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General News
Employers must respect rights of pregnant women 4/12/2015

He called on government to be proactive in addressing the issue of illegal mining in the community.
Female workers, at a workshop, have expressed displeasure over the stressful conditions they are made to endure during pregnancy at the workplace.

They said uncomplimentary remarks made by their superiors also made them view pregnancy as a form of punishment.

Consequently, they often fear to report some of the health complications they encounter in their pregnancies to their superiors in view of the sort of embarrassment and criticisms that would meet them.

They, therefore, appealed to employers in the formal and informal sector to understand and bear with their emotional, psychological and health challenges, associated with pregnancy.

They suggested that employers should create some nursing centres at the workplace so that they could breastfeed their children there during their break periods to prevent infants from being enrolled at crèche at three months because their mothers were supposed to resume work.

The participants drawn from both public and private organisations, were at a workshop on Maternity Protection at the Workplace in Takoradi, on Thursday.

Mr. Joseph Kingsley Amuah, Industrial Relations Director of the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA), said Ghana had ratified International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention 183, which highlighted maternal protection for expectant and nursing mothers.

He said it was incumbent upon both public and private employers to comply with the provisions in the ILO Convention on Maternity Protection, which had been reviewed four times so as to meet contemporary working conditions across the world.

He explained that Section 56 and 58 of the National Labour Act 651 required employers to safeguard the protection of expectant and nursing mothers at the workplace and provide them all the benefits associated with childbirth to promote their health and wellbeing.

He stated that maternity protection was a fundamental human right guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, therefore, employers must comply with these rights to avoid a brush with the law.

Mr. Amuah noted that the Labour Act required employers to give 12 weeks maternity leave to nursing mothers and 14 weeks in the event there were abnormal deliveries to enable them to recuperate and breastfeed their babies properly.

He urged women who were discriminated on the grounds of being pregnant or nursing babies to lodge a complaint with the National Labour Commission for the necessary punitive measures to be taken against that employer.

He said maternity protection run from the period of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, therefore, employers must abide by the provisions in the ILO Convention and Labour law to protect nursing women against economic vulnerability.

Mr. Amuah urged employers to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers were not exposed to conditions or work that would be detrimental to their health and that of the baby.

“Pregnant women should not be made to undergo stress or transferred from the place of their residency, therefore, employers must take measures to ensure that maternity was not used as a source of discrimination against women,” he stressed.

The Industrial Relations Director of the GEA, therefore, suggested that some insurance companies must develop insurance package for pregnant women so that employers would not be required to solely bear the cost of financial entitlements of expectant mothers in their employment.

Over 450,000 Ghanaians living with diabetes

Reports released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has revealed that a total of 450,000 Ghanaians are living with diabetes as at the end of 2014.

The report indicated that, 330,000 of the figure, representing 75 per cent of the cases, remained undiagnosed, posing an increased danger of complications for people living with diabetes unaware.

It also estimated that the number was likely to reach 820,000 by the year 2035, due to the ageing and expanding population, with diabetes accounting for 8.6 per cent of deaths from all causes in adults.

Mr Samuel Kofi Tovor, the project Manager of Novo Nordisk’s “Base of Pyramid Project” in Ghana made this known at a short ceremony to commission the first Diabetes support center by the “Base of Pyramid Project” at Breman Asikuma, in the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa district of the Central Region.

The establishment of the centre, through a public-private partnership deal between Novo Nordisk, one of the World’s leading diabetes companies, Palb Pharmaceuticals, National Catholic Secretariat and Our Lady of Grace Hospital at Breman Asikuma.

He said the Our Lady of Grace Hospital at Breman Asikuma was the second Catholic health institution in the country to have benefited from the “Base of Pyramid” project after the Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw.

Mr Tovor noted that diabetes had gradually become one of the chronic diseases that posed a great threat to the health of the people in the country, but hoped that the new support centre would increase awareness, diagnose early and improve the treatment for people with diabetes.

Mr Andrews Bawuah of Palb Pharmaceuticals encouraged diabetic patients to embark on self-monitoring of blood glucose as it was a very key element of diabetes management and added that it would also help prevent hypoglycemia, a condition where the patient suffers deficiency of glucose in the blood stream.

He pledged Palb Pharmaceutical’s support to provide the diabetes support centre with quality and user-friendly, one touch test strips and glucometers, at a very cheaper rate to enable people to self-manage diabetes.

Mr George Adjei, the Director, National Catholic Health Service observed that the increased in population over the years had not been matched with an available health services to tackle the diseases that affected the people especially children and women.

He called on the Government to institute plans to bring health services to every community as a matter of rights.

He said the establishment of the diabetes support centre would be a boost to Our Lady of Grace Hospital, which already served as a district and a referral hospital, managing some complicated cases that could not be handled by health service facilities in and around the district.

He expressed the National Catholic Health Service appreciation to Novo Nordisk and Palb Pharmaceuticals and called on other cooperate institutions to emulate their kind gesture and promised that the edifice would be put to good use.

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