08.10.2020 Feature Article

A Positive Panorama Of A Post- Pandemic Ghana

A Positive Panorama Of A Post- Pandemic Ghana
08.10.2020 LISTEN

Eyes had not seen, nor ears heard, nor did it enter into the heart of our dear prophets on the eve of new year that there would be a time within the year where our sinews will become wiry; nerves turned to steel, with sharpened senses deft in emergency in an attempt to escape the fiery darts thrown into the society by a pandemic.

We've engaged the virus in a war; not with guns, missiles or artillery fire, but a very simple war strategy that demands human acts of discipline: washing of hands with soap under running water, keeping social distances and wearing of face masks and shields. Even in an election year, we've been spared much of the honking horns of vehicles of politicians and the roaring cheers of supporters which used to pierce our ears during political rallies.

The virus is not only a health crisis but have affected humanity to the core of our being with symptoms of "social disruptions" parting ways for new currents of thoughts and new paradigms of development. Thus, we should see it as a portal, a gateway between the past and the world anew.

On health, the culture of hand washing which is the simple most preventive measure against sanitation-related diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and soil-transmitted helminth infections is now being practiced by most people. Access to hand washing stations have noticeably increased in almost all public places- one we should commend.

Again, the pandemic revealed the frailties in our health systems as it medico- surgical biased as opposed to the mental and public health aspects. " Thanks " to the Covid 19 pandemic, Ghana can boast of an Infectious Disease Center, which to me should be a revolution in health infrastructure development in this country. Heretofore, a 60 bed District Hospital was budgeted at $40 million and this could take as long as 12 years to complete, so constructing a 100 bed facility for $7.5 million in 3 months is a feat we should celebrate.

Secondly, the pandemic came with the closure of schools; which also revealed the sharp inequalities in our educational sector. This led to the involvement of pedagogy online, but for a country with less than half of it's population believed to have access to mobile phone internet, this wasn't feasible. For the few who had, high cost of internet data and unstable network mitigated the access to learning.

Looking ahead, telecommunications should step up collaboration with higher educational institutions to increase access to free unlimited data to students to participate in digital learning.

Lastly, as the world experience the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, the Ghana Beyond Aid "mantra" cannot only be a statement of pride but one we should pursue head-on. As the traditional "donor" countries scrambled to create their own meaningful strategy for their populations, we saw the local production of PPE's and hand sanitizers on a scale which met the needs of our population.

Within the pandemic, the need for self- sufficiency at least to the extent of being able to protect the health and sicio-economic welfare of the population became our utmost priority.

Going forward, the post-pandemic era shouldn't look like a land whose bearing betokens hostility, but as one flowing with milk and honey.