Ghana coronavirus case counts now stands at 2,074 with 17 deaths and 212 recoveries. The increase in the number of COVID- 19 cases, especially community transmission can point to the fact that Ghana may be in the coming months struggle to cope with the pandemic. Let no body tagged me as doomsayer or political puppet that wishes the case count should get out of hand. It would be premature to refuse to face the reality of the situation and deals with it accordingly.
The trajectory of Ghana’s case count could be compared to as the scenarios in Asia, Europe and the Americans. They started with fewer numbers in the spate of months they recorded huge numbers that have become unbearable and governments are struggling to cope with the pandemic with tenfold death been recorded.
It is sad that as a country we have politicized every aspect of our settings including health which is critical to all our survival. With the outbreak of COVID- 19 one would have expected the Ghanaian politician to apply the ‘common sense approach’ in dealing with the issues, rather we spend precious time in several media platforms to underscore some political gains. Admittedly, over the decades we have not been able to build a resilient health care system and for that matter, any explosion of COVID- 19 would hurt Ghana so badly.
Let me wade in the debate of the Ghanaian economy; The NDC and NPP must all be mute, we have heavily relied on grants and loans to finance our budgets and have never recorded any substantial budget surplus since the returned to constitutional rule in 1992. It is ashamed that ‘Men with grey hair’ in this our generation would see ‘black’ and say it is ‘white’. The economic fundamentals of Ghana, including unemployment, inflation, balance of trade, the balance of payment, industrialization, agricultural commercialization, and among other indicators are fragile and Ghana’s economy is heading to the mortuary. Ghana’s economy cannot create a better working condition of all workers, especially the health sub-sector that has become so critical. We have an economy that cannot provide enough PPEs to our health works and exposing them to the dangers of COVID- 19.
It is not denying the fact that Ghana is in an election year. The simple question to pose is; of what significance would democracy be if political interest causes the death of millions of Ghanaians? The government must be decisive in bring the electoral commission to order. We have created the problem of empowering the executive arm to appoint the commissioners of the so-called independent electoral body in Ghana and so the government of the day must not pretend as if they have no knowledge of the conduct of the Electoral Commission.
The outbreak of the pandemic has exposed our institutions and the economy in particular and for that matter, the government must get to the drawing board and focused on how to appropriately deal with the pandemic. The numbers are increasing and many Ghanaian are becoming alarmed, especially, as communication on COVID- 19 appears to be compromised and not made available in real-time. The people of Upper West are asking many questions. Such as wherefrom this new case count of COVID- 19? do they have a travel history? Is it the head porter returnees that tested positive? Why are the Regional COVID- 19 response team not informing the region as they did for the previous cases?
Listening to the president 8th Address to the nation, I am saddened that, the window for election 2020 campaign season has been launched. It is indeed a point worthy to say that, it is a clear case of politics over health. In this trying times, Ghana could not feed vulnerable groups when it announced a partial lockdown and the issues of PPEs and sensitization at the community level remains an issue. Why should the government be thinking of putting 88 District hospitals and 6 Regional hospitals when the country is borrowing from IMF, World Banks and soliciting funds to deal with the COVID- 19. Is it that president Nana Akuffo Addo is very much focused on the upcoming general election? Hospital are good but there is time for everything. If the hospitals are that urgent for our country, it will make more sense to complete the about 53 uncompleted CHPs, Health Centers and District Hospitals across the country that is left unattended to. If new hospitals can be completed in one year, then these uncompleted ones could take just about few months to complete for the benefit of the nation. It is time the government use our resources very wisely for the benefit of the citizenry and forget the cheap political goal scoring. We must remain united and prepare ourselves adequately towards any eventuality. I foresee the electoral commission taking advantage of the Government’s likelihood of relaxing social engagement and to start the registration process. We should not allow the yearning desire to have new voters register further expose us to COVID- 19 crisis.
Author; Tahiru Lukman
Email: [email protected]
Position; Youth Activist, Dev’t Consultant & Pan- African Writer