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Opinions of Sunday, 24 April 2005

Columnist: Mensah, John

RE: Govt's Responsible For Selormey?s Death

I not surprised at he statement from the NDC in-fact I was waiting for it and expected it yesterday. The NPP would have done same had the tables been turned. My beef is with politicians who think they have the God given right to be flown out of the country for cures to ailments, mostly self afflicted because of their life styles. How many of our farmers who toil to produce the cocoa that is exported to earn the foreign exchange that is spent on the politicians can go to a hospital and get cures for common malaria, tetanus jabs for cutlass wound or serum for snake bites from a qualified doctors? How many long distance drivers and market women who bring food stuff from the ?hidden? parts of the country to feed us all and the politicians and have kept the nation going on its stomach can afford hospital bills or even get access to a health post/clinic/hospital that can treat hernia or piles without the lights going of? How many of our citizens die each day and year from common malaria, stomach infections, etc which can and should easily be treated? What is the level of personal care given to our fellow Ghanaians when they are admitted at hospitals across the country (that?s if they are lucky to get admission on a bed or the floor). How many teachers who educated these politicians can afford hospital fees for their children/parents and themselves? What are the common causes or morbidity and mortality in Ghana and what have the ?greedy? politicians done over the past forty or so years to change these. How many of our young brothers and sisters continue to die needlessly before their fifth birthday?

Ordinary Ghanaians are not asking for anything special just common day to day health care delivery and the politicians have not been able to provide this, yet anything they have a health problem, they are ready to splash the ordinary cocoa framers? hard earned foreign exchange to send themselves and their colleges/cohorts/family members out of the country. The income generators of the country can not get simple healthcare and yet the income managers are quick to spend on themselves for sophisticated healthcare. Not that we?ve seen the benefits of their management. Victor Selormey is dead, and God rest his soul, and some are ready to make political gain out of it (mind you I have already said I don?t expect any different from the other political parties). This is a man the highest law courts of our land has found guilty of ?misusing? the income generated by the ordinary cocoa farmer (who for all we know is suffering from a recurrent tooth ache, but where is the dentist) and yet some are asking that he be flown out of the country for what the cocoa farmer can?t and would never get.

How many of our ordinary farmers fishermen, teachers even doctors have benefited from these external healthcare funding and how many politicians and their relatives have also benefited. I am talking of proportional representation. When and how does the farmer who has a truck coming to his/her village once a week to cart food, and might take three to seven days or more to negotiate the nonexistent roads get message to his nearest health post that all is not well and when does the bureaucracy, get him passed on the district hospital, then to the regional hospital and onward to Korle Bu etc? How many times does this occur in Ghana? And yet some are crying out for a convicted criminal, and the rest of us see nothing wrong?

John Mensah (UK)

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