Fri, Nov
78 New Articles

Four years ago a publication was made Ghanaians living in Hamburg, Germany demanding answers from authorities about the rampant death of their countrymen. Years have passed but the toll of such deaths has neither ceased nor decreased. It is clear that death is inevitable but the frequency and circumstance is what is worrying.

It is upon this back drop that a discussion on that topic was held on the health show hosted by Effya on TopAfric radio and was covered by the NDR Das. This could be a huge step to drawing the attention of the right authorities to come to the aid of the Ghanaian community.

Within the public sphere the theory such as doctors intentionally killing their victims is purported to be one of the causes of such deaths.

During the radio discussion the following factors were enumerated to be possibly contributing to such premature death; Irresponsible self medication, unhealthy and sedentary life styles, physical inactivity, under utilisation of the health care system, religious and cultural beliefs and practices, ignorance and lack of information, double and quadruple jobs to cater for families and acquisitions of properties back home, genetics, environment etc. 

Recommendations to counteracting the problem will be to negate the above enumerated possible causes.

 As public Health scientists we see the issue as public health emergency which threatens the human security within the Ghanaian community in Hamburg. An anecdotal evidence of the issue at stake could be true but not enough deal with the problem.

To a achieve the desired result, a holistic approach is needed hence an urgent need for scientific research that encompasses needs assessments , data collection, analysis  and findings to draw and implement a comprehensive public health intervention which is participatory and culturally tailored to mitigate the problem.

The negative impacts of the continuous premature death of Ghanaians cannot be overemphasised. It affects the families and society at large as well as the economy here in Germany and Ghana. For this reason we would like to call on stakeholders to support the worthy course by funding such project. We are looking up to the Ghana Embassy, German Health ministry and other such interested institutions to heed to this call so as to ensure that such premature deaths would be a thing of the past through the implementation of public health interventions.
Ghanaians dying premature in Hamburg!!!

Aileen Ashe (Public Health scientist and language and culture mediator)
Ursula D’Almeida (pharmacist and  Public Health Scientist)

"55-years-old woman" was helping one family from Krasnoyarsk for few years, looking after their two children. In 2012 the third child was born in the family, and the parents again used her services, for several hours a day, leaving her with the youngest son.

 One day the mother came home and paid attention that the baby was crying a lot and laid in the rocking chair face down which was unusual.

So they decided to place a hidden camera in the living room just to see what exactly was going on when the child was in the woman’s care. When they saw the video, they couldn’t hold back their tears and immediately had the woman arrested.

 When they asked the nanny why she treated the baby inhumanely, the nanny answered that parents spoiled the child, he cried too much and wanted to be carried all the time.


LONDON – Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was banished from the Olympic Games on Wednesday after making racist comments and expressing right-wing sentiments on Twitter.

Papachristou was scheduled to fly to London next week from her training base in Athens when the Hellenic Olympic Committee – Greek’s Olympic federation – made the decision to expel her from the team. Papachristou, 23, made a racist and tasteless comment on her Twitter account, @papaxristoutj, that highlighted the number of African immigrants in Greece. “With so many Africans in Greece … at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food!!!,” Papachristou wrote. She also reposted a comment from controversial Greek politician Ilias Kasidiaris, who has strongly criticized his government’s “soft” immigration policy.

The West Nile virus was first discovered in Uganda, but cases have recently been found during the European summer. Papachristou’s tweet was met with a flood of angry responses, but she didn’t respond until Wednesday, when it became clear she might lose her spot in the Olympics. “I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account,” she said. “I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.”

By then, it was too late. Greek Olympic chiefs consulted with senior members of the Greek parliament, including aides to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, before making their decision. Part of the reason for the expulsion was to punish Papachristou for her actions, but the decision was also made in hopes of avoiding a backlash from anti-racism protestors at the Games. The financial crisis gripping Greece – where strict austerity measures have affected the lives of millions – has forced the country to rely heavily on corporate sponsorship to fund its Olympic program. Officials feared that contributors may rethink their commitment if Papachristou remained on the team.

“There is never a good time for something like this to happen,” one source with knowledge of the decision told Yahoo! Sports. “But this is especially a bad time. Action had to happen. To not act would have been negligent and place Greece in a very negative light.” Greek officials later released an official statement announcing Papchristou would be placed "outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."



I am an African technology entrepreneur and have operated on the continent for over 20 years.

In my time, the most significant development in the space has been the emergence of the internet and the proliferation of mobile-phone use.  Until now, the delivery of our software products was relatively expensive, and thus out of reach of the vast majority of Africa's population.  This capped the growth potential of the African software industry and limited the number of African businesses that could access our products.

But with the rapid growth of access to the internet, things today look very different.  I give as an example Akatua, our industry standard payroll software product.  Today, it is offered and consumed very differently than it would have been in the past.

Smaller companies, for instance a 10-employee rural carpentry shop which previously could not have afforded our product, would in the past resort to the conventional practice of a manual/paper-based payroll administration system. This often raised the risk of fraud, tedium, and tardiness.

Today, these smaller companies can log on to our cloud server and use our software via an inexpensive, pay-as-you-go internet "dongle" - which allows them to have their payroll data processed in the cloud.  This is at a greatly reduced cost; a small monthly per worker fee paid by the business.

Without the internet, this "software-as-a-service" model would be unthinkable!  Efficiencies brought about by new, homegrown innovations such as this contribute to the high economic growth rates being recorded across the African continent today.

Armed attacks
Another example of mobile innovation is our text message-based anti-armed-attack product.  Armed attacks on homes and businesses are all too common in Africa.

An external intrusion into one's home can be a pretty scary and traumatic affair, especially in an environment where the police are typically under-resourced and overwhelmed.  We often hear stories of people waiting around in fear for up to an hour or more while thieves and armed robbers break down their doors and rob them.
Mr Chinery-Hesse hails the opportunities that mobile connectivity can bring  In such situations, victims have been known to attempt to summon the police, only to find to their horror that either the emergency telephones numbers don't work, or that the police have no available response vehicles, or even that there is no fuel for the vehicles.

Impressed by the efficiency with which mobile phone messaging technologies were employed during the Arab Spring and the London riots, we decided to develop an affordable mobile phone-based security system, Hei Julor, to help address this dire situation.

In the event that a user's home or business comes under attack, one only needs to send a blank text from one of five phones listed on our server as registered to their location.  This immediately triggers the dispatch of a response team from a private security firm. At the same time, 10 friends and neighbours of the user are alerted of their plight so that they can offer assistance.

In addition, there are radio station partners who immediately commence making emergency announcements telling all and sundry about the incident and encouraging all to go and assist! The police is also alerted.  Users are also given a sticker to put on a gate near their home to indicate that they have signed on to the service.

This is intended to serve as a deterrent for would be intruders - and seems to have worked very well since thus far only two real incidents have been recorded.  In one instance, an elderly man triggered an alert when he was having a mild stroke. He was picked up and transported to the hospital by our security team.

Hei Julor - which means "Hey thief" - is today one of our best-selling products in Ghana, and we are about to begin our Nigeria rollout.

Impacting millions As one must observe, this service would not have been possible without mobile phones.

These kinds of products represent the technological future of my part of the world. They are appropriate, light and affordable and have the potential to directly impact millions.  There are more such products we and other Africa based innovators are bringing to the African market, and we expect these tropically tolerant offerings to improve the lives of the ordinary African who for the first time can be communicated with via a mobile phone.

The ubiquity of these new platforms and the potential technological product development possibilities thereof definitely represent a game-changing moment in African history.  There is no doubt that these new opportunities in information-and-communications-technology space constitute sustainable private sector initiatives that have the potential to generate jobs.

For techies like myself, we have appreciated the virgin African environment with its peculiar challenges that nevertheless have helped to unleash our creative juices.  We have been called upon to bring innovative solutions to problems right to the doorstep of the disadvantaged as well as those in the remotest parts of our continent, linking us to an increasingly globalised world.

Herman Chinery-Hesse is the chairman of Softribe, a Ghana-based software company. For more than 15 years it has provided homegrown services for companies across Ghana and other parts of West Africa


More Articles ...

Page 1 of 2