Impulse Dynamics Announces First Implant for CCM-D™ Clinical Trial

World’s First Device Combining CCM Therapy With an ICD in a Single Rechargeable Implant That Treats Both Heart Failure Symptoms and Sudden Cardiac Death

MARLTON, N.J., May 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Impulse Dynamics plc, a global medical device company dedicated to improving the lives of people with heart failure, announced the completion of the first implantation for the INTEGRA-D clinical trial, designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of two proven cardiac therapies combined — CCM® and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) — in a single device (CCM-D). The Optimizer® IntegraTM CCM-D System delivers CCM therapy to improve quality of life and reduce heart failure symptoms, and ICD therapy to treat life-threatening arrhythmias that may cause sudden cardiac death. The investigational technology is rechargeable with long battery life, potentially reducing the need for replacement procedures.

The journey of a heart failure patient often involves debilitating symptoms and declining quality of life.

CCM therapy delivered by the Optimizer System improves quality of life and helps patients feel better. Patients indicated for CCM therapy may also be at a higher risk for arrythmias and sudden cardiac arrest and are therefore often offered an ICD to treat their heart for life-threatening arrythmias, should they occur. The INTEGRA-D trial is the first to evaluate the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System that combines both therapies into a single device, designed to last for many years.

“The first-in-the-world implant of this novel technology has potential to advance treatments for patients living with heart failure,” said Niraj Varma, M.D., Ph.D., electrophysiologist at Cleveland Clinic and National Primary Investigator of the INTEGRA-D clinical trial. “The trial aims to study whether this device can protect heart failure patients from the risk of sudden cardiac death while also treating heart failure symptoms.”

“We hope combining cardiac contractility modulation therapy and ICD therapy with prolonged battery life will reduce the number of leads and the number of procedures a patient may have to endure,” said Bruce Wilkoff, M.D., Director of Cardiac Pacing and Tachyarrhythmia Devices at Cleveland Clinic and Principal Investigator of the INTEGRA-D trial. “The first implant went well, and we look forward to further studying this device.”

The INTEGRA-D trial is a multicenter study of 300 subjects from 75 centers that will evaluate the combination of CCM and ICD therapy in a single device via the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System. The study will assess the performance of the CCM-D device in effectively treating episodes of ventricular tachycardia and/or ventricular fibrillation while also providing CCM treatment for heart failure. Patients enrolled in the study will receive the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System, and will be followed for at least two years.

“This clinical study is important in proving the potential benefit of combining CCM therapy, which improves quality of life in patients with heart failure, with gold-standard ICD technology that delivers lifesaving therapy for sudden cardiac death,” said Nir Uriel, M.D., Director of Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation at New York-Presbyterian and National Co-Principal Investigator for the INTEGRA-D trial. Dr. Uriel is also a professor of cardiology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the Greenberg Division of Cardiology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

“Today’s announcement is another example of our commitment to a continuous pace of innovation to build a comprehensive platform in interventional heart failure and help improve the lives of many patients that suffer from this debilitating disease,” said Simos Kedikoglou, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Impulse Dynamics. “We are proud to partner with physicians at leading centers around the world to conduct important research on this first-of-its-kind rechargeable combination device designed to address a major unmet need of a large patient group.”

About the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System and CCM Therapy

The Optimizer Integra CCM-D System is an investigational device that combines CCM therapy and ICD therapy into one device. “Investigational” means that the study device is currently being tested. It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Impulse Dynamics currently offers the Optimizer system that is FDA-approved and CE-marked. The Optimizer system delivers CCM therapy — the company’s proprietary technology — to the heart. CCM therapy has been designed by Impulse Dynamics to significantly improve the heart’s contraction, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to be pushed out through the body. CCM therapy is indicated to improve the 6-minute hall walk, quality of life, and functional status of NYHA Class III heart failure patients who remain symptomatic despite guideline-directed medical therapy, are not indicated for CRT, and have a left ventricular ejection fraction ranging from 25 to 45 percent.

CCM is the brand name for cardiac contractility modulation — a therapy that delivers non-excitatory electrical pulses from the implantable Optimizer device to improve heart contraction. CCM therapy sends unique electrical pulses to the heart cells during the absolute refractory period. In doing so, CCM helps the heart contract more forcibly. Impulse Dynamics has completed numerous clinical studies, including several randomized controlled trials, and CCM therapy has been published in more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles.

About Impulse Dynamics

Impulse Dynamics is dedicated to advancing the treatment of heart failure for patients and the healthcare providers who care for them. The company pioneered its proprietary CCM therapy, which uses the Optimizer technology platform to improve quality of life in heart failure patients. CCM therapy is delivered through the Optimizer system, which includes an IPG implanted in a minimally invasive procedure and approved for commercial use in the United States and 44 countries worldwide. More than 9,000 patients have received the therapy as part of clinical trials and real-world use, where it is proven to be safe and effective for heart failure patients with debilitating symptoms who otherwise have few effective options available to them. To learn more, visit, or follow the company on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘will,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘contemplate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘potential’’ or ‘‘continue’’ or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning potential benefits of CCM therapy, and CCM therapy combined with an ICD delivered via a single device (CCM-D), and the absence of risks associated therewith; the ability for CCM therapy and our products to fill a significant unmet medical need for patients with heart failure; and the short-term and long-term benefits of the Optimizer Integra CCM-D System and CCM therapy in patients with heart failure, as well as to the physicians treating those patients. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Other important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contemplated in this press release include, without limitation: the company’s future research and development costs, capital requirements and the company’s needs for additional financing; commercial success and market acceptance of CCM therapy; the company’s ability to achieve and maintain adequate levels of coverage or reimbursement for Optimizer systems or any future products the company may seek to commercialize; competitive companies and technologies in the industry; the company’s ability to expand its indications and develop and commercialize additional products and enhancements to its current products; the company’s business model and strategic plans for its products, technologies and business, including its implementation thereof; the company’s ability to expand, manage and maintain its direct sales and marketing organization; the company’s ability to commercialize or obtain regulatory approvals for CCM therapy and its products, or the effect of delays in commercializing or obtaining regulatory approvals; FDA or other U.S. or foreign regulatory actions affecting us or the healthcare industry generally, including healthcare reform measures in the United States and international markets; the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals; and the company’s ability to establish and maintain intellectual property protection for CCM therapy and products or avoid claims of infringement. The company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements and expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Rohan More, Global Vice President of Marketing
Impulse Dynamics

Harriss Currie, Chief Financial Officer
Impulse Dynamics

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8841961

Chairman of Avia Solutions Group Gediminas Ziemelis: 10 big challenges for passenger aviation sustainability for the next 3 years

DUBLIN, Ireland, May 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ensuring sustainable operations has become a primary driver for aviation businesses in recent years. Nonetheless, this dynamic industry faces a multitude of challenges that can impede companies’ efforts to enhance profitability. While several factors contribute to the aviation industry’s struggles, certain key issues merit highlighting as primary culprits.

High market $ interest rates for heavily leveraged and drowning-in-debt airlines will be even higher

In recent years, the aviation industry has experienced a significant drop in demand for air travel, resulting in many airlines facing financial losses. To stay afloat during this time, airlines have taken on additional debt. However, this increased debt has resulted in higher risk for lenders, leading to higher market interest rates for the airlines.

In addition to the impact of the pandemic on the industry, other factors such as rising fuel costs and increased competition have also contributed to the financial struggles of many airlines. These factors have made it increasingly challenging for heavily leveraged airlines to generate profits and pay off their debt, leading to concerns about the sustainability of their business models.

The combination of these factors has led to a situation where heavily indebted airlines are now facing even higher market interest rates, which can exacerbate their financial difficulties.

Much higher insurance costs — worsening war risks could push insurance premiums higher

The aviation industry is grappling with rising insurance costs due to worsening geopolitical risks. This is highly influenced by the fact that, as stated by leading insurance companies, around 500 aircraft leased to Russian operators remain trapped in Russia. Insurers are facing potential liability issues due to the uncertain situation created by the Russian government’s refusal to release the aircraft.

As a result, insurers are struggling to assess the level of risk involved, leading to a wide range of potential losses estimated to be up to $30 billion, according to industry sources. This uncertainty is likely to drive up insurance premiums for airlines, impacting the industry as a whole.

Passengers will remember compensations for flight delays, and it will impact airlines’ unplanned costs

The EU regulation 261/2004 provides compensation for passengers who experience delays, cancellations, overbooking, or denied boarding. Depending on the specific circumstances and subject to certain conditions, affected passengers may be eligible for a compensation claim ranging from €250 to €600 per person. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of flight delays in the EU that fell under compensation was 1.5% of all flights, with an average compensation amount of €375 per delayed flight.

In 2019, EU airlines carried a total of 1.12 billion passengers, with 1.7 million flights experiencing delays and resulting in a total compensation pay-out of €6.3 billion. Only 10% of affected passengers currently file complaints directly with the airlines or via specialised service companies, such as Skycop or Airhelp.

However, this number is expected to increase significantly, as after COVID-19 the industry faces capacity shortages and other challenges. As a result, the number of claimable flights that experience delays could increase from 1.5% to 5%, potentially leading to a total compensation pay-out of €20 billion.

LEAP engines challenges will impact more aircraft on the ground and shortage of capacity;

According to our internal research, presently, the aviation industry operates a fleet of 1397 A320neo aircraft with LEAP-1A engines, totalling 3080 engines with an average of 2.2 engines per aircraft, and 1043 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with LEAP-1B engines, totalling 2338 engines with an average of 2.2 engines per aircraft. To maintain these engines, there are 21 locations globally for LEAP-1A overhaul and maintenance and 22 locations for LEAP-1B engines.

However, the grounding of 16,000 aircraft (equivalent to 60% of the total fleet) in 2020-2021 has led to a staggering 60% postponement of LEAP engine maintenance. Consequently, there is now a significant maintenance gap across 43 locations, resulting in wait times of 9-10 months for engine maintenance, which could potentially disrupt airline operations.

OEM production and supply chain disrupted during 2023-2025 will cause a shortage of aircraft capacity;

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the aerospace industry. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Boeing and Airbus have experienced significant disruptions in their production and supply chains. In response to the global economic slowdown and reduced demand for air travel, OEMs have cut their production levels by around half compared to pre-COVID levels. However, this has led to a shortage of aircraft capacity, which is hindering the industry’s recovery efforts.

The production cuts have affected over 5,000 suppliers in the supply chain, all of whom have had to reduce their volumes during the pandemic. Consequently, the recovery of the aerospace industry is projected to take 2.5-4 years to return to pre-COVID production levels. This prolonged period of disruption is likely to have significant consequences for the industry and its stakeholders.

In 2020-2021, the cancellation of pilot cadet programs and planned retirements caused a pilot shortage in 2023-2024 and a rapid increase in costs for airlines;

The aviation industry faces a constant demand for new pilots, as approximately 3% of pilots retire annually. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major setback in the industry, with all cadet programs being either postponed or cancelled.

Hence, there is now a significant pilot shortage issue, leading to rapid cost increases. It is estimated that industry will experience a shortage of 300,000 pilots within a decade. This shortage is expected to create significant challenges, particularly in India, which is anticipated to have the largest pilot shortage.

Challenges to book MRO slots after COVID-19, because scheduled maintenance events were postponed

Another issue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant accumulation of MRO services for aircraft worldwide. As a result of the unprecedented reduction in air travel and the grounding of many aircraft, scheduled maintenance was delayed or deferred.

Nonetheless, as air travel demand begins to recover and airlines return to full operations, the challenge of booking MRO slots to perform necessary maintenance on these aircraft has emerged. Many airlines are finding that MRO facilities are already operating at full capacity, resulting in long wait times and potential disruptions to airline operations. This accumulation of maintenance is expected to persist for some time, creating obstacles to the aviation industry’s recovery efforts.

Challenge to find engines maintenance slots for V2500, and RR engines due to deferred maintenance

Airlines that operate aircraft with V2500 and RR engines are also encountering difficulties in scheduling maintenance for their engines due to high demand and limited availability. This has created a challenging situation, particularly for airlines with large fleets of such aircraft.

The lack of available maintenance slots has forced airlines to ground some of their aircraft, leading to operational disruptions and revenue losses. In addition to the financial impact, the situation also poses safety concerns as delayed maintenance can compromise the safety and reliability of the engines, potentially leading to more significant problems in the future.

ESG requirements for greener aviation didn’t disappear in the medium term

The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) 41st Assembly, held in Montreal in October 2022, marked a significant milestone for the aviation industry’s commitment to sustainability. The assembly committed to a Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, which has brought Environment, Society, and Governance (ESG) issues to the forefront of the sustainable aviation conversation.

The LTAG’s ambitious target is challenging, but it has the potential to encourage airlines to accelerate the development and adoption of greener jet fuels and other technical improvements to decarbonise flying. This will require a significant shift in industry-wide mindset, investment in research and development, and collaboration between airlines, manufacturers, and governments to achieve the long-term goal.

After COVID-19, debts for spare parts, MRO services, and aircraft leasing will impact that some aircraft will still be grounded, which will cause capacity demand

The challenging situation in the industry has pushed airlines to take on additional debt to finance various aspects of their operations, such as spare parts, MRO services, and aircraft leasing. However, the increase in outstanding debt for the industry could have significant implications, with some airlines potentially struggling to pay off their debts, which could result in a reduction in capacity as airlines are forced to ground some of their aircraft or cut routes to minimise costs.

Insider data shows that the industry’s outstanding debt has jumped over 20% since 2020, reaching more than $300 billion. To raise capital, global air carriers have sold $63 billion in bonds and loans so far this year.

Media contact:
Silvija Jakiene
Chief Communications Officer
Avia Solutions Group
+370 671 22697

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000810732

Polygamous cultural setting in Ada; cause of high rate of HIV- Director

Dr. Hubert Hounkpatin, Ada-East Health Director, has revealed that polygamous culture and attitudinal disposition have been contributing causes to the district’s high number of recorded HIV cases.

He raised concern about the numbers recorded in the districts, particularly among adults, the majority of whom had more than one sexual partner, claiming that the district’s prevalence rate was greater than both regional and national rates.

Dr. Hounkpatin who disclosed this at an Ada East District Assembly Ordinary Session said, ‘In Ada, they have multiple partners, and that is where the issue is; as health professionals, we cannot disclose to your partner if you say no,’ he mentioned.

According to him, the transmission of HIV is mostly dependent on unprotected sex among persons who have a high number of relationships, since those who have several partners are more likely to transmit the disease than those who do not connect into a larger sexual network.

The District Health Director emphasized that condoms were supplied to community members for free, but some do not use them, and appealed for behavioural change to lessen the threat in the district.

‘The challenge we’re having, especially with males, is that when they come in and are diagnosed, they won’t tell their partners, and you can’t disclose,’ he explained.

He advised infected people to avoid unprotected sex with uninfected partners or partners with uncertain HIV status.

Ms. Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, Ada East District Chief Executive lamented that most guests who came to the area for social activities ended up impregnating the young females, which could be one of the factors leading to the high incidence of instances HIV cases being documented.

She said Ada’s position as a tourism enclave meant that people flock in virtually every weekend, and that the risk of those visitors spreading the disease to Ada inhabitants was considerable, emphasizing that the situation needed to be thoroughly investigated and addressed.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Cameroonian-born Samuel Fosso wins 2023 Deutsche Borde Photography Foundation Award

Samuel Fosso 60, a contemporary artist who photographs himself in the style of leading historical figures including Martin Luther King and Angela Davis, has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2023, the BBC has reported.

The Cameroonian-born Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso was awarded the $37,000 prize at the Photographers’ Gallery in London.

Samuel Fossi now described as “a man of 1,000 faces”, has since 1970 specialized in self-portraiture and performative photography and his works currently appear in most renowned galleries across the world.

Speaking to the BBC after bagging the prestigious prize Samuel reacted saying;

“Winning this prestigious prize, recognized as one of the most important in the field of photography, means that my work is recognized by the artistic community.

This recognition is very important to me. I feel a lot of joy and pride.” he stated

The Director of the Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation, Anne-Marie Beckmann, said Fosso’s retrospective opened up new perspectives, allowing many more people to discover his work for the first time.

“Through the retrospective, we were able to see his work differently and gain a much deeper understanding of the relevance of his practice today,” she said.

The jury also acknowledged the work of the other shortlisted artists, Bieke Depoorter, Arthur Jafa, and Frida Orupabo, who received £5,000 each, the Guardian reported.

The exhibition showcasing all four artists is currently ongoing at the Photographers’ Gallery until June 11th, 2023.

Samuel Fosso was raised in Nigeria and later fled the Biafran war as a young boy, in 1972 and was taken in by an uncle in Bangui in the Central African Republic.

In 1975, at the age of 13, reports revealed he opened his Studio Photo Nationale to take commercial portrait photographs. He also made self-portraits to fill the unused parts of his photographic films. His work includes using self-portraits adopting a series of personas, often commenting on the history of Africa.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Ashanti Regional Health Directorate reaches out to PWDs on World Hypertension Day

The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate is focusing on extending screening services on hypertension to Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) as Ghana joins the rest of the world to mark World Hypertension Day.

The day, which was marked in the Kwadaso Municipality on the theme, ‘Measure Your Blood Accuracy, control it, Live Longer’, was used to screen PWDs in the Municipality.

It is celebrated on May 17, every year to highlight the importance of monitoring blood pressure and bringing global awareness to the over one billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide.

The Regional celebration which was funded by Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), a global health organisation, was also used to counsel participants on healthy eating and lifestyle.

Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, said an estimated 1.2 billion people suffer from hypertension without any symptoms.

He said one of the global targets for non- communicable diseases was to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 33 per cent between 2010 and 2030 by giving access to screening services to create awareness about the condition.

The Regional Director explained that it was for this reason that the Directorate sought to reach out to PWDs who did not often go for check-ups due to their conditions.

According to him, the routine health facility data in the Kwadaso Municipality on hypertension indicates a record of 4.2 per cent in 2022 with 69 per cent of the cases being women.

He said the municipality was being supported by PATH to improve the detection and management of hypertension by increasing coverage and reach of services in the Ashanti Region.

Mrs. Grace Bill Kampitib, the Municipal Health Director, said physical inactivity was one of the risk factors for hypertension and therefore advised them to involve themselves in active activities.

She implored participants to adopt the practice of routine blood pressure check-ups as a means of promoting long and healthy lives.

She also advised them to avoid too much sugary and salty foods and resulting foods but rather eat leafy vegetables.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Eastern Regional NRSA donates healthcare items to St Joseph Hospital

The Eastern Regional National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has donated healthcare and hygiene products to the St Joseph Hospital in Koforidua to support health workers in the emergency ward.

The items, including boxes of gloves, disinfectants, antiseptics, hand sanitizers, tissues, and toilet paper, were presented to the Medical Director during a visit to the emergency unit in the hospital.

Mr Daniel Wuaku, the Eastern Regional Director of the NRSA said the donation was part of the 7th United Nations Road Safety Week event organized in collaboration with the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council.

The week celebration was themed: ‘Rethinking Mobility’ and aimed at encouraging walking, cycling and the use of public transport to achieve the global action plan of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by 2030.

Mr Wuaku noted that according to analysis, the hospital recorded the highest referral cases of victims of road crashes in the region due to its niche in quality healthcare services.

Dr Osei Kissi, the Medical Director of the St Joseph Hospital said currently the hospital was treating about 50 victims of road crashes consisting of 15 females.

‘We receive cases of road crashes from all over the country irrespective of the location and distance of the accident. On average, the hospital receives three cases per day,’ he noted.

Dr Kissi thanked the NRSA in the Eastern Region for the visit and for donating healthcare and hygiene items to the hospital to encourage workers in the hospital.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Oti Regional Peace Council Inaugurated

The National Peace Council (NPC) has inaugurated its Oti Regional office and charged the officials with the responsibility to mediate and promote peace for sustainable development.

They are also to prevent, reconcile, educate and resolve conflicts in the Oti region.

Sheikh Salman Mohammed Alhassan, Governing Board Member, National Peace Council, who inaugurated the 13-member Council in Dambai, the Oti Regional capital, urged them to consolidate peace and national integration.

He said a conflict mapping exercise carried out by the National Peace Council in collaboration with the University of Cape Coast, showed that every region in Ghana was challenged by several and diverse conflict which Oti Region had not been left out in the number of conflicts.

He said the Oti Regional Peace Council (ORPC) had the responsibility of advising the Regional Security (REGSEC) in matters relating to peace building and conflict prevention, engage in public education and facilitate activities that would bring about friendship and reconciliations.

He also explained that Act 818 of 2011 that set up the NPC envisaged the setting up of a peace fund for the development of peace initiatives.

He stated that the NPC was set up in 2011 with the mandate to facilitate and develop mechanisms for conflict prevention, management, and resolution to build sustainable peace in the country.

Mr Alhassan said these conflicts did not only threaten the peace of the country, but its socio-economic development.

‘Violent conflicts often disrupt human capital, physical infrastructure and economic activities.’

He called on the regional peace council, the first to be inaugurated, to prepare and be proactive because the task ahead was critical for the development of the society and would require full commitment, dedication, and sacrifices.

He thanked donor partners such as UNDP, and DANIDA for their support in the establishment of the peace architecture as well as their unflinching support for efforts at resolving various pockets of conflicts in the country.

Reverend Fr Christian Dominic Kwabena Adu, a representative of Catholic Bishops Conference said illiteracy rate had also increased the needless conflicts and expressed the hope that the Oti Regional Peace Council would work with REGSEC to achieve the needed peace.

Mr Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu, the Oti Regional Minister advised the members to be proactive and pre-empt conflicts to prevent them from occurring.

Mr Gyanie Yentumi Peter King, Chairman of the Oti NPC expressed their readiness to the task and asked for support from all.

The 13- member board are, Reverend Fr Christian Dominic Kwabena Adu (Catholic Bishops Conference), Reverend David Darkon Awuda (Christian Council), Reverend Michael Osei Frimpong (Ghana Pentecostal Council), Apostle Moses Adu- Gyamfi (National Council For Christian and Charismatic Churches), Mr Daniel Zumakpe (Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission), Sheik Musa Abubakar Biyaw (AI – Sunnah Mission).

There rest include, Alhaji Adamu Dauda (Tijaaniya Muslim Group), Osofo Raymond Kwame Agbodza (Practitioners of African Traditional Religion), Mrs Faustina Donkor Nayan (Regional Coordinating Council), Mrs Benedicta Awusi Atiku (Institution of Higher Learning (DACE), Mr Gyanie Yentumi Peter King (Regional Coordinating Council),Ms Rosemond Ewoenam Atutonu (Identifiable Groups, GLOWA) and Nana Okoforobour Baffour Kwame Asante II, Paramount chief of Tapa Traditional area (Regional House of Chiefs).

Source: Ghana News Agency

Assemblies lack professional capacity to supervise buildings – Institute of Architects

Municipal, Metropolitan, and District Assemblies do not have the professional capacity to effectively supervise buildings in their jurisdictions, the Ghana Institute of Architects (GiA), has said.

The GiA said it had identified that in some Assemblies, persons with backgrounds unrelated to building and construction were employed to perform supervisory functions on construction projects – a role ought to have been performed by professional engineers, planners, architects, and surveyors.

At a press conference in Accra on Thursday, Mr Foster Osae-Akonnor, President of GiA, called for review of the Local Government Act, Procurement Act, among other laws to make it mandatory for the Assemblies to engage professionals in the built environment to undertake those supervisory works.

He said securing permits alone was not enough to guarantee the integrity of buildings, and recommended proper supervision at all stages of construction to ensure that all professional requirements were complied with.

‘You go to certain Assemblies and then the background for the planner is an accounts officer; how does an accounts officer become planner? Most of the Assemblies do not have architects, engineers…they just pick the titles.

‘We are building Ghana for ourselves, and we have to push to make sure that the professionals support the Assemblies to deliver their mandate,’ Mr Osae-Akonnor said.

At the press conference, four separate dhoc committees were formed to investigate the causes of the recent collapse of buildings across the country and recommend actions to sanitise the construction industry.

The country, within a space of two weeks, recorded four separate cases of collapse of storey buildings under construction, three of which occurred in the Greater Accra Region and one in the Northern Region.

The dhoc committees, made up of five members each, were drawn from four built environment professional institutions – GiA, Ghana Institute of Planners, Ghana Institution of Engineering, and the Ghana Institution of Surveyors.

They are to investigate the circumstances that led to the collapse of the storey building under construction at the Old Bortianor, Adentan, and La Nkwatanang-Madina municipalities of the Greater Accra Region, and the University of Development Studies Campus in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region.

The committees are expected to commence work on Monday, May 22, 2023, and submit their report on June 5, 2023.

Mr Osae-Akonnor said the findings of the report and the recommendations would be delivered to the various sector Ministries and shared with stakeholders to guide policy formulation and to forestall future disaster.

Mr Mohammed Alhassan Damba, President of the Ghana Institute of Planners, charged the committees to be professional in their work and consider their duty as a national exercise that would help transform the industry.

‘We do not want you to embark on a journey of fault-finding. Focus on ascertaining the facts based on the various procedures and processes already established for dealing with the built environment,’ he said.

Mr Charles N. Adigvom, a Senior Member of the Ghana Institution of Engineering, urged the public to engage the services of professionals in their building projects, saying that the price to pay for engaging a non-professional could be deadly.

Source: Ghana News Agency