|The founding President of IMANI Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, has said while Ghanaians praise President Nana Akufo-Addo for his fight against COVID-19, it must not be lost on them that the health infrastructure investments made by Mr John Mahama’s administration, have helped that fight, for which, in his opinion, the former President deserves some acknowledgement.
“While we praise Nana for the interventions to fight COVID-19, we must acknowledge the continuous strategic investments in health infrastructure JM made which is coming in handy now”, Mr Cudjoe tweeted, adding: “JM was visionary, too”.Just recently, Mr Mahama said the health facilities and infrastructure he built during his time in office, have become indispensable to Ghana’s fight against COVID-19.
Days earlier, the Minister of Health, Mr Kweku Agyeman-Manu, announced at one of the press briefings of the government regarding the COVID-19 situation that the University of Ghana Medical Centre and the Bank of Ghana Hospital are ready to be used to manage critical cases and VIP cases, respectively. The Bank of Ghana later issued a statement to clarify that its facility was available to every citizen and not just VIPs. Also, the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, also known as Ridge Hospital, is one of the main facilities being used to fight the virus.
Speaking at a brief ceremony at his office in Accra on Saturday, at which he presented some PPE worth GHS300,000 to the National Democratic Congress’ COVID-19 Response Team for onward distribution to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Tamale Teaching Hospital with a promise to procure a further GHS90,000 worth of PPE for other health posts, Mr Mahama said: “It is with great humility that I note that the massive investments we made in health facilities during my tenure as President, have become the mainstay of the response to the novel virus”. “This marks progress and demonstrates what vision and foresight can do in nation-building”, he added.
“That notwithstanding”, the flag bearer of the biggest opposition party said: “It has become clear, in an era of pandemics and infectious diseases, that a reactionary approach does not offer a sustainable path to protecting our people and economy from the harmful effects of such outbreaks”.
Mr Mahama said a “more proactive” state of readiness must be put be in place going forward. “No longer must it be the case that dangerous diseases like Ebola, SARS, MERS or COVID-19 get to our shores before we scramble around to arrest their impact”.
These diseases, he said, have “unfortunately become serious threats to our survival and go beyond just the health of our people”, adding: “They have adverse implications for our economy and our very way of life”. “In that regard, I wish to table the following proposals, which I believe will leave us better prepared and ready to take on any future eventuality especially pandemics like the COVID-19 case.
“These proposals are a part of our manifesto, which we intend to launch later in the year, when we have collectively defeated this pandemic. It has become necessary now to make them public because of the current climate and in the hope that to the extent possible, they may be factored into ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19.
“If there is any lesson to be drawn from the COVID -19 episode, it is the fact that we are not immune from pandemics that hitherto were deemed to be far removed from us. While we may have been spared outbreaks like Ebola, SARS, MERS and the like, we have been very much affected by COVID-19, which has proven extremely disruptive to our lives and holds the potential of having dire consequences for our economy.
“The relative fragility of our health and social welfare systems makes us even more vulnerable to its fallouts. Our people stand to suffer tremendously if such diseases are allowed to take us by surprise. Even as we count the cost, it is imperative that we learn the lessons of today and act now to ensure that we are much better prepared, when, not if, the next pandemic rears its head”, he warned.