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Opinion | Jan 5, 2019

The ‘Mobile Pedicure’ Vendors Are Spreading Hepatitis B and Other Viruses Softly

From voice of Reason:
Has our environment distorted our perceptions, or have we given up on life so easily that we now celebrate death more than life?

Well, that explains why we do what we do and live the way we live. Yes, indeed, one’s environment has a very big impact on one’s perception and distortion on facts and how many years he/she will lives on this troubled planet. We live in a different world indeed folks!

The other day as I pulled up to buy some gas at a filling station in Accra, I saw, supposedly a matured, educated man fully relaxed and sitting on a sidewalk, right in front of a young man with his legs spread out, getting a ‘makeshift’ pedicure. This new business is operated and controlled by predominately young men from our neighboring countries in the north.

Question: Can our fragile health insurance scheme withstand our reckless and cheap lifestyles? And, have the health delivery system’s stakeholders seen the negative role of these mobile pedicure vendors— who peddle their deadly trade— play to perpetrate the spread of Hepatitis B and other deadly blood transmitted diseases?

Speaking of unhygienic services, let’s take a trip to our slaughter houses, restaurants’ kitchens, ‘pure water’ processing plants, bread bakers’ dens, ‘chop bars’, and other food vendors’ parlors. How many of these establishments will pass a robust health inspectors’ standard inspection or that of Food and Drug Board? By the way, does anyone really care about the conditions in which these food items and water are processed or produced? What about the cooking utensils and serving bowls in these places? How hygienic are they?

Oh, what about our vegetables? Do you really know how they’re produced in our cities and towns? Who regulates these farmers, especially in the cities where allegedly, farmers use sewage water to process their produce?

Is there any honest health inspector around who won’t create a financial empire or a cottage mint industry out of these establishments, if he was given the chance to inspect? What has happened to our ‘civilization’? And why are we so devoid of integrity, accountability and responsibility?

Humm, why bother with these health and sanitation issues when we have a national insurance scheme to take care of all our health’s needs and much more?

Fact: Yes I know we live in a country where there are no workable regulations that would take care of the citizenry. That is why Information centers broadcast their sexually promiscuous and filthy messages during the day with impunity. Turn on your radio and hear what is being yank out every day. What about herbal medicine adverts we see and hear every day on TV?

Fact: Our sanitation inspectors are now stationed in their officers instead of going around the communities to inspect our gutters, stagnant waters, chop bars, and every other place that deserves the health inspectors’ supervision.

Fact: There are inspectors from U.S Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), stationed in China to check on the safety of U.S bound food products and other consumers’ items. A similar program has been initiated in India to make sure that “safety is built into every supply chain”. And, since Ghanaian consumers depend heavily on Chinese imports, doesn’t it make economic and social or moral sense to have our inspectors stationed in China for our own protection and longevity? Oh heck, what am I thinking! Our environment has indeed distorted our perceptions on everything else—even our ability to see what is good for us has been affected ,big time!

The question is: Do we really have any regulatory body in Ghana at all to monitor how services and food or medicines are processed, marketed, or advertised just for the sake of preserving our infant and fragile healthcare insurance scheme? No, we don’t!

Now back to the mobile pedicure vendors. You see them all over the lorry stations and market places; holding their unhygienic tools and ringing their bells to get attention. For just Gh1.00 service- fee, you can get your finger and toe nails ‘infected’, with all kinds of infections and diseases with unpredictable consequences .Oh yeah, they just use the same cutting tool and wipe it off with a little alcohol solution and move on to the next client. This process is repeated until they close for the day.

Is there any correlation between our health problems and our lifestyles and the kinds of food we eat or the conditions under which our food is prepared and sold in public?

Does the health ministry really care about these issues at all? Or maybe they’re not part of the primary healthcare equation. “What primary healthcare!”

These are just ordinary issues that don’t occupy any headlines in our major newspapers or on airwaves. So Ghanaians just walk around with surgically implanted smiles to camouflage their frustrations and their inability to distinguish between fake and real perception. But for how long can we maintain when our emerging problems are put under the carpet? Your guess is as good as mine. However, prove me wrong if I am right.

Until we meet here again, stay tuned. Be blessed, educated and informed about issues, no matter how small they are.

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi.
*The author is a social commentator and concerned citizen of this great nation.

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi
Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi, © 2019

This author has authored 190 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: KwakuAduGyamfi

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