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18.02.2005 Regional News

Many of the female Service Personnel are pregnant - Coordinator

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Tamale, Feb. 18, GNA - Many of the female National Service personnel for the 2004/2005 academic, who reported for their service in the Northern Region, had been found to be pregnant.

Mr Silas Natomah, the Northern Regional Coordinator of the scheme who disclosed this in an interview with the GNA in Tamale on Thursday said most of them were two months pregnant, while others were nursing babies, which would affect their performance.

He said their pregnancies were detected during their registrations last November for posting and that the situation would have adverse effect on the rural areas, since pregnant women and nursing mothers could not work effectively in those areas.

He said, "If all the pregnant personnel and the nursing mothers refuse postings it means that the region will be short of National Service Personnel", stressing that, rules of the scheme do not allow pregnant personnel to take up postings.

Mr Natomah, however, said this year's postings to the Region was encouraging, since majority of them accepted postings to the remote areas, as compared to previous ones, who never accepted postings to those places.

He said 2,000 were posted to the Northern Region, out of which 1,500 had already reported and expressed the hope that the remaining ones would join their colleagues.

The Coordinating Director agreed on proposals to allow Service Personnel to begin their service in September instead of November, for first and second cycle schools to benefit from the Service, since the GES academic calendar commences in September.

Mr Natomah said there were effective mechanisms for monitoring the performance of personnel to ensure that they turned up for work and that personnel who were found of absenting themselves would not be given their monthly allowance.

He noted that last year's monitoring exercise saved the government millions of cedis, which would have gone to un-deserving personnel. He said personnel were to be given free medical services and that he could not tell whether unde r the new Health Insurance Scheme, they would still be catered for.

He appealed to personnel who have not yet received their first allowance to remain patient since the Ministry of Finance, is yet to receive data on all those who registered in January to process their papers for payment.

He gave the assurance that, by March, payment of all allowances to personnel would be streamlined to enable the secretariat to ensure regular payment.

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