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Regional News Sat, 30 Apr 2016

Logistics experts query Ghana’s preparedness for disasters

Experts and practitioners in logistics procurement and supply chain management have put the Government of Ghana and other stakeholders on the alert on the nation’s logistical preparedness to meet emergency and disaster situations.

Citing the June 3, 2015 Kwame Nkrumah Circle fiery floods that claimed numerous lives, and the Kintampo motor accident that killed many people, the logisticians urged the authorities to equip all the 10 regions of Ghana with adequate critical logistics to avoid gargantuan ripples of any emergencies or disasters.

Reverend Godwin Mensah, the President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the Institute’s annual general meeting in Accra, suggested to the authorities to mount surveillance mechanisms all over the country for up-to-date information of actual or looming disaster situations.

While bemoaning the absence of external critical logistics in a number of health institutions across the country, Rev. Mensah called for every health institution to be given one ambulance at least.

Additionally, each of the 10 regions of Ghana must have a warehouse of logistics that would be used in emergency situations.

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He called also on the Ghana Fire Service as well as all security agencies to be equipped with adequate critical logistics in preparation for national emergencies.

“Ghana, to me, is not ready to deal with large disasters,” Rev Mensah said, adding; “we have to accumulate a lot of critical logistics and create enough awareness that would enable everyone to be abreast with what to do when disaster strikes.”

He underlined the need for change in attitudes to reduce the spate of road accidents, collapse of buildings and structures, as well hospital supplies including drugs and blood.

Mr Ebo Hammond, the Executive Secretary of the Association, said it was trying to build the capacity of its members in the health sector.

“Logistics to the health institutions should be in the right quantities, right places, secured and with the necessary agility. Hospital supplies have implications for health, economic and social development,” he said.

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Mrs Mavis Okyere, the Quality Manager of the National Blood Service, expressed worry over low turnout of volunteers to donate blood, “so we don’t have blood sitting down in times of disasters.”

The meeting was preceded by a seminar on the theme: “Managing Critical Logistics for Saving Lives - the Case of Health Logistics.”

It was chaired by Dr Doreen Owusu-Fianko, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Airports Company Limited.

Source: GNA