, Ghana had an estimated 220 blind people and named the major causes of blindness and low vision in the country as cataract reactive errors, which accounted for 50 per cent of the problem; glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, sickle cell retinopathy, 20 per cent; trachoma, vitamin A deficiency, onchocerciasis 15 per cent; and other causes, 15 per cent.
The eye specialist said lack of human resource and infrastructure affected eye care delivery in the country, adding that it was important for people to go for tests before they developed complications which might be difficult to handle.
He said, presently, the country had only 54 eye specialists and about 300 eye nurses to care for the population of about 24 million people.
He explained that last year for example, only 14,000 cataract operations were carried out instead of about 46,000 cases which needed attention.
He said cataract was considered one of the causes of blindness globally, accounting between 40 to 50 per cent of all blindness, adding that the single most important risk factor was age which explained why almost all people above the age of 70 years had some degree of cataract.
“However, cataract surgery is one of the cost effective health care interventions”, he pointed out.
Gloabally, approximately 314 million people world-wide live with low vision and blindness. Of these, 45 million people are blind and 269 million have low vision, 145 million people have low vision due to uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). In most of these cases, normal vision could be restored with eyeglasses.
Women face a significantly greater risk of vision loss than men — two-thirds of blind people world-wide are women and girls.
On Thursday, October 14, Ghana will join the rest of the world to commemorate the event under a global theme: “Countdown to 2020 and with a local sub-theme: Countdown to 2020-How Far Have We Come?” The venue for the celebration is Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region.

Vodafone offers free services to doctors (Graphic Business)

THE Ghana Medical Association (GMA), in collaboration with Vodafone Ghana, has come out with the first Doctors’ Directory which contains vital information on almost 2,000 doctors in Ghana.
The directory, which was launched in Accra contains the names of the doctors, their speciality, places of work and their Vodafone numbers to enable their colleagues get in touch for specialised information on healthcare delivery.
As part of the assistance, Vodafone Ghana has offered initial 1,500 free sim cards to the first batch of doctors to enable them access the services.
To ensure that the appropriate information is made available, there is a page in the directory that enables doctors whose names are not located in the directory or with other specific complaints about their addresses to report to the national secretariat of the association for the necessary corrections to be effected.
Such corrections or additions, according to the leadership of the association, will then duly be reflected in subsequent editions as the number of doctors are expected to increase with each graduating year.
At the launching ceremony which took place in Accra, the President of the GMA, Dr Emmanuel Adom Winful, pointed out that the directory would help improve healthcare delivery through the sharing of ideas among doctors by the use of free Vodafone services.
He said now that the GMA had come out with the directory which was in addition to the free Dr-to-Dr call supported by Vodafone Ghana, the association had succeeded in implementing two, out of the four pillars of an agreement reached between the two institutions and mentioned the remaining two pillars as free-to-Dr SMS and bulk messaging services yet to be implemented.
“It may be recalled that the original design was to have free doctor-doctor SMS service and a bulk messaging service that could be utilised to deliver bulk messages to all doctors announcing upcoming events, and also during emergencies when any number of doctors may have to be called to deliver essential services”, he explained.
He reiterated that the directory would afford doctors the opportunity to contact other colleagues in specialised areas for advice and referrals when they were confronted with challenges in their operations, especially those outside the big hospitals.
He said the possibilities for collaboration with an initiative of that nature were numerous and exciting adding that with their partners from Africa Aid, preliminary discussions had been held with the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) as well as officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to determine how a solid and a reliable data base of all doctors could be generated.
The GMA president said, to maximise its effect therefore, it might be worth looking at spreading the service to other health workers, particularly nurses.
Additionally, there has been consideration to create a platform where policies and programmes of the Ministry of Health (MoH), could be regularly communicated to doctors while feedback on the realities associated with the implementation of same could be received from front-line workers.
For his part, Mr Isaac Abraham, the Manager of Corporate Communications at Vodafone, said the organisation was aware of the important role the health sector played in the country’s economy and was, therefore, prepared to assist in that direction.
He indicated that the initiative was part of Vodafone Ghana’s corporate responsibility programme, for which reason it would ensure its sustenance to better the health needs of Ghanaians.
When contacted to throw more light on the initiative, Mr Abraham, Vodafone Ghana was prepared to continue to support the GMA to enable the people of Ghana to benefit.
He said since the calls would not be billed, the company was not readily in the position to indicate the cost services to be provided to the doctors.
At the ceremony was the General Secretary of the GMA, Dr Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey who expressed the hope that the initiative would help doctors, especially those working at the district levels to readily seek expert advise from their colleagues elsewhere.

Caption: In the picture are from left: Mr Isaac Abraham Manager, Corporate Communications Vodafone, Dr Emmanuel Adom Winful, GMA President and Dr Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, General Secretary of the GMA glancing through the directory.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

First directory on doctors out (Spread)

THE Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has launched the first Doctors’ Directory which contains vital information on almost 2,000 doctors throughout the country.
The initiative, which is a collaboration between the GMA and Vodafone Ghana, comes with the names of the doctors, their speciality, places of work and their Vodafone numbers for easy reach by their colleagues in times of need for specialised information on healthcare delivery.
Launching the project, the President of the GMA, Dr Emmanuel Adom Winful, said the 24-page directory would help improve healthcare delivery through the sharing of ideas among doctors by the use of free Vodafone services.
He said with the launch, the GMA had succeeded in implementing two out of the four pillars of an agreement reached between the two institutions and mentioned the pillars as free Dr-to-Dr call, free-to-Dr SMS, bulk messaging and the Doctor Directory which was launched.
Dr Adom Winful explained that the directory would afford doctors the opportunity to contact other colleagues in specialised areas for advice and referrals when they were confronted with challenges in their operations, especially those outside the big hospitals.
For his part, Mr Isaac Abraham, the Manager of Corporate Communications at Vodafone, said the organisation was aware of the important role the health sector played in the country’s economy and was, therefore, prepared to assist in that direction.
He indicated that the initiative was part of Vodafone Ghana’s corporate responsibility programme, for which reason it would ensure its sustenance to better the health needs of Ghanaians.
At the ceremony, the GMA took the opportunity to reiterate its call on the National Service Secretariat to have discussions with the association on the issue of national service for doctors, since there was already a system structured in a way to benefit Ghanaians in the area of health care.
Addressing the media, Dr Adom Winful pointed out that the GMA was not averse to the concept of its members serving the nation, adding, “Indeed, we do it every day.”
He said the association, however, found it improper that the announcement of such a major consideration should be heard by the major partners for the first time in the Ghanaian media and stated that consultation on that new policy had been poor or non-existent.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

AGA malaria control programme receives a boost

(Graphic Business)
THE integrated malaria control programme developed by AngloGold Ashanti since 2006, and implemented at the Obuasi mine and its environs, has proven successful in the fight against the deadly illness.
The programme, which has earned global recognition is in partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), through the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) as well as the Obuasi Municipal Assembly.
It is worthy to note that the model is now being rolled out to AngloGold Ashanti’s other operations in West and East Africa.
Dubbed the Obuasi Malaria Control Programme, the initiative has become so successful that it is being adopted as a model for the Global Fund (GF) with a grant of US$138 million for the next five years. The slogan adopted by AngloGold for its malaria control programme is “Controlling Malaria is Our Passion, Saving Lives is Our Goal”.
AngloGold is said to be the first African and second global private sector recipient of such a Global Fund to fight malaria in Africa.
The Global Fund is a donor fund with its headquarters in Geneva and funded by governments and large foundations dedicated to funding programmes to fight HIV and AIDS, Malaria and tuberculosis (TB). With the expansion of the programme to those 40 districts by early next year, 3,800 people are expected to be recruited in the beneficiary communities.
As a recipient of a US$138 million grant, the National Malaria Control Department of AngloGold Ashanti would extend the programme from the Obuasi Municipality and its environs to those 40 more districts in the three northern regions and in some coastal towns Ghana. To achieve its target, the AngloGold would establish three zonal offices at Obuasi as well as Wa and Tamale, in addition to its national headquarters at Obuasi . To enhance its research activities, the company has put in place plans to establish insectary laboratory at Obuasi and Navrongo.
The Obuasi Malaria Control Centre serves primarily as the headquarters for the Obuasi programme, but also functions as a training centre for malaria control interventions at other AngloGold Ashanti operations, as well as a satellite research centre for use by academic and governmental agencies.
The Global Fund grant came after the government of Ghana has applied for $160 million in 2008 to roll out the programme in Ghana and with approval from the Fund’s committee in Geneva in January 2009. As part of the agreement, AngloGold Ashanti will serve as the principal recipient and the implementing agency of the integrated malaria control programme which involve mainly Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme.
Apart from the IRS, other interventions adopted are the supply of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and repellents; control of mosquito breeding through the use of larvicide and environmental management and also the use of anti-malarial drugs. People within the communities are also educated on how to protect themselves from getting the disease.
In all, IRS is said to have the most impact in reducing the incidence of malaria. IRS entail the spraying of insecticide on the interior walls of all the structures/buildings in the targeted area. There are reports to indicate that residual insecticide remain active on a sprayed surface including walls, under tables etc. for about six months after spraying and so any mosquito alighting on the sprayed surface and comes into contact with the insecticide will pick up the lethal dose and die within a short period.
The process is most effective since the malaria vector mosquito which is the anopheles is an indoor biting and dwelling mosquito which rests on walls.

Speaking to the Graphic Business in Accra, the AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Programme Director, Mr Steve Knowles said the programme’s initial objective was to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in the incidence of malaria in two years but as at September 2007, reported malaria cases had declined by 75 per cent, with an average reduction of more than 5000 cases per month. Project costs, according to Mr Knowles were $ 1.7 million for the first year, with an annual budget of $1.3million thereafter.
With reduction of the incidence of malaria, it is also on record that the programme had helped in reducing absenteeism from the workplace, improved on school attendance by about 70 per cent, among other achievement. Evidence as to how successful the programme has been, could be gathered by looking at hospital statistics and also workplace as well as school attendance books.
For a confirmation a check through a report from the Obuasi Malaria Control Department indicated that “the programme has not only reduced the burden of malaria in the community, increased school attendance and won the gratitude of the community but has also reduced absenteeism at the mines, increased productivity and reduced the cost of malaria to the employees and dependants”.

The project intervention area, which covers the whole of the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, comprises some 35,000 dwellings. This is particularly relevant to the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme, an essential component of any malaria control programme and the one intervention which has been shown to have the greatest effect on malaria vector populations and malaria incidence reduction.
As indicated earlier, the programme has received international recognition, including a commendation from the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as an example of global excellence, and in conjunction with AngloGold Ashanti’s work on HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis won three awards at the ABSA Healthcare Initiative Awards in association with the Pan African Healthcare Congress.
It was therefore not surprising when Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa paid a courtesy call at the offices of the company in Accra as part of his visit to Ghana few days ago.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu described AngloGold Ashanti as a mining company, which is “living in the ubantu spirit”, saying, AngloGold Ashanti was investing in the people and in the communities because it wants “a happier people, healthier people and more productive people”.
The Archbishop said, “one of the sayings in our country is Ubantu - the essence of being human. Ubantu speaks particularly about the fact that you canot exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness.
“You cannot be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubantu - you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity”, he said.
He described the company’s malaria control programme and investment in people as exemplary, which must be emulated by other corporate bodies operating on the African continent.
The Senior Vice President of Anglogold Ashanti ( Ghana ), Dr Toby Bradbury said AngloGold Ashanti , was a leading mining company with its roots firmly anchored in Africa, as a result of the combination of the assets of the former AngloGold of South Africa and the former Ashanti Goldfields Company of Ghana and expressed the hope that the company would continue to support people in the communities it worked in.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Use Graphic dividend to develop media-Kabral

THE Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr Kabral Blay Amehere has suggested the use of the annual dividend paid to government by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCCL) for the development of the media in the country.
He said the NMC had plans to engage the government in a discussion as to how such money could be set aside for the creation of a media development fund where the GCGL itself and other media houses could benefit.
Mr Amehere said these when he accompanied a six-member delegation from the Audio Visual Communication Commission of Benin, an organisation similar to Ghana's NMC on a visit to the GCGL. The visit to the GCGL formed part of the group's four-day visit to Ghana.
The Beninois delegation was the Vice President of the Commission, Mr Edouard Loko. Other members of the delegation were Mr Roujai Akobi, Mr Joseph Ogounchi, Mr Viclouin Agbonon, Mr Jean N'tcha and Ms Katia Kerekou, the daughter of the former President of Benin, Mr Matthew Kerekou.
As part of the familiarisation tour, the group watched a short documentary of the activities of the GCGL after which they turns to praise the company for its performance.
Elaborating on the creation of the media development fund, Mr Amehere explained that since the government had many other sources to generate revenue, the dividend from the GCGL should be used for the improvement of the work the media adding that it was not clear what such moneys were used for.
He commended the Beninois delegation for visiting Ghana and said although the two organisations were both regulatory bodies in their respective countries, there were some differences which made sharing of ideas and experiences very important.
For his part, the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Ransford Tetteh indicated that, the newspapers in the GCGL stables had managed to maintain its leadership in Ghana's newspaper industry because of the desire to achieve credibility, standards, professionalism and excellence.
He said those qualities had been on the minds of many Ghanaian readers to the extend that anytime any of the GCGL eight publications decided to be "a bit adventurous" in its reportage, the public was quick to criticise.
On the issue of the creation of a media development fund, Mr Tetteh who is also the President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) said there were already discusions between the association and the government in that direction.
The leader of the Beninios delegation, Mr Loko expressed delight at the performance of the GCGL, and more especially the Daily Graphic for doing so well in spite of the fact that newspapers all over the world were suffering from lack of readership.
He expressed the hope that each member of the group would learn from the Graphic experience which when applied, could help media development back home.
He was full of praise for the GCGL stating that the company had performed over the years to become an institution on its own.
In a brief interaction, the Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal said the company had since its establishment won the hearts of the Ghanaian public by employing balance, fairness and credibility in spite of the fact it was a profit making organisation.

FDB organises food safety workshop

Sat, October 02, 2010
THE Food and Drugs Board (FDB) has organised a day's sensitisation workshop on food safety for Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) within the Greater Accra Region.
As part of the training the participants who work in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) and therefore in the various communites, were reminded that the sale or the offer for sale of any food items found to contain poisonous or harmful substances was considered an offence under the Food and Drugs Law and culprits would be punished.
The Head of Food Safety Management Unit of the FDB, Ms Marian Lovelace Johnson served as a facilitator for the workshop.
She indicated that Section 1 of PNDC Law 305B which pertains to food, provided that "Any person who sells or offers any food that: (a) has or upon it any poisonous or harmful substance; (b) is unwholesome or unfit for human consumption; (c) consists in whole or in part any filthy, putrid, rotten, decomposed or diseased substance (d) is injurious to health, commits an offence".
In addition, the law under section 3 indicated that "any person who labels, packages, sells or advertises any food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive as regards its character, nature, value, substance, quality, composition, merit or safety commits an offence.”
As a deterrent, section 42 of the law states that any person who commits an offence under that law for which no special penalty was provided shall be liable on conviction. It further states that (a) in the case of a first offence, to a fine not exceeding two hundred penalty units or to a term not exceeding six month, or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or (b) in the case of a subsequent offence to
a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or both the fine and the imprisonment.
Addressing the participants, Ms Johnson said under offences by bodies of persons, section 43 provided that where an offence was committed under the Act or under the Regulations by a body of persons, in the case of body corporate, either than a partnership, every director or officer of that body should be deemed to have committed that offence and in case of a partnership, every partner or officer of that body should be deemed to have committed that offence.
Touching on Section 4 of the Act, she said where a standard had been prescribed under any enactment for any food, any person who manufactured, labelled, sold, or advertised any food in such manner that was likely to be mistaken for food of the prescribed standard, committed an offence.
Under "Provision against sale of food not of nature, substance or quality demanded", Section 5 of the act pointed out that any person who sold to the prejudice of a purchaser any food which was not of nature, substance or quality of the article demanded by the purchaser committed an offence.
In her explanation to Section 7, Ms Johnson said any person who sold, prepared, conveyed, stored or displayed for sale any food under unsanitary condition, committed an offence, adding that anyone who sold offered or exposed for sale or deposited with or consigned to any person the purpose of sale, any food intended for, but unfit for human consumption was liable to the law.
Ms Johnson took the opportunity to advise the (EHO) to be on the look-out and ensure that quality and safe food was offered for sale in the communities to protect the lives of the people.
She indicated that the officers were authorised to ensure that the right thing was done.
She quoted Section 36 of the Law which provided that "Any authorised officer may at an hour reasonable for the proper performance of a function under this Act, (a) enter any premises where the officer believed an article to which this Act applies is prepared, preserved, packed, stored or conveyed, and examine the article, take samples and examine anything that the officer believes is used or is capable of being used for the preparation, preservation, packaging, storing or conveying of the articles", among others.
She pointed out that any person who obstructed or impeded an authorised officer in the course of the officer's duties or by gratuity, bribe, promise or any other inducement prevents, or attempted to prevent, the due execution by the authorised officer of duties the Act or the Regulations, committed an offence.