Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Friday expressed government’s commitment to ensuring peace, security and better health for all Ghanaians as a number of initiatives have been introduced in that regard.
He said President Akufo-Addo-led administration would continue to equip and motivate the personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to swiftly deal with any threat posed to the country’s peace and security.
Vice President Bawumia gave the assurance when he delivered a keynote address at the graduation parade of the 2019 Ghana Military Academy’s Special Medical Intake (SMI) 5.
A total of 116 cadets were commissioned to take up leadership roles in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
Dr Bawumia said in the past two years, the Government had handed over 138 vehicles to the Military High Command to cater for their logistics needs in pursuit of the country’s peace and security.
He said Government had been relentless in its efforts towards expanding infrastructure needs of the country, especially facilities urgently needed by the GAF.
The Vice President said the Barracks Regeneration Programme being pursued by government, which had witnessed the expansion of housing units with 44 units of 16-block flats and 116 additional two-bedroom apartments across the country.
The move, he said, would help to mitigate the acute housing challenges bedeviling the military over the years.
In fulfilment of government promises to retool the military, Vice President Bawumia said on May 9, this year, he performed a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a GH₵20 million multi-purpose sports centre for Six Garrison in Tamale in the Northern Region.
He said the sports centre was the first of six such facilities to be constructed for all the six garrisons of the Armed Forces and reiterated government’s resolve to implement the new law that would increase the number of years one can serve in the army from the current 25 years to 30.
Vice President Bawumia assured of government’s plans to transform the Ghana Military Academy into a world-class institution for greater efficiency in the overall training of instructors and cadets.
Dr Bawumia said In view of the emerging security threats and complexities facing the sub-region, the nation could only move forward in an atmosphere of peace and security with stringent security measures.
Dr Bawumia said: “Ghana could only rely on the unflinching steadfastness of the Armed Forces in collaboration with other security agencies to ensure the security of the nation”.
He commended the military for their participation in national security operations including the Operation Vanguard and Calm Life, which contributed immensely to the peace and security of the country.
On health, the Vice President said government had paid GH₵1.3 billion arrears owed some service providers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which had brought the operations of the NHIS back to life.
To ensure efficiency in the healthcare delivery, he said government granted financial clearance for recruitment of 11,118 health personnel to support the existing clinical staff in 2018.
Additionally, the Health Ministry received financial clearance to employ 14,524 Nurse Assistants in September last year, noting that, the tranche belonged to the batch that passed their examinations in 2016, and had since commenced work.
He expressed the conviction that the country’s health delivery system would improve significantly with the arrival of 275 ambulances by the end of the year, which would cater for emergencies in the 275 constituencies.
The recruits for the Special Medical Intake Five entered the Military Academy on January 25, this year for four months Officer Cadet Training.
A total of 121 cadets started the course made up of 42 females out of which four were released on medical grounds and a cadet passed on in the course of training.
The graduates comprised; medical professionals of three Clinical Specialist, 17 Medical Doctors, 12 Biomedical Scientists, eight Physician Assistants, two Emergency Nurses and an Ophthalmic Nurse.
The rest are a Nurse Practitioner, seven midwives, four Dental Surgeons, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists and Biomedical Engineers each, three Anaesthetists and Health Service Administrators each, as well as Nursing Tutors ,Public Health Officers and 37 General Nurses.
Some of the cadets, who distinguished themselves during the training, were rewarded. Cadet Corporal Abakah Fordjour was adjudged the Overall Best Cadet and took home the Commander of the Ghana Military Academy Prize and Cadet Corporal Araba Etruba picked the Best Female Award.