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14.11.2008 Sports News

Amoafo-Yeboah puts forward `master plan` to tackle malaria

By Chris Twum - Ghanaian Chronicle

Mr. Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah, the only independent candidate in the December presidential race, on Thursday said when he becomes president he would tackle malaria once and for all, through a strategic and vigorous Public Works Programme (PWP).

He told The Chronicle, “Since we know that mosquitoes cause malaria, and we know how they breed, we need to focus our resources on dealing with mosquitoes, instead of providing medication for malaria patients.”

Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah said under his PWP, there would be a massive nationwide clearing of all drains, after which they would all be covered to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

He said he had counted the cost in the short-term, but was also confident that the programme would create jobs, and in the long term, cut expenditure on medication, save the country money, and improve the living standards of the people.

Touching on the National Health Insurance Scheme, Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah said the scheme was good but inadequate, adding that it was not enough to provide free medical care, while the state was unable to honour the payment agreement with the service providers.

He also noted that it was not good that the scheme did not cover terminal diseases like cancer.

“Under my administration, we will focus on creating more jobs for the people, and increase the premium of the NHIS to cover for some of the costs, while government supplements,” he said.

Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah said the rate of maternal and infant mortality was unacceptable, saying that the root cause was lack of access to pre-natal care, especially in the rural communities.

He said under his presidency, medical professionals would be given very lucrative incentives, and well equipped facilities in the rural communities, so they could comfortably relocate and help the rural dwellers.

“We shall also give priority to the education of women, and also ensure that women have equal access to credit as men,” he said.

Touching on food securities, he said he believed that it was the duty of government to lead the way, in building silos in the farming communities to preserve food, and also encourage the private sector to do same.

Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah said he would also give tax incentives to private investors to build processing factories in the farming communities, to add value and longer shelf life to farm produce.

He said there was also need to improve on intra-regional trade within the West African sub-region, adding that under his presidency, the tax component on intra-regional air travel tickets, for instance, would be reduced drastically, to encourage trade.

“We will also remove the physical barriers and roadblocks on our side of the trade routes, as a matter of urgency, and encourage other leaders within the sub-region to do same for our mutual benefit,” he said.