Inside April 10, 2018 .qxp_Layout 1 4/9/18 9:15 PM Page 5 06 View DAILY HERITAGE TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018 Why I am against the creation of new regions AS YOU are aware, the President has constituted a Commission of Inquiry to examine 6 petitions to create 6 new regions, which seeks to bring the number of regions to 16. I stand with the petitioners in raising an alarm about the largescale poverty that exists in their areas. I also agree with their observation that they are unable to access facilities in their respective regional capitals. While I commend the petitioners, and acknowledge that their petitions are well intentioned, I rise this morning to express my utter, unreserved and unrepentant opposition to the creation of any new regions on the grounds submitted to the Commission and briefly listed below: 1. The petitions are based on the false assumption that the mere creation of regions will accelerate development, improve governance and alleviate poverty in the newly created regions. The evidence, however, is to the contrary. 2. The petitioners do not show the financing or planning models that justify their optimism. Rather, they implicitly assume that there is a pot of unused funds that would become immediately available for the development of the newly created regions. 3. The question of who is entitled to vote in a referendum to create a new region is a complicated question of law. The narrow view that only voters in the affected region can vote is consistent with a federal conception of regions that existed in the 1957 Constitution but is inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution’s unitary conception. The broader view that all voters should participate in the referendum, while aligning with the unitary conception, is inconsistent with a literal reading of the 1992 Constitution. 4. The threshold for creating regions is appositely high to avoid opportunistic creation of regions that ultimately confers benefits to a few and imposes cost on the many. Thus far, the petitioners have not indicated how the creating of new regions will affect the other regions, especially the ones that are being carved out. 5. Significant resources must be directed to the referendum, which we can ill afford considering our budgetary deficit that has put the payment of some current salaries in arrears. 6. A negative outcome on the referendum will not only be embarrassing but will also constitute an avoidable and willful waste of resources. 7. New regions are costly. At a Currently, with 10 regions, the National House of Chiefs has 50 (10 x 5) members. The membership increases to 55 (11 x 5) if a new region is created. Effectively that means the old region from which the new one was created now provides 10 members while all the other regions continue to have 5 each. The power of chiefs from the split region has been accreted while that of others from the other 9 regions has been diluted. minimum, each must have the full panoply of constitutionally mandated agencies and other government departments — Prison Service, Division of Health Services, Division of Social Welfare, etc. These are substantial costs that would only worsen the budgetary and infrastructural deficits. 8. Creating new regions worsens our insular proclivities. 9. Districts, not regions, are at the core of devolution. We must rationalize the number of and strengthen the districts while moving away from the regions. 10. Creating new regions dilute the vested interests of the other regions while accreting those of the split-regions. 11. The dilutive impact will trigger an endless cycle of petitions to create even more regions, which will lead to a slippery slope to the well-known tragedy of commons. Before assuming my seat, allow me to explain the dilutive problem (point 11 above and point 7 in the memorandum) by applying it to the composition of the National House of Chiefs. Article 271(2) provides that, “The House of Chiefs of each region shall elect as members of the National House of Chiefs five paramount chiefs from the region,” and 271(3) provides that “Where in a region there are fewer than five paramount chiefs, the House of Chiefs of the region shall elect such number of divisional chiefs as shall make up the required representation of chiefs for the region.” Currently, with 10 regions, the National House of Chiefs has 50 (10 x 5) members. The membership increases to 55 (11 x 5) if a new region is created. Effectively that means the old region from which the new one was created now provides 10 members while all the other regions continue to have 5 each. The power of chiefs from the split region has been accreted while that of others from the other 9 regions has been diluted. The more regions that are created the bigger the problem of dilution. With 6 new regions, Article 271(2)(3) will operate to require 80 (16 x 5) members of the National House of Chiefs with the four split regions (Western, Volta, Brong Ahafo and Northern) now providing 50 (10 x 5) of the 80 members (approximately 63% of the membership) compared to the existing composition where the 4 regions provide 20 (40%) of the 50 members. For no reason, other than creating new regions, the balance of power in the House has shifted radically in favour of the 4 regions that split. This dilutive problem will exist whenever region is used as an argument in allocating funds, resources, facilities, military bases, appointments or other regional balancing schemes. Lastly, I must reiterate that the issues that the petitioners raise are pervasive and true of most places in the country. The solution then lies in a holistic developmental approach, including rethinking our current revenue models, tapping into the wealth of our Diaspora citizens, reordering our consumption and investment profiles, investing in information technology and reliable transportation networks, etc. The solution certainly does not lie in creating more regions, districts, constituencies and other administrative bureaucracies. Credit: classfmonline.com The threshold for creating regions is appositely high to avoid opportunistic creation of regions that ultimately confers benefits to a few and imposes cost on the many. Thus far, the petitioners have not indicated how the creating of new regions will affect the other regions, especially the ones that are being carved out.
Inside April 10, 2018 .qxp_Layout 1 4/9/18 9:15 PM Page 6 Basic causes of bad breath • Poor oral hygiene The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Bacteria that build up on your teeth particularly between them as well as your tongue and gums, can produce unpleasant smelling gases. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease and tooth decay. • Food and drink Eating strongly flavoured foods such as garlic, onions and spices are likely to make your breath smell. Strong-smelling drinks, such as coffee and alcohol, can also cause bad breath. Bad breath caused by food and drink is usually temporary. It can be avoided by not eating or drinking these types of food and drink too often. • Smoking Smoking is another cause of bad breath. As well as making your breath smell, smoking stains your teeth, irritates your gums, and reduces your sense of taste. It can also significantly affect the development of gum disease, another major cause of bad breath. Stopping smoking will lower your risk of gum disease and help prevent bad breath. WWW.DAILYHERITAGE.COM.GH DAILY HERITAGE TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018 &Env. 2018 World Health Day to focus on universal health coverage THE MINISTRY of Health (MOH), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other stakeholders will commemorate this year’s World Health Day on the general theme: “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere’ with the slogan being ‘Health for All.’ In Ghana, all the stakeholders will commemorate the day with a national launch on Wednesday, April 11, at the Ministry of Information Conference Room at 09:30 a.m. There will also be a press conference on April 11 to mark the occasion as well as sensitise the public to Ghana’s efforts towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. Putting a spotlight This year’s World Health Day aims at putting a spotlight on the need for UHC and the advantages it can bring, a statement signed by Mr Robert Cudjoe, the Public Relations Officer of the MOH and copied to the DAILY HER- ITAGE has said. It said every year, Ghana joined the rest of the World in commemorating World Health Day, a very important day for the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it is the anniversary of the founding of the organisation. The day will also be used to provide a unique opportunity to mobilise action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. It said the WHO was founded on the principle that all people should be able to realise their right to the highest possible level of health. The statement said: “Health for all has therefore been the guiding vision for more than seven decades. It’s also the motivation behind the current organisationwide drive to support countries in moving towards UHC.” Universal health challenge According to the statement, in WHO's 70th year, World Health Day focused on ‘Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere” - ensuring that everyone everywhere could access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship. It explained that ‘Health for All’ was to promote UHC by 2030 with the aim of supporting policymakers, civil society organisations, individuals and media in the journey to bring UHC to every country. “It is something all countries committed to when they agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015,” the statement said. The statement mentioned that UHC would enable everyone to receive the services that addressed the most important causes of diseases and death and ensured that the quality of those services was good enough to improve the health of the people who received them. “UHC is not only about a minimum, “essential” package of health services, but also about ensuring people receive better health services and financial protection as more resources become available. Public health campaign “UHC is not only about health services for individuals, but also includes services for whole populations such as public health campaigns – for example, adding iodine to salt to get iodated salt to address problems of goitre and other iodine-deficiency diseases,” it said. The statement noted that over the past few years there has been some improvement in access to health care in Ghana, although there were still many challenges to the achievement of UHC. It, therefore, recommended that for Ghana to move towards UHC, the country needed to find more money, thus strengthening the financing and coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to expand access to health care services and to raise the quality of care. “These would include addressing the inequitable distribution of human resources and equipment and improving the management and administrative capacity of the NHIS. The Community Health Planning Services programme, which is designed to provide a close-toclient service, needs to be expanded,” it added. The statement commended Ghana for having primary health care services which were closer to the people and were within reach of the poor. “Ghana has already made significant progress towards UHC, but there are still Ghanaians who are unable to obtain the health services they need,” it said. Youth urged to donate blood to stay healthy BY EDMUND QUAYNOR •Donate blood to save life THE YOUTH have been urged to regularly donate blood to help save life and stay healthy. Ms Agnes Avorwulanu, the health resource person of the Trinity Presbyterian Church at Adweso, near Koforidua, gave the advice when the Youth People’s Guild (YPG) of the church organised a blood donation campaign for the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua. She said if people do not donate blood, the body itself gets rid of the excess blood in 120 days. Ms Avorwulanu, who is also a staff member of the Eastern Regional Hospital, explained that the human body replenished the blood lost and thereby made donors healthy. The President of the YPG, Ms Gladness Okyerewaa Adu Gyamfi, said her organisation decided to donate blood to help save life and also help reduce the pressure on the relatives of patients. She gave the assurance that her organisation would make the blood donation exercise an annual affair. Mr Richard Asamoah, Health Services Administrator of the Eastern Regional Hospital, thanked the YPG for helping to refill the blood bank of the hospital and urged other organisations to emulate the example of the YPG.