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05.08.2004 General News

Ghana Still HIPC - Mahama

By Chronicle
Ghana Still HIPC - Mahama

Mr. John Dramani Mahama, Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi, has said that Ghana is still among the countries declared as HIPC, despite the announcement of the government that Ghana had reached the HIPC completion point.

According to the MP and NDC Communications Director, there were lots of indications that the country had not actually reached the completion point, as announced by the NPP government.

Mr. Mahama cited human development index as one of the indicators, which had worsened and therefore could not meet the conditionalities of HIPC.

Speaking at the delegates' congress to endorse Mr. Ahmed Shams as the NDC parliamentary candidate for the Jaman South constituency at Drobo in the Brong Ahago region, he said areas such as malnutrition, infant mortality rate and guinea worm eradication were still high in the country.

The MP disclosed that infant mortality rate, which had been around 26%, had now increased to 35.6%, whilst about 30% of children in the country were not well fed.

On guinea worm, Mr. Mahama said Ghana, which happened to be the best in guinea worm eradication but declined to 2nd best in 2000 following the Konkomba-Dagomba conflict, was now being rated as most guinea worm endemic country, after Sudan.

On the Health Insurance Scheme levy, Mr. Mahama said there was no difference between VAT and that levy, but the government was only trying to hide the truth from the people, because of the "kumepreko" demonstration the NPP had embarked on against the introduction of VAT when they were in opposition.

He said the NDC was not against the NHIS, but only wanted a system the country would develop to ensure sustainability of the scheme.

Mr. Mahama said it was the NDC government who introduced the scheme in some hospitals such as Nkoranza, Damongo and Dangbe West and therefore the NDC could not afford to reject the scheme.

He touched also on the Babianiha-Drobo-Sampa road, telling the people that the NDC had awarded the road on contract to Kasap, but the contract was abrogated by the NPP government and only six kilometers of the road had been given on contract.

In his address Mr. Shams said the parliamentary seat under the care of Ms. Anna Nyamekye was a loan to the NPP and the time had come for the NDC to take the seat away from the NPP.

According to him, the Jaman South was a stronghold of the NDC and would continue to be their stronghold.

He said his vision for the constituency was to achieve peace, unity and development,. adding that he would remain fair to all, irrespective of one's political or religious affiliation.

Mr. Shams said his priority, when elected as MP was to get agro business, agriculture, communication and tourism growing.

He appealed to all NDC supporters as well as supporters from other parties in the constituency to eschew violence as well as abusive and intemperate language in their political campaign.

Mr. Shams is a professional financial and security analyst and a former BNI officer.

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