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17.03.2020 Feature Article

A Sobering Encounter With Gomoa Buduburam's St. Gregory Catholic Hospital - In The COVID-19 Era

A Sobering Encounter With Gomoa Buduburam's St. Gregory Catholic Hospital - In The COVID-19 Era
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I have had to be in the St. Gregory Catholic Hospital at Gomoa Buduburam these last two days. My significant other half, Christiana Amihere, lost her life after an epic battle to stay alive, ended, yesterday, at 10pm.

One is grateful to all the healthcare professionals who did their very best to help her stay alive. The entities in the Catholic Health Department are relatively better resourced than most government healthcare establishments across Ghana. Clearly.

Reassuringly, they have even got a place where running water and liquid soap is available - near the main gate for the public to use. And there are sanitizers placed at strategic areas throughout the public areas of the hospital's compound.

However, facial masks for the busy and clearly overworked healthcare professionals there weren't a common sight, and that worried me - because we need to keep all our nation's healthcare professionals safe from being infected by the COVID-19, at this troubling time for governments of nations around the world, and for hapless humankind generally.

Yet, even the St. Gregory Catholic Hospital faces huge challenges in as far as avoiding being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases at some point in the not too distant future - if steps aren't taken quickly to go into a nationwide lockdown to contain the pestilence threatening our very existence: by declaring a national emergency to help us contain COVID-19, for at least a month.

As to the state of readiness displayed by those around the hospital, in that part of the Gomoa Buduburam Camp Liberia refugee settlement, it was business as usual, with quite a few nonchalantly cracking jokes about COVID-19.

In the midst of that insouciance, many of those mostly young crowd clearly did not feel the pandemic was something that could affect them personally. And that is truly frightening. If truth be told, we are all at risk: the super-rich, the very poor, the powerful and the marginalized-helpless.

Speaking personally, my family, and that of my dear Christiana Amihere's family, will have to have a funeral for her at some point soon. And Christiana's and my resolve to self-isolate and stick strictly to social distancing to help us escape being infected by COVID-19, will become a mirage - because of our sodden hidebound traditions about going to meet the families of community members who pass away.

I am dreading it all - not to mention the totally unnecessary need to come and console a very private and taciturn neighbour, who could equally be sent condolences by phone calls, from his very kind neighbours, who obviously don't yet see the need for social distancing and self-isolation as a way to avoid catching COVID-19. What an interesting society. Ebeiii.

And what a calcified society ours is. Hmmm, Oman Ghana - enti yewieye paaa enei? Sometimes I wonder whether I should simply up sticks and go back to Blighty - despite the soul-destroying racist system one faces there, and in virtually all Western societies today, where right-wing populism reign OK - but alas COVID-19 dominates the entire world. Hmmm, life...

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2020

The author has 549 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KofiThompson

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