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General News of Monday, 30 March 2020


Coronavirus: OccupyGhana, 3 others donate toward fight

OccupyGhana member Ace Ankomah and his colleagues doing the presentation OccupyGhana member Ace Ankomah and his colleagues doing the presentation

Pressure group, OccupyGhana® and local company IT Consortium Ltd., have teamed up with the Ghana Association of Doctors in Residency (GADOR) to raise funds to acquire Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to assist doctors and other health professionals across the country in the COVID-19 pandemic fight.

GADOR’s project seeks to assist in the protection of its members and other frontline HCWs by creating an avenue to complement government’s efforts and improve the availability and accessibility of PPE, which are currently in short supply at the facility level, but is required in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

At a brief ceremony Sunday morning, OccupyGhana® presented the sum of GHS20,000 to GADOR as seed fund for the fund-raising effort and some boxes of PPE. IT Consortium Ltd., which is providing the electronic platform for cash contributions (through the shortcodes *887*2# and *887*10#) also donated the sum of GHS10,000 as seed fund.

At the same ceremony, two other individuals, Prof Nana Kofi Quakyi (on behalf of his family, the Milkani family, and SOS HGIC Class of 2008) and Vice-President of Imani Ghana, Selorm Branttie, also made separate presentations to GADOR.

In all, GADOR received GHS30,000, 700 disposable gowns, 85 overalls and 50 N95 masks.

Receiving the items on behalf of GADOR, Dr Priscilla Kpodoh and Dr Florence Akumiah explained that GADOR is a sub-group of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), which represents doctors in residency training. They were grateful for the donations, which they said would greatly assist GMA’s efforts to address COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.

Speaking at the presentation, Mr James Addo said that OccupyGhana® considers it a civic duty to throw its support behind the fight against COVID-19. "We are aware of the government’s efforts to fight the pandemic; it is, however, important that as citizens, we also contribute our bit to the fight. GADOR’s request for our support coincided with our own discussions with IT Consortium Ltd on launching the electronic platform for contributions, and so this was a super opportune time to jump in and give our full support to this global fight," he said.

Mr Addo appealed to Ghanaians to help combat the disease. "We are in this together. In addition to complying with all the rules on social distancing and self-quarantine etc, our donations to and support for our heroic doctors and other medical professionals in the frontline of this fight will go a long way to get our lives back to normalcy, quickly. Please call the shortcodes *887*2# and *887*10#, and make a donation of any amount,” he added.

So far, Ghana has confirmed 152 cases with five deaths and two recoveries. The virus, for now, is confined to the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Upper West and Northern regions out of sixteen regions.

As part of efforts to rally resources for the fight against the virus, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, inaugurated the Board of Trustees of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, at a brief ceremony at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s Presidency.

The Board of Trustees, which is chaired by former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, will receive contributions and donations from the public to assist in the welfare of the needy and the vulnerable.

The other members of the Board are Archbishop Justice Ofei Akrofi, Mr Jude Kofi Bucknor, Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie, Mrs Elsie Addo-Awadzie, Dr Ernest Ofori-Sarpong, Dr Tanko.

Mr Collins Asare will act as Secretary to the Board.

Inaugurating the Board, President Akufo-Addo noted that since the outbreak of the virus in Ghana, especially during the course of last week, organisations and individuals have made donations, with others wanting to find out how they can also contribute to the cause.

“I felt that the best way was to establish a public trust so that the monies that come do not get intermingled with Government money and all of those problems. A public trust that is to be managed by an independent body of trustees, so that people will see that these monies are being properly accounted for and properly deployed,” he said.

The President added that the work of the Board will complement the efforts being made by the State in catering for the poor and vulnerable, stressing that “whatever money we raise, that is the target”.

Pledging the full support of Government for the work to be undertaken by the Board, President said “I have full confidence in the integrity of all the people around this table, and of your dedication to the public welfare of our country. That is why I have chosen you to say on this committee.”

He assured the committee that the Attorney General will, by Monday, complete the legal formalities for the establishment of the public trust, adding that the membership of a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Addo-Awadzi, is to facilitate the creation of an account at the Bank where funds will be lodged.

“We have to wish each other the best of luck in these very trying times. I believe sincerely, my conviction on that is profound, that the cooperation of people like you, the cooperation of the generality of the Ghanaian people, and, of course, the support of the Almighty, I believe that this challenge is one that we shall overcome,” the President said.

On behalf of the Board, Justice Sophia Akuffo, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in the membership of the committee.

“We undertake to bear the charge that you have placed on us with full integrity and efficiency so as to make sure that all our outcomes are transparent and quality and they fulfil the purpose for which the trust is being set up,” she said.

The former Chief Justice continued, “We are very appreciative of the motivation behind the establishment of the fund. On behalf of the people of Ghana, I wish to thank you that this channel be created to be able to cater for various needs that would arise, but particularly being able to respond to the needs of the vulnerable. I will not say much except to thank you once again”.

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