GHANA CANNOT BE IDLE ON EBOLA – CPP
Ghana and Africa faces a challenge on our health and our lives which has not been faced for a very long time.
The daunting challenge is presented by the Ebola virus currently causing fear and panic in the sub region with the loss of thousands of lives.
Regional Leaders are holding summits and making effort in their coordination of response. This is welcomed but the unprecedented nature of the threat calls for bold measures and boldness in Leadership.
The CPP government in 1951 faced a daunting challenge with the inheritance of an outdated health servicecapable of handling only about 20% of the population.
It was clear to the CPP Government that our country needed to produce its own doctors, but there were no books, no medical school buildings, no laboratories, no dissection room, no equipment and no trained basic science teachers on the ground.
The CPP lead by Dr Kwame Nkrumah pushed ahead however with Ghanaian doctors to start a medical school in Ghana under the leadership of Dr Odamtten Easmon, then Chief Surgeon at the Korle Bu Hospital. The CPP government quickly expanded Korle Bu with the addition of four high rise blocks – Surgical, Medical, Pediatric and Obstetrics.
Constrained also by staff shortages, Dr Easmon moved boldly and quickly and engaged Dr. J.K.M Quartey to set up the Department of Anatomy assisted by Drs. E.A. Badoe, Evans-Anfom and F. Engmann. Dr Harold Phillips was recruited from Canada to take charge of Physiology and Dr Andoh from Germany to take charge of Biochemistry.
By March 1969, 7 years after establishment of the Ghana Medical School the first group graduated with high commendations.
Thus it was that the CPP Government boldly confronted the health needs of Ghanaians.
Doctors abound on our continent of the caliber of Doctors Easmon, Harold Phillips, Quartey, Evans-Anfom, Badoe and co, so why does Regional and African Leaders continue to send a signal which says that we are incapable of addressing the needs of our populations?
Our governments must move quickly with an African Strategy thus:
- Collectively raise funds from among themselves and set up an Ebola Fund.
- Identify the best Research Institutions on the continent.
- Identify the best of our Doctors wherever they are.
- Link Doctors with institutions and task such an institution to come up with a cure or vaccine for Ebola.
- Continue Regional and Continental Dialogue and coordination of effort.
- Enhance Border screenings
- Continue to liaise with World Health and Humanitarian Bodies on Global Assistance
- Educate more on cross border protocols
- Educate more on preventive measures
- Continue preparation measures with Isolation and Treatment Centers
How long must we sit down and wait for someone else to find a solution to our problems confronting us. We must look to ourselves and our institutions for solutions.
Why must African Governments continuously send a signal that they are incapable of looking after their citizens?
Ghana and Africa cannot continue to remain idle on threats confronting us and our continent without seeking a cure ourselves.
Following the example of the CPP Government of the 1960’s in setting up a medical school, we need a similar far reaching response which sends a signal to the world that Africa will not, cannot, and will never again be idle against such a threat against its peoples.
Nii Armah Akomfrah
CPP Director of Communication