14th June 2024

By Osei Afrane

Globally, the world is certainly not in normal times because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Ghana is no exception to this.

Given the fact that the, for now, countries, including those in the developed world remain clueless in terms of finding a cure for COVID-19, and the deficiencies that it has exposed in most sectors of the economies of nations, it does not only call for pragmatic steps to tackle the insufficiencies the pandemic has brought to the fore, but also calls for a certain measured tone in discussing COVID-19 in a solution-oriented manner without being unnecessarily political.

However, some people, in order to satisfy their cheap political desires are doing politics with it at the expense of the people, and don’t see the need to be nationalistic in their deeds and statements.

It should be known by now that in President Akufo-Addo’s eighth Covid-19 update broadcast on April 26 2020, he stated that, “we have completed the analysis of another thirty two thousand, and thirty one (32,031) samples, bringing the number of tests from sixty-eight thousand, five hundred and ninety-one (68,591) to one hundred thousand, six hundred and twenty two (100,622). From this pool, the total number of confirmed infections have gone from one thousand and forty-two (1,042), to one thousand, five hundred and fifty (1,550).”

With 121 new cases at the time, Ghana’s coronavirus case count then stood at 1, 671, as of April 28 2020. One hundred and eighteen people had recovered while the death tally was then 16. Of the number, 568 had come in from general surveillance. The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Aboagye, had said six were moderate to critically ill, two at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, three in the Ga East District Assembly, and one at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Furthermore, the President had put on record that our recoveries were then 155, and deaths 11; and that two new cases of deaths at the time of the broadcast, like the other nine, were all of persons with comorbidity.

The visionary decision

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, also in his eighth COVID-19 update, mentioned that Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. “We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals,” he stated.

Mind you, but for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Ghana, under the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had declared the year 2020 as “the Year of Roads”.

But there are some people who say the President used the eighth Covid-19 broadcast to launch his campaign towards the December elections.

For announcing a decision to tackle the shortage of facilities in our health sector, as exposed by the coronavirus pandemic, can such a move be deemed to be a political campaign launch activity or it is a measure with the interest of the Ghanaian at heart, irrespective of ones’ political affiliation, aimed at the development of the country?

It is against this background that a call is being made on such members of the public, who play politics with “everything”, to be circumspect and nationalistic and stop such unnecessary politics. This is because anyone who stands in the way of a good cause and/or someone who is trying to do good to serve humanity stands in the course of nature and engages the supernatural forces of God in a battle that one will surely lose in the end.

What better decisions could one take, having been confronted with obvious challenges in the health sector, but to tackle the challenges so exposed head-on? Clearly, this is an opportunity to fix it, and that is what the President has shown leadership in doing.

Ghanaians deserve better

Ghanaians deserve a better management of all sectors of our national economy, going forward, and if there had been lapses in taking some of these measures in the past, it will be unpardonable on President Akufo-Addo’s part not to see this as an opportunity to fix the lapses so identified in view of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying impact on our national economy.

It is therefore not surprising that the President is passionate about constructing quality hospital facilities, from infectious disease control set ups, to laboratories, to the six new regions without regional hospitals and the 88 districts without hospitals and health centres at all. This move must be supported.

Where do these people in the various districts and regions without functioning health facilities go if they have a problem? Some have to travel long distances before they get help. We cannot go on like this! We really need to bring healthcare closer to the door steps of the people, and that is the way to go, in the view of this present administration headed by President Akufo-Addo. How does this constitute a campaign launch?

Focus onCovid-19

The Presidents’ focus is on fighting and beating the deadly coronavirus pandemic. All the actions he has taken are not motivated by politics. They are motivated by the desire to work in the interest of all Ghanaians so that we can come out of this stronger and better. He means well; he wants to build the right systems that will last and stand us in good stead.

Globally, nobody knew this coronavirus disease was going to happen. But now that it has, should we fold our arms and wait till, may God forbid, something else happens before we start fighting and putting our thinking caps on, waking from a supposed slumber, perhaps too late, to start doing what we need to do now? Nana does not want to do it that way!

If his government has identified that there are several districts without facilities, it is incumbent upon the administration to build them to serve the people whom Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sworn an oath to protect.

Patients with other ailments

It should be borne in mind by those who claim that the decision to build health infrastructure is political campaign launch that the Akufo-Addo government will be shirking its responsibility, as managers of the economy, in corporate governance and transformational leadership if such decisions are not taken now in the interest of the people of Ghana. The President – it would interest those playing dirty politics with his COVID-19 visionary solutions to challenges confronting us to note – is battling the coronavirus pandemic, conscious of the fact that we have patients suffering from malaria, CSM and other health conditions in the country. He has also put in place adequate resources and measures to encourage health workers who are working effectively and efficiently to take care of patients so affected.

Let us heed the President’s call in focusing on fighting this pandemic together. This COVID-19 pandemic concerns all of us. Therefore, we need to focus on the things we need to do now so that we can stem the disease; put this pandemic behind us; and live our social lives. It is not everything which has to be a tug or pull of war between NPP and NDC in this country, to the extent that when a decision to build hospital facilities for all Ghanaians is announced, some see it as an opportunity to launch a campaign? How about the man going to people’s homes to share food items under the pretext of teaching social distancing? Is that a campaign launch or human interest act?

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