Unlocking The Lockdown In Malaria Infested Countries; The Case Of Ghana
May the souls of all the departed (whether through coronavirus or whatever means), rest in perfect peace!
The President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo stated that, his administration has the expertise to resurrect the economy after being crippled by the coronavirus, however, his administration unfortunately cannot bring the dead back to life.
I wholeheartedly agree with the statement of President Nana Akufo-Addo captured above; that human life is paramount. The clarion call by the President is to protect lives first, because if we survive this coronavirus pandemic, we can then strategize to revive our economy. Perfect!
However, reports from friends and family members in Accra, Tema and Kumasi, paints a very dark picture with regards to access to food and other basic necessities, such as medicine.
Fact is, since these people are unable to work and earn an income, it is virtually impossible to buy food, due to unemployment caused by the lockdown.
It should be noted that, it is not everyone who is able to put some of their earnings away as savings at the end of the day, week or month.
A majority of Ghanaians survive on a daily basis, therefore, one’s inability to work even a day, is enough grounds to cause starvation.
In addition to the above, Ghana has not been able to achieve the level of development as seen in some advanced countries like the United Kingdom (UK), where the government can deliver food and other basic necessities to almost every household, should the need arise.
How does one deliver food to every household in a place like Nima or James Town? In some of these settlements, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly the boundaries of the houses.
Such a fruitless undertaking (distributing food) would only lead to some greedy bastards enriching themselves unjustly at the expense of the poor and needy in society.
Furthermore, it appears the prevalence of malaria in some parts of Africa and Asia, has contributed largely to the low deaths caused by coronavirus in countries like Ghana.
Even though I have no expertise in the medical field, however, from what has been gleaned in the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) statements on the coronavirus, it is apparent that the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to malaria. This may explain why hydroxychloroquine, has proven to be an effective cure for coronavirus in some parts of the world. Chloroquine is the main ‘weapon’ in the fight against malaria.
Therefore, with most Ghanaians in particular and Africans in general, being constantly harassed by the malaria parasite, which has undoubtedly led to most Ghanaians living with the malaria parasite indefinitely, there is no gain-saying that, such people have developed some kind of natural resistance to malaria.
Fact is, when such ‘malaria resistant’ people are medically tested for malaria, the outcome would be positive, but the malaria can NEVER kill them, Insha Allah!
The above submission, mutatis mutandis (making the necessary alterations while not affecting the main point at issue), is applicable to coronavirus, with particular reference to Ghana, and other malaria infested countries.
The resistance level of anyone who has ever had malaria in their life, especially in the last few years, is capable of withstanding the onslaught of coronavirus. Such a person, it is submitted, is likely to test positive for coronavirus, and might display some of the symptoms, but is highly unlikely to die from the coronavirus, due to the already existing defenses in such persons bodies (silent coronavirus carriers) against the malaria parasite.
It is widely acknowledged that, a person who has not had malaria for quite a long time, stands a good chance of dying from malaria if infected.
In the past, the Ivorian international, Didier Drogba, while playing for Chelsea in the UK, visited his home country (Ivory Coast), and unfortunately contracted malaria. Upon his return to the UK, his condition worsened, and had to be hospitalized. This was primarily due to the fact that, he had not had the malaria parasite in his body for sometime, so the natural defenses against malaria present in the bodies of most Africans, had deserted him, thereby leaving his immune system, vulnerable to the slightest malaria attack!
The argument here is not to submit that coronavirus is selective in its approach to killing, but rather, to kickstart a kind of debate in the minds of scientists to conduct further research in the killing pattern of coronavirus.
Without doubt, if all Ghanaians were to be tested today for coronavirus, it is possible that over 50% of the population, would test positive (silent carriers), but they will not die, why? The answer lies in the pre-existing malaria parasite in such bodies, which has now turned their bodies into natural ‘bunkers’ against coronavirus.
From the above analysis, which is purely the reasonable man’s point of view and not scientific-based, it is evident that there is a hidden reason why many Ghanaians and Africans in general are not dying from the coronavirus, and this requires further probing to establish the true basis.
The partial lockdown is therefore unnecessary. To a greater extent, copying other's decision to lockdown their countries and applying same in Ghana amounts to ‘plagiarism’.
Our circumstances are unique, therefore, partial or total lockdown, is definitely not the solution.
The most feasible solution in containing the spread of the coronavirus, lies primarily with Ghanaians themselves.
For example, how does a soldier or policeman enforce social distancing or hand washing? How many of my brothers and sisters up North, have the means to buy sanitizers, which they have now been priced out of?
A one-size solution does not fit all, so let’s fashion out measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, based on our economic, cultural and social settings.
Those arguing for a total or complete lockdown, are at liberty to lock themselves up in their lofty mansions or palaces, till the coronavirus leaves this world. In fact, it may be advisable for them to opt to be buried alive since even the air in their rooms or wherever they maybe confined to, is highly likely to be contaminated with coronavirus.
BY Alhassan Salifu Bawah
(son of an upright peasant farmer)
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."