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General News of Sunday, 23 August 2020

Source: GNA

NPP to abolish import duty on sanitary pads

Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will remove import duty on sanitary pads.

The intervention is geared towards reducing its market price, encourage usage and promote personal hygiene and health for all women especially girls.

Giving highlights of the NPP manifesto which was launched in Cape Coast on Saturday, the Vice President said "we will eliminate import duties on sanitary pads to improve health conditions, particularly for girls. Additionally, the taxes will remain until local companies are able produce."

The event was held on the theme "Leadership of service, protecting our progress, transforming Ghana for all".

The launch was held virtually and streamed live on major media outlets and social media platforms across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The intervention had since the announcement been described by many as laudable, considering the recent media report of increasing inability of teen girls who are unable to buy sanitary pads due to poverty.

The report revealed that the inability of parents and guardians to buy sanitary pads and properly feed young girls were key factors pushing young girls to engage in unprotected sex in some parts of the Central Region.

On other health related interventions, Dr Bawumia said the agenda 111 formerly called agenda 88 that sought to build district hospitals remained in force.

In addition to that, two psychiatric hospitals and seven regional hospitals will be built in the six new Regions, and one in Western Region as well as rehabilitation of Effia-Nkwanta Government Hospital in the same region.

As part of efforts to promote primary health care, the Vice President assured that the NPP will vigorously scale up primary health care education through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to achieve universal health coverage.

He pointed to the fact that 98 percent of disease burden was already covered by the NHIS and children, elderly and vulnerable groups were not to pay NHIS premiums therefore, it was meaningless for "those claiming they provide primary health Care” to deceive themselves.

Towards expanding access and easing the challenge of affordability, the NPP government will galvanize the power of technology to practicalise telemedicine across the country.

This will ultimately reduce cost and distance as Medical Doctors can diagnose and prescribe medicine at a distance.

Dr Bawumia further stated that the NPP government will expand access to medical schools by building additional infrastructural facilities to augment its human resource base.