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Board gender diversity, governance and financial performance of firms listed in Ghana
(knust, 2021) Agyei Emmanuel
The study examines the relationship between gender issues in corporate governance and financial performance of listed firms in Ghana. Specifically, the study determines the effect of female presence on boards on firm performance, investigates the effect of female presence on audit committee on firm performance, evaluates the effect of female CEO on firm performance and finally, explores the moderating effect of female CEO on female board membership financial performance. The study first and foremost employs an explanatory research design through the application of quantitative analysis in its presentation of results. The study samples 31 listed companies from the Ghana Stoch Exchange. The period under studying is between the year 2008-2019. By the application of unbalanced panel data estimation and ordinary least regression method, the study concludes that while there is a negative insignificant effect of female directorship on stock market performance which is being represented by Tobin’s Q as a proxy, there is a negative significant effect of female board directorship on financial sustainability which is that of return on capital employed. Secondly, there is a reflection of a negative significant relationship between that of female audit committee member and financial performance of listed firms in Ghana. None of the estimation methods show any significant effect between that of female CEO and firm performance. Lastly, moderation estimation shows a negative significant relationship between female directorship and financial sustainability. The study recommends that firms should include women on their corporate boards. The study therefore recommends women should undergo relevant seminars and training. This will help them to contribute positively to the improvement of the stock performance of the firms they represent. GSE should make it a requirement for all listed firms to disclose corporate governance issues such as audit, nomination, compensation, gender composition.
Sero-epidemiology of human coronaviruses in three rural communities in Ghana
(Pan African Medical Journal, 2021) Owusu, Michael; Sylverken, Augustina Angelina; El-Duah, Philip; Acheampong, Godfred; Mutocheluh,, Mohammed; Adu-Sarkodie, Yaw; 0000-0001-5066-150X; 0000-0002-7691-914X; 0000-0003-1671-0755; 0000-0003-2495-9235; 0000-0002-1396-5085; 0000-0003-2093-1534
Introduction: acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) are responsible for significant proportions of illnesses and deaths annually. Most of ARIs are of viral etiology, with human coronaviruses (HCoVs) playing a key role. This study was conducted prior to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) to provide evidence about the sero-epidemiology of HCoVs in rural areas of Ghana. Methods: this was a cross sectional study conducted as part of a large epidemiological study investigating the occurrence of respiratory viruses in 3 rural areas of Ghana; Buoyem, Kwamang and Forikrom. Serum samples were collected and tested for the presence of IgGantibodies to three HCoVs; HCoV-229E, HCoV OC43 and HCoV-NL63 using immunofluorescence assay. Results: of 201 subjects enrolled into the study, 97 (48.3%) were positive for all three viruses. The most prevalent virus was HCoV-229E (23%; 95% CI: 17.2 - 29.3), followed by HCoV-OC43 (17%; 95% CI: 12.4 - 23.4), then HCoV-NL63 (8%, 95% CI: 4.6 - 12.6). Subjects in Kwamang had the highest sero-prevalence for HCoV-NL63 (68.8%). human coronaviruses-229E (41.3%) and HCoV-OC43 (45.7%) were much higher in Forikrom compared to the other study areas. There was however no statistical difference between place of origin and HCoVs positivity. Although blood group O+ and B+ were most common among the recruited subjects, there was no significant association (p = 0.163) between blood group and HCoV infection. Conclusion: this study reports a 48.3% sero-prevalence of HCoVs (OC43, NL63 and 229E) among rural communities in Ghana. The findings provide useful baseline data that could inform further sero-epidemiological studies on SARS-CoV-2 in Africa.
Effect of micro-finance activities on the survival of small and medium scale enterprises
Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (smes) have over the years become increasingly important to the growth of Ghana’s economy. Their prominence came into the limelight in the late 1970s and early 1980s due to the economic recession which led to the decline of industrial growth and employment in many developing countries. Smes play important role in the growth of the economy and it is estimated that smes are the engine of growth in Ghana’s economy as they employ about 85% of the Ghanaian work force and contribute about 70% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, the issue of financing has become a major constrain for smes in Ghana and despite the major role smes play in the economic development, they may cease to exist when they are unable to have access to the needed financing. This study seeks to improve understanding of the microfinance and SME performance debate and more especially to add the Ghanaian perspective. The study investigates whether activities of microfinance institutions are able to improve the performance of smes in Ghanaian. Whiles several studies focused on the impact of smes on the economy, this study focused on a variety activities to measure the effect of microfinance on SME performance. The research questions addressed whether activities of microfinance institutions had a significant effect on the performance of smes within the periods of January, 2017 to December, 2019. The target sample was 397 respondents selected from 50 smes. Cross-sectional data was obtained from the questionnaires distributed to respondents. The study used SPSS to analyze responses and factor analysis to determine whether there was a statistically significant relationship between the performance of smes and the activities of microfinance institutions. The findings revealed that the activities of microfinance institutions such as availability of credit, depository services, business advisory services and loan insurance had significance positive effect on the performance of smes between the period of January 2017 to December 2019.
Human defensins and Th-1 cytokines in hepatitis C viral infection
(Pan African Medical Journal, 2020) Owusu, Dorcas Ohui; Owusu, Michael; Owusu, Bright Afriyie; 0000-0003-4299-5870; 0000-0001-5066-150X
Introduction: active or chronic exacerbated forms of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection subsequently progress to liver disease and human defensins has been determined to have some level of anti-viral properties invitro whilst the expression of T helper-1 cytokines is known to promote complete recovery from acute HCV infection. The study sought to determine relationship between these immune responses. Methods: a cross sectional descriptive study design was employed. Hundred and thirty-two individuals were assessed were assessed for to anti-HCV, HCV RNA, serum levels of human alpha defensins 1 (HAD-1) and human beta defensins 1 (HBD-1). T helper 1 cytokines (IL-2, IFN gamma, TNF alpha) secreted in serum were also analyzed using commercial ELISA assay. The study was conducted in Kumasi, Obuasi and Daboya in Ghana. Results: the serum mean concentrations of HAD-1, HBD-1, IL-2, IFN gamma and TNF alpha showed no significant difference in concentrations among participants with chronic, spontaneously recovered or negative to HCV infection (p>0.05). Persons with hepatitis B co-infection were more likely to develop chronic HCV infection (p=0.039). HAD-1 and HBD-1 showed significant positive association with IL-2 (p=0.000) whilst only HAD-1 positively correlated with IL-2 (p<0.000). Conclusion: the immunological markers determined had no association with the status of HCV infection. HAD-1 increased with increasing levels of IL-2. These findings suggest that during HCV infection, inflammatory response through the production of cytokines by IL-2 cells may affect the release of HAD-1 and HBD-1.
Diagnostics for COVID-19: A case for field-deployable, rapid molecular tests for community surveillance
(Ghana Med J., 2020) Frimpong, Michael; Amoako, Yaw A.; Anim, Kwadwo B.; Ahor, Hubert S.; Yeboah Richmond; Arthur, Joshua; Dakorah, Justin S.; Gborgblovor, Delphine; Akrofi, Samuel; Owusu, Michael; Sylverken, Augustina Angelina; Binger, Tabea; Phillips, Richard Odame; Djan, Phyllis Sekyi; 0000-0003-1901-6793; 0000-0002-4642-789X; 0000-0001-5066-150X
Across the globe, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing distress with governments doing everything in their power to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to prevent morbidity and mortality. Actions are being implemented to keep health care systems from being overstretched and to curb the outbreak. Any policy responses aimed at slowing down the spread of the virus and mitigating its immediate effects on health care systems require a firm basis of information about the absolute number of currently infected people, growth rates, and locations/hotspots of infections. The only way to obtain this base of information is by conducting numerous tests in a targeted way. Currently, in Ghana, there is a centralized testing approach, that takes 4-5 days for samples to be shipped and tested at central reference laboratories with results communicated to the district, regional and national stakeholders. This delay in diagnosis increases the risk of ongoing transmission in communities and vulnerable institutions. We have validated, evaluated and deployed an innovative diagnostic tool on a mobile laboratory platform to accelerate the COVID-19 testing. A preliminary result of 74 samples from COVID-19 suspected cases has a positivity rate of 12% with a turn-around time of fewer than 3 hours from sample taking to reporting of results, significantly reducing the waiting time from days to hours, enabling expedient response by the health system for contact tracing to reduce transmission and additionally improving case management.
The altman emerging market z-score model: verifying its validity as a predictor of corporate failure in the case of banks in Ghana
Banks in Ghana contribute considerably to the country’s economy by creating employment opportunities. However, in spite of the significant contributions that the Banking sector plays in the Ghanaian economy, corporate failure of the sector is high. Research has scarcely been done in predicting corporate failure of Banks using the emerging market Z-score. This research sought to bridge this gap by applying the emerging market Z-score model by Altman: confirming its legitimacy as a predictor of business failure in the case of Banks in Ghana. The primary goals of the research are how to put into operation the emerging market Z-score model in predicting corporate failure and to evaluate financial performance through the analysis of the annual audited report of 12 banks in Ghana. This study was anchored on various theories including resource dependence, liquidity preference, pecking order, and entropy theory. The descriptive research design was used in this research. The target population was Banks in Ghana. The study adopted a purposive sampling method to collect secondary data from the 12 banks. Data was analyzed using Microsoft word excel and presented in the form of figures and tables. The outcome of the research discovered that the following ratios are significant discriminators and predictors of corporate failure of quoted banks in Ghana: book value of equity to total liabilities, retained earnings to total assets, profit before interest and tax to total assets, working capital to total assets. Consequently, the emerging market z-score ratio model was found to be a robust model in predicting corporate failure of listed banks in Ghana. The study recommends the adoption of the EM Z-score model as a utility predictor of corporate failure in Ghana. This study has implications for the policy since it establishes a versatile model of preventing the corporate failure of Banks whose sustainability is pertinent in achieving the countries sustainable development agenda and economic growth. The study also contributes to the existing body of knowledge of extending the discourse of the application of the EM Z-score ratio model in predicting corporate failure by applying discriminate analysis. It was established in this study that the prognostic capability of the emerging market Z-score model was precise in predicting corporate failure of quoted banks in Ghana; hence the powers that be can use this model to take precautionary actions.
Profile and outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at a tertiary institution hospital in Ghana
(Ghana Med J., 2020) Ayisi-Boateng Nana Kwame; Owusu, Michael; Tawiah, Phyllis; Ampah, Brenda A.; Sylverken, Augustina Angelina; Wusu-Ansah, Owusu K.; Sarfo, Fred S.; Phillips, Richard Odame,; 0000-0002-0961-4434; 0000-0001-5066-150X; 0000-0002-2641-8865; 0000-0003-0588-0337
Background: In high-income countries, mortality related to hospitalized patients with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is approximately 4-5%. However, data on COVID-19 admissions from sub-Saharan Africa are scanty. Objective: To describe the clinical profile and determinants of outcomes of patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted at a hospital in Ghana. Methods: A prospective study involving 25 patients with real time polymerase chain reaction confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the treatment centre of the University Hospital, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana from 1st June to 27th July, 2020. They were managed and followed up for outcomes. Data were analysed descriptively, and predictors of mortality assessed using a multivariate logistic regression modelling. Results: The mean age of the patients was 59.3 ± 20.6 years, and 14 (56%) were males. The main symptoms at presentation were breathlessness (68%) followed by fever (56%). The cases were categorized as mild (6), moderate (6), severe (10) and critical (3). Hypertension was the commonest comorbidity present in 72% of patients. Medications used in patient management included dexamethasone (68%), azithromycin (96%), and hydroxychloroquine (4%). Five of 25 cases died (Case fatality ratio 20%). Increasing age and high systolic blood pressure were associated with mortality. Conclusion: Case fatality in this sample of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was high. Thorough clinical assessment, severity stratification, aggressive management of underlying co-morbidities and standardized protocols in country might improve outcomes.