UK

VOTERS REGISTRATION AND THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP GOING INTO THIS YEARS ELECTION.

A forty-two minutes conversation on GN Radio this morning was the Executive Director for Kandifo Institute, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah on topics related to the voter registration and importance of leadership in this year’s election. Beginning his interview, the host inquired his view on the Presidential address to the Nation on 16th August 2020, where the Electoral Commission was applauded by the President for a clean job done during the voter registration. Mr. Boakye- Danquah commended the Electoral Commission for their mob up exercise and giving Ghanaians a credible voter register. He argued that a country with about thirty-one million people cannot have a population of roughly twenty million people above eighteen years. Statistically, if the old voter register was going to be in use, it means Ghana has two-thirds of its population above eighteen and cannot be.  The old voter register, which had about 16.6 million people would have risen to about 20 million people if additional names were introduced. However, the new register has about 16.9 million names and this shows that the Electoral Commission has done a credible job.

The GN Radio host then asked; what can be done to ensure that the work done by the EC does not go vain. The Executive Director of the Institute replied saying, “…citizens must be involved, engaged, interested, take development into their own hands and ensure that in exercising their civil rights, they should not introduce other persons that do not live in the country, do not understand the country, do not have the DNA of the country or do not contribute to the country. They should be more patriotic and lift up the patriotic agenda…” The host wanting to know more on how development can be taken into hands by citizens, Mr. Boakye- Danquah added that effective governance is the marriage between the ruling and the ruled. It is a journey which needs a moral involvement, a constant stakeholder involvement or engagement. Effective governance is a collective agenda and both citizens and the leader must know that none of them can thrive independently. Given the opportunity to speak on the Ghana Elections Watch project, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah said the data-driven website gives facts and figures from the 1992 Elections to date and analysis on voting trends, where to focus on, floating areas and others. The database includes manifestos from the various political parties as well.

Mr. Boakye- Danquah says he is unfolding conversations on governments to be allowed to go beyond serving for two-terms but rather three-terms. This means that a political party under the same flagbearer can run three times and get elected into office; twelve years in total for an elected individual to steer the affairs of the country. He believes a credible, globally respected, goal-driven leader and one who brings conversations of the deprived-on board should be allowed the lead the country. Adducing a family setting where there are less resources per available heads, the elderly son, who is tried and tested and has proven faithful would undoubtedly be given the available resources because there is a brighter future for all as compared to an aberrant son. He added that people with audacious visions should come up front because we need actors and not comedians as a country. Desire and passion driven individuals, who are burdened with the state of the country, people with great foresight and are determined to see the country move on are the ones who should participate in the elections. All others who think they stand a chance and are not well prepared should fall back and head institutions and businesses with about 200 persons not a country with over thirty million people.

Ending his conversations on GN Radio, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah added that the potential opening of boarders by the President is a good call and that citizens should comply to the safety protocols COVID-19 has left the world with. Though there would be no wearing of face masks, citizens should wash hands regularly and disinfect their surroundings frequently. He concluded by pleading with all political institutions to educate electorates on how to vote because there is a noticeable rise of rejected ballots every electioneering year.

Running Up To December 2020 General Elections

Background

We are 5 (five) months away from the next general elections scheduled for 7th December 2020 and, as usual, the duopoly in Ghanaian political arena enjoyed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is at a crescendo as far as new impressions to the electorate are concerned.

Together, these 2 main political parties have administered our country’s affairs for 42 (forty-two) years; NDC has ruled us for 27 years (including 11 years under PNDC, 8 years for Rawlings and 8 years for the late Prof. J E. Atta Mills and ex-President Mr. J. D Mahama. NPP has also ruled us for 15 years (including 3 years for the late Prime Minister, Prof. K. A Busia, 8 years for President J. A Kufuor and Nana Addo’s 4 years running up to December 2020).

Prior to the duopoly, Nkrumah and his CPP ruled Ghana for 9 (nine) years plus the 10 years of Military rules; NLC’s 3 years and National Redemption and Supreme Military Councils’ 7 years, and President Hila Liman and his PNP, 2 years.

This summary gives us a total of 63 years that equates to our independence from Great Britain 63 years ago (1957 to 2020). As a nation, Ghana has not made the requisite progress that would befit an independent country which was supposed to be “capable of running its own affairs” as declared by Nkrumah on Ghana’s attainment of independence on 6th March 1957.

Of the 10 ten administrations listed above, it is only our first administration led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP) that made significant progress in the land within only 9 years (1957 to1966) in governance and which – exponentially, 54 years on – could have developed Ghana to the likes of Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. Key among Nkrumah’s major developmental achievements are the Hydro-Electric project, creating the model township of Tema, the first of its kind in West Africa then, the introduction of Ghana Airways, Black Star (Shipping) Line, establishment of 2 (two) major Universities, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast and several manufacturing establishments under the Ghanaian Industrial Holding Corporation (GIHOC).

Ending the Duopoly in Ghana’s politics

A new wave of political sanitisation must be invoked to stop the continuing duopoly in our political climate by ushering in a serious and reformist political party such as the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) that ranks third in Ghana’s political arena, to contribute its reformist agenda for change so as to broaden Ghana’s horizons towards the achievement of economic growth through full employment to improve the quality of lives and well-being of the citizenry.

We of the PPP do not seek to conform ourselves to the standards of the NDC and NPP. Instead, our agenda for change shall bring with it the eradication of the endemic parochialism, ethnocentrism, and tribal sentiments in the country that by extension, has led to institutionalised corruption that has resulted at the expense of the majority. The creation of a wide gap between the rich and the poor because all our efforts have been undertaken for the purpose of enabling a few persons to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor majority. Plato has intimated that, and I quote “if you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools”

Manifesto Promises

The NDC/NPP have started spasmodic general election campaigns with snippets of new promises and assurances ahead of publishing their manifestos. In our usual excitement, we have consistently overlooked to hold our governments accountable for previous manifesto promises that won them votes to govern us in the first place. Traditionally, those manifestos get undelivered, but our society easily let bygones become bygones and start on a clean slate because the old and bigger political parties have tested the nerves of the Ghanaian voter who “gives all to God” and rather focuses on the forthcoming general election.

This time we must punish the sycophants by voting against them. Ghana has endured failed and undeliverable Manifesto assurances by both NPP and NDC for 28 (twenty-eight) years in this fourth republic and the political parties have gotten away unpunished with many unfulfilled promises. PPP believes in under-promising and over-delivering of manifesto assurances. Surely, that is the way forward for yet our under-developed country for all those years that we have gained political independence.

The time is apt to sponsor the introduction of a Legislative Instrument in Parliament to oblige incumbent governments to report to the nation on their manifesto promises as to delivery and non -delivery by the end of September in each election year, listing out the promises that have been fully delivered and those that have not been delivered and the reasons for non-delivery? That way, future manifesto promises shall be made with reasonable caution in the best interests of the nation and that would be the only way to put our shoulders on the wheels on our path to development.

Continuation of uncompleted projects by previous administrations

Prior to 2016 general elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the then NPP Presidential candidate assured the people of Ghana that his government, God-willing, from January 2017, will not abandon any project on the basis that “it was started by a political opponent.” As assuring as it was then in 2016, so shall we expect this undertaking to be honoured during NPP’s tenure of office. However, in the interest of our nation it would only be fair for us to consider sponsoring a Legislative Instrument (as indicated above) to oblige future governments to continue and finish uncompleted projects inherited from previous administrations before embarking on new projects.

Legislation against False and undeliverable Campaign Promises

The trend whereby political parties of over-promise and under-deliver their own manifesto promises has gone on for an awful long time and running up to 2020 elections, the Progressive People’s Party is drawing attention to this debacle and calling on the people of Ghana to stand firm with us to promulgate the legislative instrument necessary to bring to an end the despicable practice whereby we support dishonest political parties that habitually cheat the nation and get away with it just because no one calls them to order. This time I am appealing to all political parties to subject themselves to “manifesto scrutiny” for our country to move ahead. Included in NPP’s 2016 manifesto promises to deliver one district, one factory and one village, one dam and guaranteeing $1miilion dollars for every district in the country among others was instrumental in getting the NPP elected to serve the nation. Even non-NPP folks voted for the NPP and that is why they won by a whopping 1 million votes. We therefore expect these 2016 manifesto promises to be delivered without excuses if our country should proceed to the “promised land” of economic emancipation.

Equal Opportunities for political parties in media platforms

As we prepare to mount the campaign trail, it is necessary for all political parties to be given equal media platforms, including pro-political party media houses, to deliver their messages to the people. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) must do away with their criteria for Presidential candidates taking part in their debates provided they have representation in parliament. In the case of my Party that is comparatively new; just 8 years old and working hard to win parliamentary seats this requirement disenfranchises us.

Service to Ghana must be paramount above all things and not satisfying IEA’s rule that is discriminatory. I am therefore calling on them (IEA) to reconsider including prospective Presidential candidates who have no representation in our parliament to take part in the debates. This stance of the Institute has the tendency of eliminating the otherwise much more credible candidates to lead our country into the future.

Time to Change direction

NDC and NPP have ruled our country for 42 (forty-two) years and we have not achieved much progress for these years by these two political parties, aside from performance evaluation and unnecessary comparisons between themselves as there is no third party to call them to order. There must be a change in direction by the electorate voting for Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP) parliamentary candidates at the next general elections to ensure that there is a mouthpiece for the majority poorer in our society. Ghana deserves better with the massive mineral resources at our disposal. A few people in high positions within our governments, past and present are enriching themselves at the expense of the poor souls who vote them into governance.

As ex-President Kufuor once said, and on quote, “consider your situation before casting your vote”. May this wise saying guide us in our journey to the next general elections on 7th December 2020 to free our nation from oppressor’s rule.

Kit Yawson

Chairman

PPP UK & Ireland

London

Email: kitconvention@gmail.com

7 practical things to remember if you’re suffering from coronavirus health anxiety

Coronavirus has catapulted the world into completely unchartered territory, and it’s scary times for all. With the UK government recommending social distancing, encouraging the whole population to avoid busy social places such as pubs, clubs, restaurants, and theatres, we’re facing a long road ahead of… well, not a lot.

And in that empty space, anxiety can manifest. Whether you’re someone who has long suffered from health anxiety, or if these are new feelings for you, it’s important to find coping mechanisms that help to calm you.

With that in mind, we asked GP Dr Adwoa Danso to share some useful, practical things to remember in these worrying times. If you find yourself spiralling, read through these pointers slowly, and remember that you are certainly not the only one experiencing this kind of fear.

1. Remember that it will pass

“The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly but it is important to remember that the outbreak will pass,” says Dr Danso. “The majority of people will be unaffected or have mild symptoms which they will completely recover from.”

2. Be aware of the symptoms of stress

“And address them quickly by seeking help from your GP,” advises the doctor. Symptoms of stress can include “overindulging in alcohol and tobacco, having difficulty concentrating, and having a poor sleep pattern”.

3. Focus on the facts

This is a particularly important one, especially with social media facilitating all sorts of information flying about. “Not everyone is an expert,” reminds Dr Danso. “Use reputable sources such as WHO and Public Health England for your information.”ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

4. Talk

“Speaking to people you trust about any concerns helps a lot,” advises the GP. If your friends and family aren’t in the same household as you, utilise the extensive technology we’ve got at our disposal and have regular calls and FaceTimes.

5. Continue taking any prescribed medication from your GP

“Have a plan to obtain your medication if you are to self- isolate, to ensure you do not run out of medication,” reminds the doctor.

Antidepressants, mental health, medication

GRACE CARYGETTY IMAGE

6. Try to avoid feeling claustrophobic

During times of self-isolation and social distancing, it’s natural that the four walls around you might feel as though they’re closing in. “If you’re feeling cooped up, focus on hobbies you can do more of, such as cooking, reading and yoga,” suggests Dr Danso. What better time to crack into that 1,000 piece puzzle…

7. Focus on things you CAN do

Which are: “Follow medical advice, wash your hands and use sanitisers regularly, and avoid non-essential travel.”

Coronavirus, health anxiety

DELMAINE DONSONGETTY IMAGES


The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it’s possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you’re in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Adwoa Danso is finding new ways to reach communities where some health topics are taboo

Profile – Dr Adwoa Danso

Roles – Full-time locum GP in Essex and east London; resident doctor on GN Radio UK, including as host of The Medical Show with Dr Danso; founder of The Clinic Diaries online platform; executive at the Ghanaian Doctors and Dentists Association UK (GDDA UK)

Hours worked – Eight to 10 NHS sessions and additional work

Saturday

I’m filming a women’s health series for The Clinic Diaries, my YouTube channel. It’s good to vary themes – this one follows the success of a male-focused series. Other episodes have covered pregnancy, contraception and the impact of social media on mental health.

We film at my home (it’s more relaxed that way), joined by family and friends or special guests such as activists or other healthcare professionals.

The group format enables everyone to share a variety of views. Our audience is mainly black and minority ethnic women, and we discuss issues affecting them and women in general, such as the pressure to have children, and a recent report stating black women are more likely than white women to die during childbirth.

Afterwards, I oversee my producer Sarah in editing the footage, before we release the episodes on YouTube.

Sunday

Weekdays are largely taken up with clinical sessions, so I use Sundays to prepare for my weekly radio show for the Ghanaian community in the UK – typically by reading the newest medical guidelines and the healthcare sections of newspapers – plus Pulse, of course.

I decide the topic the week before, and tell listeners in advance. This time, I’m focusing on menstrual problems. Next is chronic kidney disease. I generally choose issues common in this community; we have covered malaria treatment, hypertension and fertility concerns.

Unfortunately, many medical subjects are taboo in Ghanaian culture, mainly because of deep-rooted spiritual beliefs. This can make it difficult for people to seek help, so I’m proud of how the radio show helps to tackle these barriers.

My co-host, Stanley, is a pro at facilitating discourse. As he doesn’t have a medical background, I brief him with basic clinical information. His lay input brings a fresh perspective, raising points that audiences might be curious about.

Monday

In the evening, I have a conference call with the other executives at the Ghanaian Doctors and Dentists Association UK.

We’re organising our annual conference and gala, which will be fundraising for obstetric fistula support in Ghana. There are plenty of details to consider, from sending VIP invitations to selling raffle tickets.

Tuesday AM

Tuesday is the highlight of every week. After a busy surgery, I head to the GN Radio headquarters in Oval, south London for the weekly show.

I get there early to catch up on local news, checking for anything that is timely for our listeners, who are mostly of Ghanaian origin. Stanley is on hand again, setting up cameras to stream the show to Facebook. This is a key part of our engagement, allowing listeners to submit questions while we’re on air.

Tuesday PM

Before long, we are broadcasting. Our topic is the impact of heavy periods on a woman’s life and there’s plenty to discuss – sick days off work, relationship problems, period poverty and being ostracised by some communities.

I ask how much a pack of sanitary towels costs in Ghana. A Facebook user quickly responds: it’s 6 cedis – roughly £1. For context, the Ghanaian living wage is 900 cedis per month – around £135.

I aim to advise on the issues we explore but stress that, despite hosting a medical show, I’m not a replacement for listeners’ own GPs, and won’t offer personal advice. They’re generally respectful of this, and are always engaging and keen to discover more. One enquires about the Mirena coil – how it’s fitted, whether the process is painful and the estimated recovery time. Another wants me to debunk myths about fibroidectomy. I try to answer all questions, then recap the key points for those who tune in late.

Towards the end, I reiterate that more information can be found on my social media accounts – @ClinicDiaries on Twitter and TheClinicDiaries on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Tuesday evenings whiz by, and I’m always left inspired after a productive show.

Throughout the week, I keep an eye out for queries or specific areas to pay attention to, ready to do it all over again.

Source:http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/

Stars celebrate Avicii at emotional tribute concert

Stars including Rita Ora, Adam Lambert and David Guetta have played a charity tribute concert in honour of the late Swedish DJ Avicii.

Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead in Oman in April 2018, at the age of 28.

His family said at the time he was a perfectionist who struggled with stress and “could not go on any longer”.

Proceeds from the concert will go to mental health and suicide prevention charities.

It opened on an emotional note, with thousands of fans lighting up Stockholm’s Friends Arena with their phones; as Swedish singer Sandro Cavazzo performed his Avicii collaboration Without You.

The song’s poignant lyrics – “I’ve gotta learn how to love without you” – have become a eulogy for the DJ in the wake of his death; with the single returning to the top of the charts in his home country.

Embellished by mournful strings, Cavazzo’s sensitive delivery set the tone for the concert, which carefully balanced commemoration and celebration.

As the song ended, she formed her hands into a heart symbol in tribute to Avicii.

After leaving the stage, she posted a heartfelt note on Instagram, saying: “I want to thank Avicii’s family for organising this [concert] to raise awareness for mental health especially within the music industry.

“Often success can be seen as a representation that someone is also doing well mentally, however we can see here that there is sooo much more work to be done.”

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden were among the 60,000-strong audience for the show, which was streamed live on YouTube and Facebook.

A parade of Avicii’s friends and collaborators graced the stage, including Adam Lambert, Michelle Gonzalez, Agnes Carlsson, Kygo and Belgian DJ Dimitri Vegas.

Aloe Blacc, who scored a worldwide hit with Avicii on the dance-country crossover Wake Me Up, was among those paying tribute.

‘Wake-up call’

“Every generation has its icon and heroes who break convention to capture hearts and minds,” he said. “Our friend Tim Bergling was one of those bright, shining stars.

“Through his music, he shared his joy, his pain and his passion, and I witnessed his brilliance first hand.

“I trusted him and I believed in his artistic vision, and in a short time I would see the tremendous impact our collaboration would have on the world. It changed my life forever. Thank you, Tim.”

Dance producer David Guetta called Avicii’s death “a wake-up call for our community”.

Musicians, whether they’re DJs, pop stars or rock bands “push [themselves] constantly and it never stops,” he explained to Rolling Stone ahead of the concert.

“You always need to deliver constantly. It’s very difficult and the expectations, when you’ve reached the top, are huge, and so many people depend on you.”

The star said he had cut back his touring commitments after Avicii died, restricting himself to no more than 100 shows per year.

Aloe Blacc
Image captionAloe Blacc performed Wake Me Up and SOS – a posthumously-released song that addressed Avicii’s struggles
David Guetta
Image captionDavid Guetta said Avicii’s death had made him prioritise his own mental wellbeing
Fans at the Avicii tribute concert
Image captionFans lit up Stockholm’s Friends Arena to memorialise the star
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden were among the 60,000-strong audience
Image captionPrince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden were among the 60,000-strong audience

The concert ended with an extended, valedictory version of Avicii’s signature song, Levels, as the arena lit up with fireworks and laser beams. Some of the crowd danced through the sadness, others stood silently in tears.

As the club beats faded into a melancholy orchestral coda, home videos of the late DJ flashed across the screen, lingering on a final, still image before fading to black.

In a statement, Avicii’s father, Klas Bergling, said the family had wanted the concert to put “the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide” on the political agenda.

“Policies and tools are needed to detect the risks and prevent suicide, especially among young people,” he added.

“We are grateful that his friends, artists and musicians with whom he worked during his career have come to Stockholm to help us realise this tribute concert.”

Thomas Cook customers face refund delays

Customers of defunct tour operator Thomas Cook have reacted angrily after learning they will face delays in getting refunds for Atol-protected package holidays.

The Civil Aviation Authority originally said all valid claims made on the first day of its refund programme would be paid within 60 days, or by this Friday.

But now it says only two-thirds will be paid on time.

It said it had asked the remaining claimants for more information.

CAA boss Richard Moriarty acknowledged many would be worried about not getting their money back before Christmas.

“We thank consumers for their ongoing patience as we continue to do all that we can to work through the UK travel industry’s largest ever refunds programme,” he said.

“I appreciate that this is a concerning time for Thomas Cook customers who are waiting for their refunds, particularly at this time of the year.”

When Thomas Cook ceased trading on 23 September, anyone who had paid for a future Thomas Cook package holiday protected under the CAA’s Atol scheme was entitled to a full refund.

From 7 October an online refund application system opened, and customers were told the Civil Aviation Authority aimed to pay out within 60 days.

The CAA said it had received 67,000 claims on the first day, and two thirds would be paid by this weekend, bringing the total amount of compensation paid to date to £160m.