We are in the middle of a vicious war with the coronavirus, and I agree, it is far too early to award medals for valour and chivalry. But it is also important we recognise the performance of volunteers firmly behind our frontline healthcare workers.
John Mahama has been far more proactive at crisis management than many expected. His credibility, especially with non-partisan eligible voters, has soared since a National Democratic Congress COVID-19 team was constituted ad-hoc to help contain the lethal pandemic.
The immediate past President has remarkably pulled the brakes on a downward spiral of confidence in the political establishment. His regular interactions with citizens, devoid of partisan sentiments, has earned the respect and won the hearts of many. His strategy for communication has been concise, informative and honest.
Mahama, clearly with the benefit of advice from proficient healthcare experts, is always well-prepped and has demonstrated in-depth knowledge about progressive measures to curb the pandemic. He has taken great care to avoid the wrath of print-press and the rants of radio and television shows.
Mahama can rightfully claim to have developed the health infrastructure of Ghana much better than any other President in the past two decades. The current administration, particularly in this field, has given Ghanaian citizens nothing to look backward to with pride and nothing to look forward to with hope. But the fact is: a lot more still needs to be done to get our healthcare sector back on track. This remains an essential aspect of Mahama’s leadership as the pandemic has revealed.
All is not rosy. If the spread of the pandemic goes unchecked, it shall devour the Republic. The NDC COVID-19 team has been on the ground, in harm’s way, to serve the Republic – that is the essence of governance; sacrifice for the greater good of others.
While many of us must remain at home to flatten the curve and prevent a spread of COVID-19, healthcare workers simply cannot afford that comfort. While we avoid contact with infected persons, our healthcare workers have a duty to support victims recover.
It isn’t politicians, lawyers, teachers or farmers that provide the most important service to the Republic at this vital moment; it is healthcare workers. And it is impossible to train new health professionals overnight. They are scarce. This is precisely why the NDC COVID-19 team have taken steps to ensure the fitness of our healthcare workers are not compromised.
Healthcare personnel have complained bitterly about a lack of personal protective equipment. Some of these workers may already have been in contact with infected patients. This also puts the welfare of the households and communities to which they belong in danger.
Mahama’s team, in response, has provided a substantial amount of medical equipment to hospitals. They are determined to retain, in a strong position, as many healthcare staff as possible and sail the Republic smoothly over these turbulent seas. His gallant medical team continue to put themselves at great risk, daily, to get on the ground, educate communities about personal hygiene and assist those in need with relief items.
The lockdown has rendered many of us less productive. Personally, I look forward to beautiful mornings at cheerful radio shows where I get to delve into current affairs and slap on tables, occasionally, to emphasize my points! Thankfully, at least, I can work effectively from home. This isn’t the case with a majority of Ghanaian workers affected by the lockdown.
Families are seated around dinner tables tonight, not sure where the next pay cheque may come from and how next month’s rent will be paid for. There are many Ghanaian workers who haven’t had an increment in salary for years, but the price of everything else has gone up. We are still distant from a safe environment where petty traders, businesses and professionals feel they can plan and get on with life as usual.
We must all endeavor to support our healthcare workers, morally and with whatever resources they require, so we can get past this phase of discontent.
The author, Vincent Djokoto, is a Business Executive and Columnist.