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28.02.2006 Regional News

Brong Ahafo Red Cross faces financial problems

By GNA

Sunyani, Feb 28, GNA - Lack of adequate funds has rendered the Red Cross Society in the Brong Ahafo Region inactive as some of the staff have left for greener pastures, especially to the headquarters. Mr Solomon Gayoni, the Regional Secretary, told Ghana News Agency in an interview in Sunyani the Society used to have a consortium of countries that provided funds but they had stopped for some time now. "Rumour has it that the consortium has withdrawn its sponsorship with the excuse that they are tired of sponsoring the Society in Ghana", he said.

Mr Gayoni said the regional office had not received any funding since September 2005 whilst the salaries of staff could be in arrears for three months.

The Regional Secretary said the Swiss Red Cross is the major sponsor in the region but it intended to withdraw sponsorship by the end of the year.

Mr Gayoni said the Swiss Red Cross operated in Brong Ahafo, Northern and Upper West regions and its main focus is on eye care and guinea worm prevention.

"All the districts in the region, with the exception of Sene, have eye care centres, with the Swiss Red Cross providing the trained nurses", he added.

He said statistics showed that eye diseases were second after malaria in hospital cases in the region and attributed it to the fact that most of the people were farmers who suffered eye injuries on the farm.

"Glaucoma and allergies are also rampant in the region and the Swiss Red Cross has, in collaboration with Ghana Health Service, established an eye care centre where spectacles are manufactured and sold at low prices to patients", Mr. Gayoni said. He appealed to NGOs to collaborate with the Society since they were working towards a common goal and some staff would be trained to man some posts at the country's border with Cote D'Ivoire to handle eventualities.

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