The Director of Regulatory Administration of the National Communication Authority (NCA), Kofi Datsa has advised the public to take two basic precautionary measures when buying a mobile phone in order to get a standardized one.
He indicated that first measure is for the buyer to ensure that the phone seller has a dealership licence from the NCA and secondly, the specific phone on sale is type approved by the Authority.
Mr. Datsa gave the advice at a Public Education on Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Exposure and Health Workshop organized by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) at Lawra in the Upper West Region.
He was emphatic that if the question on a dealership licence from the NCA as well as that on the type approval of a specific phone cannot be answered, the phone should not be bought.
Mr. Datsa allayed the fears of the public when touched on Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) which relates to the level of radiation the body absorbs when one makes a call with a mobile phone, saying; “The good news is that, we haven’t found any phone that sends out unacceptable radiations into the tissues we have tested.”
He added that the NCA has a conformant laboratory with four sections that test: radio frequencies; electromagnetic fields (EMF); specific absorption rate (SAR); and digital terrestrial television (DTT).
The Chief Executive Officer of GIFEC, Abraham Kofi Asante described the roll out of the rural telephony project as the flagship assignment of the Ministry of Communications and GIFEC and commented on the conversation on electromagnetic fields.
Mr. Asante said: “There has been a lot of discourse about electromagnetic fields on telecommunication equipment and their perceived effects on health. This discourse necessitated the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology to put temporary ban on the erection of masts in the country sometime ago. Since this discourse has not and probably will not decrease in the foreseeable future, it has become extremely necessary to share more information about the electro-magnetic fields.”
Dr. Philip Deatanya of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission who dwelt on the topic Radio Signals from Mobile Phone Base Stations stressed the need for people not to spend so much time using of their electronic gadgets in order to reduce exposure to radiofrequency energy.
Touching on forms of radiation, Dr. Deatanya indicated that non-harmful (non-ionizing) cannot alter deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) whilst the harmful (ionizing) can alter DNA.
He said two areas of the human body, the eyes and testes are particularly vulnerable to heating by radiofrequency energy.
Derek Laryea from the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber who talked about ‘Mobile Operator Initiatives-Building Masts/Fiber Optics in Our Communities’ noted that a substandard phone, gives the buyer a substandard service.
A Program Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mrs. Anastasia Blankson made a presentation on The Role of EPA.
The DCE for Lawra, Martin Bomba-Ire commended GIFEC for holding the event in his District to update the public on EMF.
The DCE appealed to GIFEC facilitate Wi-Fi services for students in his area.
The Paramount Chief of Lawra, Naa Puowele Karbo presided at the well attended function.
Story by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo