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BERNARD Antwi Boasiako, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party, over the weekend commended Parliament for boldly and aggressively working hard to halt the deadly Ebola vaccination in the Volta region of the country.

Former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Otchere Darko is imputing criminality in the contract awarded to West Blue  Company by the presidency.

Questions are being raised over the wisdom in the Ghana Government choosing this year to terminate the services of the five existing destination inspection companies and passing on the responsibility of classifying and valuing import duties and taxes fully into the hands of Customs.

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said he still wants to buy English Premier League soccer team Arsenal even after he was rebuffed by its owners in 2010.

Internationally acclaimed Ghana movie maker, Leila Djansi, has likened government communications team member, Alhaji Haruna Halidu, to an emasculated “coward” who is “afraid of outspoken women” and hiding behind “abusive words to take back his power”.

Facebook may have missed Wall Street’s estimates for its latest quarter, but it continues to grow at a healthy clip when it comes to users.

The Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign (UAHCC) has challenged government to re-structure the financing mechanism of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to make it more sustainable.

According to UAHCC, the current unsustainable financing mechanism is the reason for the challenges confronting the Scheme.

The Society of Private Medical and Dental practitioners has ordered its members to withdraw services to NHIS subscribers effective today, Monday, May 4, due to unpaid services. The Society of Private medical and Dental practitioners are demanding payment for earlier services offered to NHIS subscribers.

“By majority decision, we issued a press statement about the non-payment of service provision monies due us on the 17th of March, 2015. We intimated that if all outstanding payments were not made by 30th April, 2015, we will not be able to continue seeing holders of NHIA cards. We will offer services to clients who will be prepared to pay cash for services,” a statement from the Society said.

Last week, the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Victor Bampoe gave the assurance that government was working out a strategy for a bailout of the NHIS, which is currently facing challenges in paying claims from health facilities. He said the NHIS currently owes several health facilities to the tune of GH¢460 million.

Speaking to the media, the Deputy National Coordinator of the Campaign, Archibald Adams, said with the current challenges confronting the Scheme, the country is gradually returning to the Cash and Carry system.

“The Ministry of Finance must as a matter of urgency, mobilize and release the 2.5% levy paid by all Ghanaians on goods and services to the NHIA Levy which is a huge resource envelope. In addition to the levy, members of the scheme also pay a premium towards financing the scheme. Ghanaians cannot be levied for NHIS while the scheme totters towards a collapse. Systems for resourcing NHIS are therefore in place. However, there is a huge gap between resources mobilised and financing NHIS. Part of the levy should also be used by the government to ensure that health facilities provide improved and quality health services to Ghanaians”.

He said the campaign acknowledges the resource constraints Ghana faces but urges “government to identify innovative ways of generating funds to support an essential sector like healthcare. The campaign said “access to health care is a basic human right and it must be protected, no matter what.”

Whilst government works on a bailout strategy, the campaign stressed that, it is prudent for government to be:

“Transparent and tell Ghanaians how much she has mobilised from Ghanaians towards financing NHIS. How much of the funds mobilised is ploughed back to the NHIS?
Use the NHIA levy for what it was intended. Government owes Ghanaians that. We are demanding better accountability and responsive healthcare delivery.”

The campaign further urged the government to urgently address the energy crisis as it is contributing to needless deaths and has rendered several Ghanaians jobless. The campaign believes that if the power crisis persists, it will adversely affect Ghanaians and reduce the amount of money contributed to the NHIS from the VAT levy. “Every Ghanaian is capable of contributing to the growth of the economy and it is the duty of the government to provide a thriving environment for businesses to increase revenue generation of national development,” Adams averred.

Rwanda's intelligence chief Karenzi Karake, who is wanted in Spain for war crimes, has been arrested in London.

The Met Police's extradition unit arrested Gen Karake at Heathrow Airport on Saturday, it is understood.

The 54-year-old was remanded in custody until Thursday after appearing before Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He is accused of ordering massacres while head of military intelligence in the wake of the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

He is also accused of ordering the killing of three Spanish nationals working for Medicos del Mundo.

'Contested vigorously'

The Rwandan government is said to be puzzled by the timing of Gen Karake's arrest, as he had travelled to the UK several times since the indictment was issued.

Williams Nkurunziza, Rwanda's High Commissioner to the UK, called the arrest "an insult".

"We take strong exception to the suggestion that he's being arrested on war crimes," he told the BBC World Service.

"Any suggestion that any of our 40 leaders are guilty of crimes against humanity is an insult to our collective conscience."

Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda's foreign minister called the arrest "an outrage".

Gen Karake is director general of Rwanda's National Intelligence and Security Services and a member of Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

In 2008, a Spanish judge indicted him for alleged war crimes along with 39 other current or former high-ranking Rwandan military officials for events that happened in the wake of the Rwandan genocide.

An estimated 800,000 people were killed between April and June 1994 by ethnic Hutu extremists.

Most of the dead were members of the minority Tutsi community and politically moderate Hutus.

The killings ended when the RPF, a Tutsi-led rebel movement that entered Rwanda from Uganda, seized control of the country.

Human Rights Watch reported that in their drive for military victory and to control the population, the RPF killed thousands, including government troops, members of the militia and civilians in numerous executions and massacres.

'Highly politicized'

Phillip Gourevitch, a leading writer on Rwanda, told Newsnight that Gen Karake's arrest was the equivalent of the head of the UK's MI6 or the US's CIA being arrested.

He said the Spanish indictment had been criticised as highly politicised by many, including US diplomats.

In a statement the British High Commission in Rwanda said the arrest was a "legal obligation" carried out on behalf of the Spanish authorities but stressed the UK had a "close relationship" with the Rwandan government.

"We co-operate closely on a growing range of regional and international issues," the statement said.

"Her Majesty's Government greatly values the close relationship with Rwanda and is committed to that relationship for the long term."

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