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February 14

Inside

Inside February 14, 2018 .qxp_Layout 1 2/13/18 8:41 PM Page 5 06 View DAILY HERITAGE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 WWW.DAILYHERITAGE.COM.GH My letter of condolence to father of Ebony Reigns •Late Ebony and father Dear Sir, Please accept my deepest condolence to you on this collective loss of ours that is very personal to you. I have taken time to write to you for the following four reasons. Firstly, a bosom friend once advised me, as a man, to pray against some experiences in my life. One of them, he said, was never to have the experience of burying my own child. It is a truly painful experience and I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that this has caused you. It is for this reason that I write to console you. Also, another friend of mine (and I have many such wise friends) said to me that a father’s love for the son comes from the mind; but his love for a daughter proceeds from the heart. I have heard about the close relationship you kept with your daughter, and how much you loved and defended her. I can only imagine how much your heart is aching. This is the reason why I sympathize with you. The other reason you have my sympathies is the nature of the death. While it may be true that every death is a death, some are more distressing than others. When I saw an image of the vehicle your daughter was travelling in after the accident, I was trembling. A lot of questions ran through my mind. I do not have the courage and the strength to repeat those questions here. No one wishes a painful death for another person. How much more his own child who is also a daughter that he loves? Finally, there is no question about how talented your Ebony was. Even in this very short career, she still remains one of the best Ghana music has seen and will be remembered for a long time. It was one hit song after the other and I can say •Ebony without any fear of contradiction that she died at a time when she was reigning over Ghana music. Every father feels proud about their children who have such great talents and much more when it is a female child. I feel that we had not seen her best yet, because she was still largely a raw talent. That is why I say your loss is our collective loss and we all mourn with you. Sir, I pray that God gives you the strength to pull through this tragedy together with her mother and siblings. Yours in Mourning, A. A. JONGTEY jongtey@yahoo.com

Inside February 14, 2018 .qxp_Layout 1 2/13/18 8:41 PM Page 6 Diseases smoking cause Lung cancer More people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer; it's responsible for 87% of lung cancer deaths. Your chance of still being alive five years after being diagnosed is less than one in five. Heart disease Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart. Smoking can cause blockages and narrowing in your arteries, which means less blood and oxygen flow to your heart. Asthma Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs otherwise known as ‘breathing.’ Because cigarette smoke irritates air passages, it can trigger sudden and severe asthma attacks. Smoking only makes it worse. Premature, low birth-weight babies The effects of smoking not only impact on mom's health but also that of her baby. Smoking while pregnant can cause babies to be born prematurely or with a low birth-weight. Babies born too early or too small have increased risk of health complications and even death. WWW.DAILYHERITAGE.COM.GH DAILY HERITAGE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 &Env. GHS dispels Lassa Fever outbreak scare BY CHRISTABEL ADDO THE GHANA Health Service (GHS) has allayed fears of the public on the outbreak of Lassa fever, saying its alert was to create the needed awareness so that precautionary measures would be strictly adhered to. The GHS Head of the Disease Surveillance Unit, Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, in a media interview on Monday, said the alertness issued earlier, followed reports of the outbreak of Lassa fever in some neighbouring countries, including Nigeria, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Lassa fever, he explained is an Acute Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF) illness, which was endemic in West Africa, with an incubation period of between six to 21 days. Dr Bekoe said although the onset of the disease has non-specific signs and symptoms, it was characterised by fever, general weakness and malaise at its early stages. This, he said, is followed by headaches, sore throat, muscle, chest and abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, adding that, severe cases may progress to show facial swelling, and bleeding, while shock, seizures, disorientation, as well as coma may be seen in the late stages. “About 80% of Lassa Fever infections are mild or asymptomatic,” he said and that rodents such as rats served as reservoirs of the virus. He advised the public to maintain good home, and community hygiene to prevent the breeding of rodents that may infect their food and water with the virus, stay free from rats and block all their hideouts. “We must ensure proper storage of grains and foodstuffs, dispose proper disposal of garbage, cook all foods thoroughly, keep cats to deter rats and avoid contacts with blood and body fluids whilst caring for sick persons,” he said. Dr Bekoe also called for regular hand washing with soap under running water, report all forms of fevers immediately to the closest •Rodents such as rats are served as reservoirs of the virus health facilities for diagnoses, and undergo treatment with the appropriate medication. He said although Ghana has not yet recorded any case, it was important to ensure alertness of the disease and all Acute Haemorrhagic Fevers in general, enhance surveillance at all ports of entry, and encourage all Regional, District and Teaching Hospitals, including the Mission and Private Facilities, to alert their staff, and further initiate processes to create public awareness. Presently the Ministry of Health of Nigeria, has confirmed and subsequently declared Lassa fever outbreak which, has affected about 18 States with over 300 recorded cases and 31 deaths. •Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe The outbreak, he explained, has been on-going for the past six weeks and has necessitated urgent spontaneous national response actions among all neighbouring countries, adding that, Lassa fever outbreak has been recurrent in Nigeria and the current outbreak has affected health workers in some states, he said. Among other recommendations by the GHS, he said, suspected cases must be treated in isolation, and advised health workers to strictly adhere to regular Infection Prevention and Control measures to prevent and protect persons against possible nosocomial transmission. He urged all health workers to enhance surveillance, manage suspected cases in specific isolation conditions, and send safely packaged blood samples from suspected cases to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for further laboratory investigations. He urged all national, regional and district facilities to update their preparedness and response plans for Lassa fever and VHF in general, sensitize the respective staff and create the necessary public awareness. Ghana, Cuba join forces to fight malaria, other diseases THE VICE President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated government’s desire to eradicate malaria and other mosquito-transmitted diseases. According to him, the government will, therefore, renew discussions with the Cuba government for the establishment of a Biolarvicide factory at Savelugu in the Northern Region. This is for the control of pests and mosquito-transmitted diseases to serve the country and the West African sub-region. Dr Bawumia made the pledge when he met a high powered Cuban delegation, led Mercedes Lopez Acea, Vice President of the Council of State of Cuba and Ana Teresita Gonzalez, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Cuba at the Flagstaff House, Monday. In Africa, malaria kills more people on the continent with a child dying every 30 seconds from the scourge. Furthermore, the disease accounts for around 40% of public health expenditure in endemic countries. It accounts for a significant number of deaths in Ghana and costs Africa billions of dollars in lost productivity. “The malaria programme in Savelugu in Northern Ghana is an area that Ghana wants to see the proposals come to fruition for the malaria control programme. "Deaths from malaria are avoidable, and we want this facility to help eradicate it not just in Ghana but the whole of West Africa, if not the entire continent,” Dr Bawumia stated. Recalling the longstanding relations between the two countries, which began in 1959, the Vice President underscored Ghana’s appreciation of Cuba’s support for various sectors of Ghanaian society. This includes the efforts of the Cuban Medical Brigade Assistance Programme, which has doctors and other health personnel working in very remote areas in Ghana. Over 3,000 Ghanaian students have also benefitted from training in Cuba, many of whom have since been contributing their quota to national development. The Dr Bawumia who is also Head of Ghana’s Economic Management team welcomed interest expressed by the Cuban business community in adding value to Ghana’s cocoa. “We know that the Cuban business community has expressed an interest in Ghana’s cocoa beans. We believe that if Ghana and Cuba cooperate, we can add value to Ghana’s cocoa sector.” Mrs Mercedes Lopez Acea commended Ghana’s leading role in ensuring peace and stability in the West Africa subregion and called on officials of the two countries to expand and deepen areas of cooperation for mutual benefit. “We are proud that we have trained over 3000 Ghanaian students, who are now playing key roles in Ghana’s development. "We are also very proud of the achievements of the Cuban Medical Brigade, some of who have been in Ghana for over 15 years. I believe we can explore other areas of mutual benefit,” Mrs Lopez Acea indicated. The delegation was accompanied by the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohammad Habibu Tijani and Ambassador to Cuba, Napoleon Abdulai.

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