The Akufo-Addo government leaves millions vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic, as popular anxiety rises over the spread of the disease. The number of of confirmed cases in the country is two.
Some schools have been temporarily closed down as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus among children. Given Ghana’s high population density in sprawling cities like Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi and the appalling state of the public health and sanitation systems, the Ghanaian population faces the danger of a rapid spread of this untreatable, potentially lethal Virus. What the authority should know is that, it will have most devastating impact on workers and other rural and urban poor. While the country’s super rich and privileged sections of the upper middle class can afford expensive treatment in private and first class public hospitals, most workers and rural folks will have to depend on poorly equipped public hospitals and clinics. Running water? How many Ghanaians use portable water in their homes. How many of our rural folks can acquire the anti coronavirus materials including the masks and the hand sanitizers.
President Akufo-Addo and his government’s response underscores the contemptuous and ignorant attitude of our ruling elites as a whole toward the plight of millions of working people and rural toilers who have been condemned to impoverished conditions by this administration.
Government and its propagandists boasted that our anti coronavirus operations at our ports is the best. Their statement asserts that decisions were taken to rapidly implement opening of proper testing, isolation and quarantine facilities in some parts of the country. However, government’s statement was completely silent on situations on our borders. Whatever the Akufo-Addo government’s claim, there is no sign it is taking any meaningful steps, like launching rapid program to build much needed health care facilities, equip our security personnel and health officers on our borders and ports, educate the public and make adequate provisions for our rural folks especially, those who live close to our borders. There is complete disregard towards the health of working people and the rural poor, in contrast with its enthusiasm for pursuing its reactionary interest and its developing alliance with the electoral commission aimed at rigging the coming election.
Ghana’s public health system does not have enough ICU facilities to handle coronavirus cases. There are not enough beds in Ghana which is needed for about 5 percent of Covid 19 cases yet, government has released billions of cedis to the EC to waste on unnecessary ventures. There are no large manufacturers of surgical masks in Ghana. The few dozen medium size that dominate the industry have a low production capacity. That is why the Mahama administration offered financial support to some selected pharmaceutical companies to expand production and go into serious research work. The President’s priority is giving financial support and tax waiver to cronies and in-laws to build hotels and other useless projects.
There are always pre crisis stage. There are usually warning signs before a disaster, and the objective at this stage, barring averting the disaster, is to acknowledge the signs and get a head start on disaster prevention and solution. This is what the President and his government failed to do. There were numerous calls on the President to act immediately, people called for the evacuation of our students studying in China to be brought down, health workers requested for modern equipments to combat or handle coronavirus cases should in case we are hit by it. The President rubbished these calls culminating in the situation we find ourselves. If the warning signs were noted and heeded, the added time can ensure responding to the crisis a cumulative and deliberate effort. When the Ebola epidemic hit the subregion, we all saw what President Mahama did; investigation and application of crisis management, adaptive leadership, crisis communication and the allocation of situational crisis communication theory to the admiration of leaders across the globe. He showed genuine personal interest and marshaled the needed forces to combat the crisis. We’re not seeing these efforts this time. All here are lies, well cooked propaganda and deceitful theories. We all heard what the sitting President and his apparatchiks said in opposition about John Mahama’s anti Ebola initiatives. The whole world commended the former President for his efforts in wiping off the Ebola epidemic.
I am not politicising the issue, no, the problem is about leadership. We are going through this hell because of weak leadership and selfishness on the part of leadership. The picture government is splashing around is the opposite of the prevailing reality. The National Insurance policy is collapsing, service providers are withdrawing their services, doctors are wailing for better conditions of service, hospitals are crying for beds and drugs etc. We all saw the revolution the Mahama administration embarked upon in their health sector, the new ultramodern hospitals, polyclinics, midwifery training schools, chps compounds, mobile health services, support for some pharmaceutical companies etc. For cheap political expediency, this administration has abandoned some of these projects to rot and wasting our taxes on unnecessary ventures to the detriment of the sufferers. It is hard to understand why a President and his Vice who claim are so passionate about making Ghana a modern, digital, prosperous country have seemingly not noticed that the reckless spending, massive corruption, destruction of the health sector do not sit well with modernity