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20.03.2020 Press Release

Public Health Threat In The Upper West Region-President Akuffo Addo’s Indifference A Big Worry

By NDC Upper West
Public Health Threat In The Upper West Region-President Akuffo Addo’s Indifference A Big Worry
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The NDC in the Upper West Region has taken a serious note of the ravaging effects of COVID-19 that has become an albatross in global health care delivery. One would have expected that, in the prevailing circumstance where Ghana has recorded eleven (11) medically confirmed cases and where neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Togo among others have also recorded medically verified cases, President Akufo Addo and his NPP Government would have at least in these precarious moments avoided their usual rhetoric of issuing weightless directives which are being flagrantly disregarded by his own appointees.

The NDC in the UWR appreciates the timely intervention of all traditional and religious leaders who are using their privileged stature in society to conscientise their subordinates and congregations about the destructive effects of this new disease and more particularly, the efforts they are making to get them adhere to precautionary measures they must undertake to remain safe.

It is very much disturbing that, in the face of this threat that has the propensity of wiping off thousands of lives and destabilizing the economic, social and political equilibrium of nations, this government has reduced its combat strategies to mere talk shows.

Bordered to the North by Burkina Faso and to the extreme western corridor by Ivory Coast, the Upper West Region is vulnerable to COVID-19 since these two neighbouring countries have recorded medically verified cases of the dreaded virus. The vulnerability of the region is further exacerbated by its porous borders and more particularly the uncountable number of unapproved entry points to the Upper West from these countries.

In the face of this eminent threat, it is appalling that President Akufo Addo and the NPP government have failed to provide isolation centers in the Region. It is worrying that, the government has failed woefully to provide protective accoutrements to protect the already limited clinical staff who work in the largely under-resourced health facilities in the region.

While the NDC is fully committed to supporting the fight to kick COVID-19 out of Ghana in particular and the world at large, we are deeply worried about President Akufo Addo’s inertia

towards equipping our hospitals, resourcing the various health units and securing our borders. The absence of isolation centers at various entry points from our neighboring countries into the Upper West Region further exposes this government’s incompetence in putting up proactive measures, while the failure of government to protect our already inadequate medical staff is a matter of significant concern to us.

Fellow Ghanaians, the Upper West Region for the past three months have been under siege by the dreaded cerebrospinal meningitis. As at Friday 13th March, 2020, the Regional Epidemic Management Team at an emergency meeting as revealed by daily graphic and published by indicated that, eighteen (18) CSM deaths have been reported so far in various health facilities across the region out of 182 reported cases at various health facilities. The report further indicated that, the Nadowli Kaleo District had passed the epidemic threshold of seven (7) fatalities, whilst the Nandom and Jirapa Municipalities are almost hitting that threshold of an epidemic stage with five reported deaths in each of these Municipalities.

It is appalling and mind boggling that, the Upper West has been under this threat for the past three months without any practical response from the government in terms of curbing the menace. We wish to remind President Akufo Addo and the NPP government that, the eighteen lives that are lost out of the 182 reported cases and the ongoing havoc that CSM is visiting on the Upper West Region is also an emergency health need that need urgent response and National attention as in the case of COVID-19. It is important to remind the President that, though COVID-19 is posing a global threat for which his government is pretending to be responding to, no life is lost yet in Ghana. It is therefore sad that, 182 cases of CSM with 18 deaths in only one region within the space of three months do not seem to tickle the compassion of the President to act as he should.

Fellow Ghanaians, President Akufo Addo’s inertia in resolving the ravaging effects of CSM in the Upper West Region does not only expose the incompetence of his government in handling such national emergencies, but also reveals this governments deficiency in identifying national priorities. The cold attitude of President Akufo Addo towards the residents of the Upper West Region is also a clear manifestation of his government’s lack of goodwill towards the development needs of the region.

In the face of these lives threatening diseases, the NDC in the Upper West calls for the following to be considered as a matter of urgency:

  1. An emergency region wide immunization against CSM .( This was an annual ritual to contain CSM until President Akufo Addo assumed power)
  2. Intense public education on the CSM and COVID-19
  3. Set up well-resourced isolation centers at the Regional Capital and at Districts with border points.
  4. Provide adequate personal protective equipment in all health facilities to protect our inadequate medical staff in the region.
  5. Make available sufficient resources to enable the Ghana Health Service contain the outbreak of CSM whilst putting in place proactive measures to deal with COVID-19 in the case of an outbreak.
  6. Set up emergency response teams in all Districts and Municipalities within the region to deal with both CSM and COVID-19.

While we await this government to wake up from its slumber, we call on all natives and residents of the Upper West Region to adhere to all safety mechanisms on how to avoid infections from COVID-19. As directed by our Leader, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, we call on all our rank and file within the region to support the government of Ghana to reverse the ravaging effects of this enigma. We also call on President Akufo Addo to show genuine leadership by using the powers conferred on him by the citizens of Ghana to ensure that, there are sincerity and equity in the distribution of the national cake more particularly in difficult moments like this.

Thank you.

…Signed… Puo-ire Prosper

(Reg. Comm. Officer) 0204852735