Addressing a durbar, at Sampa, a border town, in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mrs Mahama told the chiefs and people that earning more money from export crops would help to improve their living conditions.
Describing Sampa as ‘a major agricultural centre,’ and the people as ‘being known for their great contribution to food and cash crop production ’, Mrs Mahama commended them for their hard work and sacrifices towards building the national economy.
The First Lady, who is the Sompahemaa of the Nkoranza Traditional Area, with the stool name, Nana Akosua Frema Sika I, led a team from her Lordina Foundation, to present assorted medical equipment to the Sampa Hospital, as part of a nationwide distribution programme of items to support the various health facilities.
The Lordina Foundation, together with its donor partner, MedShare of the United States of America, made the presentation.
Mr Mahama said she was passionate about health because it was akin to wealth, therefore, she would strive to ensure that the health needs of Ghanaians, especially, women and children, were duly met.
“ The health equipment I am donating is, therefore, aimed at supplementing the efforts of the Government to realise its vision of quality and accessible healthcare for all citizens,” she explained.
Mrs Mahama, thereby, urged all the relevant stakeholders to empower heath personnel to deliver quality health care while, motivating the professionals to work harder.
The First Lady reiterated her call on traditional and religious leaders, parents and other stakeholders to support the Government to end child marriage.
“As a mother, the practice breaks my heart, but more importantly, it negatively affects the future of the thousands of young girls, across Ghana and beyond”.
She said data released by UNICEF reveals a worrying reality of 41,000 girls getting married each day; while 28 girls get married every minute; and in every two seconds, a girl gets married.
“These girls are compelled to abandon their dreams of sound education, and also a future profession as a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer,” she said. “They are married off before they turn 18 ”.
She said record also indicated that due to population growth, the devastating results of child marriage were likely to affect an even larger number of girls in Africa in the coming years, adding that, the factors, which influenced the practice in Ghana included poverty, deeply rooted cultural norms and traditions, gender inequality, and safety considerations.
Mrs Mahama, therefore, tasked the Ghanaian society to ensure that girls were allowed to stay in school and realise their full potentials and not to be forced into child marriages.
Mr Samuel Opoku, the District Director of Health at the Sampa Hospital, thanked Mrs Mahama for the gesture, which he said, would go a long way to help the Hospital to provide quality health care for the people in area.
He appealed for assistance in helping to construct a dormitory for the Nursing Training College, in Sampa.
Nana Kwadwo Masa, the Chief of Sampa, who is also the Acting President of Sampa Traditional Area, commended the Government for the various projects being carried out in the area.
He, however, appealed for the establishment of a Cashew Nut Management Board that would properly manage cashew nut production and marketing in the communities, most of which were engaged in the production of the crop.
The First Lady, was accompanied by Mr Eric Opoku, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts and some regional and district officers of the National Democratic Congress.