Misinformation by unprofessional journalist, Captain Smart, a threat to healthcare – NPP Medical Team

The NPP Medical Team has been analyzing the content of presentation by Multimedia Group journalist, Captain Godsbrain Smart, the host of “Dwaso Nsem Fabewoso”. The content of his presentation on health issues reveals his ignorance of health systems and management , and other health related issues (high illiteracy level on health issues), his personal hatred for the Director General and unprofessionalism as a journalist.

Captain Smart has been attacking the personality of the most competent, hard working and reputable Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare for some months now.

Captain Smart’s presentation on health issues for some months now is deliberately liaised with lies, misinformation and personal vendetta for the Director General (which we belief is linked with a land issue which was revealed by Captain Smart himself during his interview with Adinkra Radio in United States )

His presentations on health issues have moved from actual journalism to personal hatred for the Director General.

On Monday 11th February, 2019, Captain Smart attacked the personality of the Director General during his presentation on “shortage of antisnake venom”. Captain Smart lied and misinformed the public that Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Ghana Health Service (GHS) is responsible for the procurement of antisnake venom. This is a lie. The normal Procurement procedure of antisnake venom is under the mandate of the Ministry of Health, not Ghana Health Service.

Despite correction and clarification by Frankline Cudjoe of IMANI Ghana, that the GHS has no mandate to procure antisnake venom under normal procurement procedure within the health sector and that the shortage is due to some procurement issues, where the Minister of Health is allegedly bent on giving the procurement contract to a company not certified by the World Health Organization, Captain Smart insisted to attack the office of the Director General of the Ghana Health Service.

We want the public to know that the Director General of GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare is not the final authority in the health sector. He has his limits and works with his bosses. So why aren’t Captain Smart directing his attacks on the ones directly in-charge for a quick solutions to address the problem affecting the good people of Ghana, but rather always attacking the hard working Director General for things beyond his mandate ?

Why aren’t his producer, Listowel Kojo Fordjour contacting the Ministry of Health to clarify why the sector is allegedly bent on giving the antisnake contract to a company not certified by World Health Organization, as alleged by Frankline Cudjoe. Can the Director General be held responsible for such happenings ?

On 3rd September, 2018, Captain Smart again attacked the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare during his presentation on “Performance Audit Report of the Auditor on Management of Health Care Waste in Ghana”.
He attacked the personality of Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare and misinformed the public base on the report below :

“A report issued by the Globe newspaper in Accra on January 25, 2012 detailed how the 37 Military Hospital in Ghana was disposing its HCW. According to the article, liquid waste from the hospital mortuary, theatres, and maternity
wards flowed freely into the city drains. Most vegetable producers in the metropolis use water from these drains to grow their vegetables. In the article a renowned medical practitioner, described this practice as a looming health disaster for Ghana”.

We hereby ask,

Does GHS have direct control over 37 military hospital and the teaching hospitals?

What prevented Captain Smart from contacting the 37th Military Hospital to react to the issue?

What prevented his producer, Listowel Kojo Fordjour from contacting the Ministry Of Health, since 37 Military Hospital and the teaching hospitals are autonomous under Ministry Of Health?

Furthermore, Captain Smart said Dr Nsiah Asare has undermined the Minister of Health. We dare Captain Smart to come out with evidence for his irresponsible statement that seeks to divide and disunite the Director General of the Ghana Health Service and the Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang Manu. This media agenda is irresponsible and a disaster to the healthcare of the good people of Ghana.

It is very surprising that attempts by a member of the Public Relations Unit, GHS to respond to the above issues on 3rd September 2018 was disallowed by his producer, Listowel Kojo Fordjour. The reason for such action remains unanswered to date.

Captain Smart also mentioned that Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare is aged, therefore cannot perform. If we may ask, how does age relate to leadership, management and performance?
To add, the Constitution of Ghana allows contracts for retired officers not beyond 65 years, base on performance. The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare is not yet 65 years, not to talk of getting to 66 years. We must respect our constitution. Captain Smart must read article 199 of the 1992 constitution and it amendment in 1996.
For the records, under the leadership and management of the Director General, GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare the following impeccable achievements have been made :

▪The quest to achieve universal access to health services has witnessed an increase in the number of functional CHPS zones from 4,600 in 2017 half year to 5,096

▪There has been progressive reduction in Institutional Maternal Mortality. Maternal Deaths per 100,000 Live Births, has reduced from 167.5 in 2006 to 119.6 in 2018

▪Family Planning coverage has remarkably improved from 35.2% in 2016 to 44.6% in 2018

▪Immunization coverage using Penta as a proxy, recorded 95% in 2018. An increase over 2017 half-year attainment of 93.7%

▪The quest to achieve equitable distribution of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians and other professionals has witnessed GHS online portal recruitment system

▪Unlike in 2016, medical professionals are not asked to pay for promotion interview fees and they don’t buy study leave forms, upgrade forms anymore

▪For the first time in the history of Ghana Health Service, the GHS Council toured health facilities at all levels of health care in all the regions to interact with management and staff, to appreciate their challenges for redress

▪Screening centers for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have been established in all Regional Hospitals and some District Hospitals. So as mental health units in all Regional Hospitals and some District Hospitals

▪In a bid to strengthen accountability in the use of resources, about 1,300 non-finance managers at the district and sub-district levels have been trained in Public Financial Management (PFM)

▪Ghana has also been declared Trachoma free by the World Health Organization in 2018

There are other notable achievements by the Director General and his team, including all health professionals but we can’t mention all.

Journalists are responsible to crosscheck and verify the accuracy of information before making it known to the public. If a Journalist has a personal issue with an appointee, and cannot stay neutral and professional, he should allow a different host to present on any issue relating to the office of such appointee, in other to prevent bias reportage or presentation.

We therefore call on the management of Multimedia Group Limited to get some health professionals to educate Captain Smart and his producers on health systems and management, and National Media Commission (NMC), which deals mainly with media content, to advise Captain Smart to desist from his lies, misinformation and unethical journalism. This is a disgrace not to only Multimedia Group Limited, but also the media landscape of mother Ghana.

Albert Opoku
Chairman, NPP Medical Team

Fred Okyere


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