Kofi Nsiah-Poku, founder of Kinapharma and Chairman for the occasion, congratulating Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye (left) after presenting his lecture
Kofi Nsiah-Poku, founder of Kinapharma and Chairman for the occasion, congratulating Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye (left) after presenting his lecture

Amend Public Health Act - Dr Kumah-Aboagye suggests

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, has proposed the amendment of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) to enhance the country’s ability to deal with pandemics.

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For instance, he said there was the need to amend Section 25 of Act 851 which stipulated that public vaccinations could not be done after 6 p.m.

Such an amendment, coupled with others, he said, could also help deal with other shortcomings in the public health administration system which had to be temporarily addressed through Executive Instruments (E.I) during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Kumah-Aboagye made the call when he delivered a lecture at the “Burges, Kalinauckas, Adu-Amankwah Memorial Lecture” organised in Accra by the old boys association of Opoku Ware Secondary School (OWASS), whose members are popularly known as Akatakyie.

He stated that, the amendment was crucial because the COVID-19 pandemic taught the world many lessons, especially the fact that a pandemic could become global within days.

“Pandemics have changed. It took about 70 years before smallpox became global, but with COVID-19, within two months, it was in every country.

We have to change the laws, practices and regulations to help us to respond better.

We, therefore, need to bring the Act to a state that addresses the current needs and the existing systems in place,” he said.

Memorial lecture

The “Burges, Kalinauckas, Adu-Amankwah Memorial Lecture”, popularly known as the BKA Memorial lecture, is a biennial event organised by the Opoku Ware Old Boys’ Association in honour of the first three headmasters of the school.

The former Headmasters were Rev.P.R Burges, who was in office from 1952-1961, Leo Kalinaukus (1961- 1963) and A.K. Adu-Amankwah (1963-1969).

Participants in the event

Participants in the event

The lecture is delivered by old boys of the school who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields.  

Former speakers included Justice Stephen Alan Brobbey, a former Justice of the Supreme Court; Dr Kofi Amoah, a businessman; Nana Ohemeng Awere V, the Paramount Chief of Assin Nsuta; Martin Eson Benjamin, the CEO of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA); Victor Asante, the CEO of FBN Bank, Ghana, and Naval Captain K.A Butah (retd), a member of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

This year’s lecture, delivered by Dr Kumah-Aboagye, was on the theme: “Navigating a Post-COVID Era: Public Health Lessons from the Pandemic”.

Hygienic measures

Dr Kumah Aboagye advised the public to continue to adhere to the hygienic measures put in place during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the country recorded a drastic reduction in diarrhoea during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the regular washing of hands.

Aim

The global President of the Opoku Ware Old Boys’ Association, Michael Adu-Domfeh, said the BKA Memorial lectures were meant to honour the first three headmasters for the crucial role they played in actualising the mission of the school founders, which was the establishment of a centre of academic and moral excellence for young boys.

“Beyond that, the lectures aim to help drive public debates and discussion of matters of national importance,” he said.

Tribute to John Kumah

The old students of the school also used the occasion to pay tribute to one of their compatriots, John Ampontuah Kumah, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejisu, and a Deputy Minister of Finance, who died the day before the memorial lecture was held.

They described John Kumah as a great Akatakyie who contributed immensely to the development of the school.

Among some of his contributions to OWASS were the construction of a toilet facility, which was inaugurated in 2021, and a multi-purpose ICT centre, which is expected to be inaugurated later this year.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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