SAD : Girl, 25, who was burnt by ‘mad man’ at Kotwi receives help after OTEC FM’S reportage

The girl, 25, currently receiving treatment at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

The 25 year old girl who was allegedly burnt by a mad man at Kotwi in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti Region is currently receiving treatment at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital following OTEC News’ reportage.

The family the sick girl who could not afford hospital bills left her to rot on bed after sustaining severe burn injuries.

Eunice Opoku was reportedly set ablaze by one Richard Asiedu, a mentally derailed person on Sunday January 16, 2022.

The suspect according to residents striked the victim with a pinch-bar before setting her ablaze.

After OTEC FM’s Kwame Agyenim Boateng led campaign to seek support for the dying girl, on the “Nyansapo” Social Program, Ghanaians made contributions towards the treatment of Eunice.

Eunice was immediately sent to to hospital and she’s currently on admission receiving medical care.

Meanwhile some residents at Kotwi have appealed to police in the area not to release the mad man, Richard Asiedu who’s currently in their custody

The residents have expressed fear that the mad man when released may cause additional damage to them in the area

Source: Ghanafeed

[VIDEO] Tuo Zaafi seller caught on camera stirring soup with broom [Watch]

A shocking video of a woman preparing food with broom to sell has popped up the internet which has caused massive stir online.

A food seller who had options to use the right cooking tool for her soup chose to use an unconventional tool to probably get it done with ease.

In a viral video sighted online, a food seller was captured on camera using a broom to stir the soup she was preparing in addition to the Tuo Zaafi for commercial sale.

Tuo Zaafi, also known as T.Z. has its origin from the Hausa Language. Tuo Zaafi is a staple food in the northern parts of Ghana and unlike other local foods, such as banku, fufu, and yam, T.Z it is quite soft and less sticky and is made by cooking the corn dough and adding a little cassava.

The vendor who was preparing the food for commercial purposes was seen stirring the soup with a broom.

Watch the video below;

WHO warns Covid not over amid Europe case records

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning to world leaders that the coronavirus pandemic “is nowhere near over”.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned against the assumption that the newly dominant Omicron variant is significantly milder and has eliminated the threat posed by the virus.

The intervention comes as some European nations saw record new case numbers.

France reported nearly half a million new daily cases on Tuesday.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, more than 100,000 new infections were recorded in Germany within 24 hours on Wednesday.

Speaking during a news conference at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Dr Tedros told reporters that the Omicron variant had led to 18 million new infections across the world over the past week.

While the variant may prove to be less severe on average, “the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading,” he said.

“Make no mistake, Omicron is causing hospitalisations and deaths, and even the less severe cases are inundating health facilities.”

He warned global leaders that “with the incredible growth of Omicron globally, new variants are likely to emerge, which is why tracking and assessment remain critical”.

“I remain particularly concerned about many countries that have low vaccination rates, as people are many times more at risk of severe illness and death if they are unvaccinated,” he added.

The WHO’s emergencies director, Dr Mike Ryan, also warned that Omicron’s increased transmissibility is likely to drive a rise in hospitalisations and deaths, especially in nations where fewer people are vaccinated.

“An exponential rise in cases, regardless of the severity of the individual variants, leads to inevitable increase in hospitalisations and deaths,” he said.

Record daily case rises in Europe

New coronavirus infections have been growing across Europe as the new Omicron variant takes hold across the continent.

In Denmark, officials reported a record 33,493 new daily cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, while health authorities in Italy recorded 228,179 new infections, up from 83,403 the previous day. In Germany a record 112,323 new cases were reported on Wednesday, and the incidence rate of cases per 100,000 people also climbed to a new high of 584.4 over the past week.

France meanwhile reported 464,769 new daily infections on Tuesday, more than four times higher than Monday’s figure of 102,144 and a daily record for the pandemic. Infections have now climbed past a weekly average of over 300,000 new cases per day.

Amid the latest surge, French ministers are also facing a dispute with teachers’ unions, who have called for a second major strike this week to protest against the government’s Covid testing and isolation protocols, which they say are severely disrupting classes.

The move follows a one-day walkout last week that saw half of the country’s primary schools close.

Teachers say class disruptions have become unmanageable, with many parents struggling to get vaccination appointments for their children and long lines forming outside pharmacies as students wait for tests.

French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. meanwhile. is facing calls to resign after it emerged he had announced a strict Covid-testing protocol for schools while he was on holiday in Ibiza.

There are however some early indications that the Omicron wave may have already peaked in some European countries.

In Ireland new cases have started to fall in recent days, with health minister Stephen Donnelly telling public broadcaster RTÉ that restrictions introduced over Christmas and the New Year period could be loosed by the end of the month.

Spanish government data has shown that new infections have started to fall for first time since the Omicron wave began two and a half months ago – although experts warned about reading too much into the data.

And in the UK, government ministers are set to review coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday amid a decline in daily infections.

Let Us Know If Ambulance Service Is ‘Cash and Carry’ – Akandoh to Gov’t

Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health Kwabena Mintah Akandoh is suggesting a relook at the financial requirement persons desiring ambulance services especially in emergency cases will have to satisfy in order to prevent avoidable deaths.

According to him, even though the laws are clear on what should happen with cases requiring ambulance services, some unpatriotic persons take advantage of victims and take monies that they are not supposed to take.

If we think as a country, we want to make the [National] Ambulance Services cash and carry, we should say so, so that before anybody calls the Ambulance, he or she knows that you must pay for the service…”

He said until that is done “per our laws, especially the National Health Insurance Act, it clearly covers situations like this, especially when somebody is going to give birth and it is clear that you are not supposed to pay anything”.

The Ranking Member was speaking to journalists after he and another member of the Health Committee, MP for Techiman North Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare on Wednesday, January 12 together with Western Region and constituency executives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) visited the husband of the nursing mother who died while being transferred in an ambulance from Takoradi to Accra at his residence in Shama to commiserate with him.

The visit was also to learn at first hand circumstances leading to the death of John Obiri Yeboah’s wife, Augustina Awortwi, and what could be done to help.

Mr Obiri Yeboah amidst tears narrated how demand for money for fuel and unexplained delays led to the death of his wife.

Sefwi Juaboso MP Mintah Akandoh assured the family that he will initiate and push for a parliamentary probe into the matter.

According to him, the sad case of Augustina Awortwi further deepens the fact that government has not been responsive to the health needs of Ghanaians.

“If this government is any responsible government, this issue has come up on a number of times… Some responsible media houses have done series of documentaries on this issue. I’ve heard some myself. People have called in to tell their stories. And that was where we should have acted. But of course if they didn’t act, we will force them to act.”

The team later visited the Holy Child Catholic Hospital in Fijai – from where Augustina Awortwi was transferred – to have a closed-door meeting with management of the hospital.

“So far, we have listened to the family, we have listened to the facility that did the referral and there are more questions than answers that have been provided. It is sad. Nobody should have died…” he told journalists.

Man gets genetically-modified pig heart in world-first transplant

A US man has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.

David Bennett, 57, is doing well three days after the experimental seven-hour procedure in Baltimore, doctors say.

The transplant was considered the last hope of saving Mr Bennett’s life, though it is not yet clear what his long-term chances of survival are.

“It was either die or do this transplant,” Mr Bennett explained a day before the surgery.

“I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” he said.

Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were granted a special dispensation by the US medical regulator to carry out the procedure, on the basis that Mr Bennett – who has terminal heart disease – would otherwise have died.

He had been deemed ineligible for a human transplant, a decision that is often taken by doctors when the patient is in very poor health.

The pig used in the transplant had been genetically modified to knock out several genes that would have led to the organ being rejected by Mr Bennett’s body, the AFP news agency reports.

For the medical team who carried out the transplant, it marks the culmination of years of research and could change lives around the world.

Surgeon Bartley Griffith said the surgery would bring the world “one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis”. Currently 17 people die every day in the US waiting for a transplant, with more than 100,000 reportedly on the waiting list.

Dr Christine Lau, chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, was in the operating theatre during the surgery. 

“He’s at more of a risk because we require more immunosuppression, slightly different than we would normally do in a human-to-human transplant. How well the patient does from now is, you know, it’s never been done before so we really don’t know,” she told the BBC. 

“People die all the time on the waiting list, waiting for organs. If we could use genetically engineered pig organs they’d never have to wait, they could basically get an organ as they needed it. 

“Plus, we wouldn’t have to fly all over the country at night-time to recover organs to put them into recipients,” she added. 

The possibility of using animal organs for so-called xenotransplantation to meet the demand has long been considered, and using pig heart valves is already common.

In October 2021, surgeons in New York announced that they had successfully transplanted a pig’s kidney into a person. At the time, the operation was the most advanced experiment in the field so far.

However, the recipient on that occasion was brain dead with no hope of recovery.

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A glimmer of hope alongside huge risks 

This watershed moment provides hope of a solution to the chronic shortage of donor human organs. But there is still a long way to go to determine whether giving people animal organs is the way forward. Pig hearts are anatomically similar to human hearts but, understandably, not identical. It’s not ideal, compared to swapping in a human donor heart. But it is possible to plumb them in and get them working.

The bigger issue is organ rejection. These pigs are bred to lack genes that can cause rejection. They are cloned with certain genes “knocked out” and reared until they reach an age where their organs are big enough to be harvested for transplantation. 

It is too soon to know how Mr Bennett will fare with his pig heart. His doctors were clear that the surgery was a gamble. The risks are huge, but so are the potential gains.

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Mr Bennett, however, is hoping his transplant will allow him to continue with his life. He was bedridden for six weeks leading up to the surgery, and attached to a machine which kept him alive after he was diagnosed with terminal heart disease.

Wife Reportedly Dies In Ambulance As Husband Was Unable To Pay For Fuel For Her Transfer In Takoradi

In a sad report, a 31-year-old woman has lost her life under bizarre circumstances.

Per a report by Starr FM, this woman is known as Augustina Awortwe and she lost her life in an ambulance after undergoing a cesarean session at the Holy Child Catholic Hospital in Fijai, a suburb of Sekondi-Takoradi.

She died as a result of her husband’s inability to pay for fuel for the ambulance at the hospital to transport her to the Korle Bu Teaching hospital in Accra.

The husband is identified as John Obiri-Yeboah, and he narrated the incident in a recent submission with Takoradi-based radio station, Empire News.

In his narration, he stated that his wife had reported to the hospital on January 3 expecting to give birth on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

The report indicated that the man stated he left his wife in the care of her sister at the hospital as he left for his house at Shama Junction then the unexpected happened.

In his submission, he said;

“I was there when the sister called that my wife’s situation had become critical and they were preparing to transfer her to Korle-Bu, so I was surprised, a few minutes later I received a call , I think it was the Ambulance Service team asking where I was and I told them I was at Shama Junction, which they asked me to wait and later picked me.

They asked for 600 cedis to buy fuel, and I told them I don’t have such an amount on me.”

In his submission, he stated that he told the ambulance team to at least buy the fuel and later add the amount to his bill, however, the team refused.

The team had to stop the ambulance for a while before he later managed to provide them with GHC 50 which they used to purchase fuel.

The ambulance team then returned to the hospital at Fijai and upon their return, the medical team could not understand why the ambulance had returned.

The confrontation escalated into an argument between the medical team and the ambulance team, and later the hospital provided the money to purchase the fuel.

The argument delayed the journey for close to thirty minutes until matters were settled and they later set off for Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

Upon reaching Elmina, Mr. Obiri-Yeboah stated that the team informed him that his wife’s condition was becoming critical and she needed immediate medical intervention.

They then suggested sending her to the Cape Coast Teaching hospital and upon reaching the facility in Cape Coast, he was told his wife is dead.

Import from StarrFM Online was used for this report.


Ethiopia civil war: Tigray hospital running out of food for starving children

Three-month old Surafeal Mearig lies helpless at the biggest hospital in Ethiopia’s war-torn region of Tigray.

His eyes are wide open, and his ribs press against his thin-wrinkled skin. He is among many children suffering from malnutrition because of the 14-month civil war that has also spread to the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions.

Surafeal’s paediatrician at the Ayder Referral Hospital in Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, told Reuters news agency that he weighs 2.3kg, one kilogramme less than he did at birth.

According to medical notes published by the hospital’s staff, his mother’s milk has dried up and his parents, now both unemployed, cannot afford formula milk.

Crucially, staff at the hospital say they are running out of therapeutic foods to treat children like Surafeal.

“It is now six months since any supply has come here from Addis Ababa [the federal capital],” a doctor at the hospital told the BBC on condition of anonymity as he feared his family could be targeted.

“We’ve almost finished what we had since our last supply arrived in June. Everything is running out,” he added.

This week medical personnel at Ayder Hospital presented a report to international aid agencies asking for help.

Surafeal was one of the case studies they referred to.

Surafeal Mearig

The medics said more than 40% of children aged under five years who come to the hospital are malnourished – double the 2019 rate.

Bone thin, four-year-old Medhaniye also lies in a hospital bed, a feeding tube connected through his nose.

His medical report says he started suffering from malnutrition after soldiers attacked his family home slaughtering their ox, destroying and looting property.

The BBC is unable to independently verify the details in the doctors’ report as much of Tigray has been under a communications blackout since November 2020 when the conflict broke out between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is in control of much of the region, and the federal government. Journalists have also not been able to visit Tigray since July.

In their report the doctors blame a six-month “blockade” by federal forces and their allies for the severe shortage of medicines and equipment which they say are leading to avoidable deaths.

“Since the region was besieged, another 35 patients have lost their lives due to dialysis service absence,” the report says.

Doctors say they have been forced to stop bleeding with their bare hands, wash and reuse gloves or make their own disinfectant fluids.

In his response, government spokesman Legesse Tulu told the BBC the report seemed to “seeking to build a narrative” for the TPLF and “mimics” its claims of a blockade on Tigray.

“From the government side, there is no deliberate embargo in Tigray that damages our people,” he said.

But since the war began, aid agencies have complained about not being able to get much aid into Tigray.

A Togoga injured residents, a village about 20km west of Mekele, where an alleged airstrike hit a market leaving an unknown number of casualties, receives medical treatments at the Ayder referral hospital in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia, on June 23, 2021
Civilians have been killed or wounded in airstrikes by the Ethiopian military

According to the latest report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) on 30 December, aid convoys have not reached Tigray since mid-December because of bureaucratic delays and insecurity.

The World Food Programme estimates that 100 trucks carrying aid need to reach Tigray each week to meet the needs of more than five million people but according to Ocha only 12% of the supplies needed have made it into the region.

In response to queries about aid deliveries Mr Legesse said: “Over 840 of the 1,100 vehicles providing food and medicine to Tigray have yet to be returned. They are suspected of being used by the TPLF to carry illegal recruits, soldiers and military supplies.”

The TPLF has denied claims it is hampering aid assistance, but its forces have also been accused of looting aid stores and health facilities in areas it occupied in Amhara and Afar.

The doctor at Ayder Hospital told the BBC that even the families of staff were being affected by the crisis.

“My child has appendicitis and cannot get treatment,” he said.

And as the shortages continue he says they will have no choice but to stop all surgery by next week.

“We don’t have supplies. That’s the point we’ve reached now, which is why we wanted to let the world know. Most hospitals are closing.”

Women who have more sex have better developed brains – Researchers

The brain region linked to genital touch in women has been discovered by scientists, and it appears to be more developed in women who have sex regularly.

The research, which was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience, looked at the relationship between touch and cerebral development in 20 adult females.

As part of the research, female volunteers – between the ages of 18 and 45 – had their clitorises stimulated by a vibrating object placed above their underwear, while their brains were scanned.

Researchers also asked female volunteers how frequently they had had sex over the past year.

As the device vibrated, the somatosensory cortex region of the brain was activated.

Researchers then measured the thickness of that brain area, finding it was bigger in females who reported having more sex.

“We found an association between the frequency of genital intercourse and the thickness of the individually mapped genital field,” explains study co-author Dr Christine Heim – a professor of medical psychology at Charite University Hospital in Berlin.

This means that the larger the region of the brain, the more sex a woman has.

This isn’t the first study to look into the cognitive benefits of sex.

In 2016, researchers at McGill University in Canada discovered that young women who have regular sex have a better memory than their less sexually active counterparts.

Digitalise NHIS claims fully — Report

A data analysis on digitalising claims under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has recommended a full digitalisation of all NHIS claims as the key strategic policy action for the future of the NHIS.

It revealed the need for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to fully digitalise its claims submission and vetting process to realise the full value of its own data for the benefit of the health ecosystem.

A report, jointly written by the Country Director, Pharmaccess Foundation, Dr Maxwell Antwi, and the Deputy Director in charge of Claims at the NHIA, Dr Yaw Opoku Boateng, said from the analysis, strategic action would be an effective cost-containment measure for operational efficiency and strategic management decision-making as a data-driven insurer.

Research, findings

The report was on analytics of three years of NHIS electronic claims, valid from January 2017 to December 2019.

It was a joint research by a team from the NHIA, the Pharmaccess Foundation and the Economics Department of the University of Ghana.

Some 18 million electronic claims, worth GHc800 million, were analysed by a team of experts, led by the NHIA, with technical support from the Pharmaccess Foundation, to enable the NHIA to deepen its reliance on data for strategic policy-making.

According to the data, the highest single claims payments were for pregnancy, with delivery accounting for 16.1 per cent of total claims cost and the treatment of hypertension and diabetes accounting for 14.6 per cent, with the two representing more than 30 per cent of all claims within the period under review.

In that same period, the analysis revealed that diagnoses for hypertension and diabetes rose sharply in patients above age 18.

“About 48 per cent of patients first diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes in 2019 did not have follow-up visits for the same diagnoses. The high ‘loss to follow up’ could be due to many factors, including mis-diagnosis at first visits, follow-up visits to NHIS service providers that submit manual claims, follow-up visits to non-NHIS service providers or seeking of alternative therapies.

“Medicines constituted nearly 34 per cent of average claims cost. The medicines cost was as high as 70 per cent for some CHPS facilities, which could be due to over prescription or over-billing for medicines. However, high under-prescription of medicines was observed for specific urban-located facilities, compared to peer facilities (ownership and level) with similar urban locations,” it said.

Cause of higher claims cost

The report further suggested to the NHIS to have a system in place that allowed for the tracking and linkage of prescriptions to submitted claims in order to detect and regulate unethical provider behaviour and provider shopping by NHIS members, both of which had resulted in higher claims costs.

“Cost-wise, it was revealed that multiple diagnoses per claim have high implications on claims costs, as average cost per claim increased by over 400 per cent from GHc40 per claim with single diagnosis to GHc166 per claim with five diagnoses,” it said.

Further analysis depicted that the average cost of claims was lower in December 2019 — GHc43.30 — than in January 2017 — GHc44.80 — despite three consecutive increases of about 20 per cent per annum in NHIS service and medicines tariffs within that period.

It said electronic claims management was, therefore, more effective at controlling average cost of claims, even during consecutive increases in tariffs, than manual claims management.

Data Day

Speaking on the NHIA Data Day as part of the NHIS Week celebration, Dr Antwi said the best way to control cost was to continue digitalising by making the filing of claims purely electronic.

”When it comes to female genital cancers in low middle-income countries, cervical cancer is number one; the cases are being seen, but most of them are financed out of private pockets and that is because there are challenges with the NHIS costing structure and the guidelines,” he said.

He said the NHIA was, therefore, taking steps to address the costing structure and treatment guidelines for cervical cancer management as part of its benefits package.

On why the data analytics were important, he said they were expected to transform the NHIA into a data-driven insurer, making the most of its own data.

“Improving operational elements, including enrolment efforts, efficient claims cost management and mobilisation of resources, such as informal sector premiums, as well as increasing transparency regarding adherence to protocols and benchmarking across providers and countries, resulting in better health outcomes, are some other key importance of the initiative,” he said.

Dr Antwi said the full digitalisation of the NHIS would create room for continual data analytics, tipped to enhance the human resource capacity at the NHIA through the capacity development of operational-level personnel to include data analyses and data insights as part of the daily decision-making.

Okyenhene marks day with cleanup

The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, and the Okyeman Environment Foundation (OEF), in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Limited, have organised a cleanup exercise at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.

The cleanup climaxed activities — including a health screening, church service and awards day — marking the 71st anniversary of the Okyenhene.

The exercise was also meant to improve the sanitation condition of the town and to encourage behavioural change among residents towards maintaining a more hygienic and sanitised environment.

Members of the OEF joined hands with workers of Zoomlion last Monday to desilt gutters and clear rubbish within the principal parts of the town.

Proper sanitation habits

After the exercise, Osagyefuo Ofori Panin stressed the importance of keeping a clean environment for good health, and urged the people to maintain proper sanitation habits.

He stated that the traditional council and the OEF would collaborate with the Abuakwa South Assembly to provide waste bins at vantage points “so that people can dump their waste wherever they find themselves”.

“Anybody found to litter the compound with rubbish would be arrested and fined because we cannot always have to leave the cleaning of our environment to Zoomlion. It should be our collective responsibility,” the Okyenhene stated.

Osagyefuo Ofori Panin called on residents to report to the Abuakwa Traditional Council if they found anybody indiscriminately cutting down trees or pouring hot water on trees.

“Trees have many benefits, including providing shade, clean air and environment, and we urge all residents to desist from cutting trees and rather plant them,” he said.

The Okyenhene said Kyebi had remained a clean city, and urged residents to help to maintain that status.
Osagyefuo Ofori Panin expressed appreciation to Zoomlion for the support and continuous collaboration with other assemblies to rid the country of filth.


The Executive Secretary of the OEF, Mr Kofi Gyimah Amoako, said the cleanup exercise would be maintained, adding that every household would be required to do a clean-up once a month, while Zoomlion would be in charge of collection.

He called on corporate bodies to partner OEF to carry out such exercises to help keep the town clean for good health and for tourism.

For his part, the Senior Corporate Affairs Officer of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Daniel Ohene Obeng, said the exercise was part of similar ones organised in other parts of the regions to draw the public’s attention to the worsening sanitation conditions.

He said the cleanup exercise would ensure free flow of water in the gutters to avoid flooding and to make sure that the environment was clean.

Mr Obeng called for the participation of all in making the Eastern Region cleaner and pleaded with the members of the community to embark on regular cleanup exercises to keep their environment clean and free from flooding.