Ghana: Gory road accident, President’s Iran visit reported in Ghana

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – A gory accident on Wednesday night that claimed the lives of 61 passengers, President John Dramani Mahama’s state visit to Iran and the high number of deaths from meningitis were some of the stories highlighted in Ghana this week.

The headline of the state-owned Graphic newspaper on the accident read, “Black Wednesday at Kintampo.” The story said a Metro Mass Transit (MMT) bus and a cargo truck collided on the Kintampo-Tamale road last Wednesday night, leaving 61 passengers dead and 25 others seriously injured.

It said the accident occurred when the MMT bus bound for Bolgatanga, in the northeast, from Kumasi, the second largest city in the centre of the country, ran into an oncoming cargo truck near Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Some reports said the brakes of the bus developed a fault, but Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Christopher Tawiah, Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service in Brong Ahafo, said their initial assessment indicated that the driver was speeding. He added that the accident occurred in a curve when the driver was overtaking a vehicle.

The newspaper said the mutilated bodies of the deceased were collected onto trucks and other vehicles to the Kintampo Government Hospital and nearby hospitals, while the survivors were airlifted to the Sunyani Regional Hospital and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.

It said the entire accident scene was painted red from the tomatoes that covered the area, mixed with broken wooden boxes and pieces of metals chopped off from the two vehicles as a result of the intensity of the collision.

The state-owned Ghanaian Times had a different figure for the number of casualties in its story under the headline “63 lives lost in accident.”

It said the nation witnessed a dark Wednesday in which 63 people perished in the accident involving a Metro Mass Transit bus and a cargo truck at Kintampo Waterfalls junction in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The newspaper reported that at least 53 passengers, including the two drivers, died on the spot when the two vehicles collided head-on while 10 others died later at various health facilities in the Kintampo municipality.

Also among the dead were pregnant women and children.

The Times said 23 others who survived the accident, including a 8-month-old baby girl, who lost her mother, were airlifted to hospitals in Sunyani, Techiman and Kumasi where they were receiving treatment.

Some of the passengers got trapped in the mangled vehicles and had to be removed by security officials who came to the scene.

On President Mahama’s state visit to Iran, the Graphic in a story with the headline “Mahama courts Iranian investors,” reported that the President took his investment drive to the Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday, when he urged Iranian investors to turn their attention to Ghana, where abundant opportunities existed.

Opening a meeting on economic trade co-operation between Iran and Ghana in Tehran on the last day of his state visit to the Islamic state, the President told the Iranian business community that there were no obstacles to investing in Ghana.

He said, for instance, that there were no strings attached to the transfer of profits by investors to their countries.

President Mahama said the transformation taking place in Ghana at the base of the economy would move the country from being import-dependent to one of manufacturing, adding that Iran could be a good partner in that effort.

“Meningitis kills 93 but fatalities on decline,” was the headline of the Graphic on the meningitis outbreak.

The story said cases of meningitis and the attendant fatality rate had been going down considerably since the beginning of this month, according to the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira.

It said as of 5 February, 2016, the country had recorded 456 cases with 85 fatalities, while afterwards to date, 93 new cases with eight fatalities had been recorded.

In all, 584 suspected cases have been recorded since December 2015, with 93 deaths recorded, Dr Denkyira said during a press briefing on the situation of the disease since it was reported in December 2015.

He attributed the decline in the fatality rate to the intensive nature of the national response measures, particularly public education, which had resulted in, among others, quick reporting of suspected cases.

However, he said, outbreaks due to meningococcal meningitis remained a major public health challenge in the meningitis belt.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. The germs that cause it can be passed from one person to another through coughing, sneezing and close contact.

The disease manifests itself as fever, persistent headache, stiff neck and altered consciousness, among other symptoms.
-0- PANA MA 20Feb2016

20 february 2016 06:36:41




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