You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2007 04 27Article 122982

Opinions of Friday, 27 April 2007

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

Spiritual wickedness in high and low places!


I was so heartbroken when I read this e-mail from Dr Thompson who resides in Ghana. I can’t for the life of me understand why we are so wicked towards our children. From Child slavery to bald face neglect. I want all those who read this to ask our government to do well for our kids. Every kid is your kid and we have to show them a kinder and gentler country. We risk our entire future if we neglect the welfare of all our kids. I mean both rich and poor! Our children have suffered for far too long. Have we no shame? Here we have leaders bypassing our health system only to seek treatment in advanced countries. Yet are kids are neglected? I know this is just one data point but if Korle-Bu the premier hospital is in such terrible shape, can we hope for anything better in the regions?

Dr Thompson wrote:
Spiritual wickedness in high and low places!

Folks: I went to the Children's Ward at Korle-Bu today and came away with tears in my eyes; I kid you not. I simply couldn't believe that our leaders would be so wicked, so self-absorbed, so inconsiderate, so.... as to spend 10s of millions of dollars on presidential complexes and luxury cars but yet invest little or nothing in our very future: Our children. Shocking!

The attached picture is the OPD in the Children's Ward. The holes in the ceiling are not the usual "We are under renovation, pardon our appearance." They are the real deal. The blue bucket on top there (which could easily fall over the head of the lady working in that cage of cubicle) is actually a receptacle for the water leaking from above! I remember when Rawlings snuck into Switzerland for that famous tonsillitis operation; the Graphic carried a story in which the Children's Ward was described as "River Densu". Evidently, "regime change" has brought little if any "positive change." In fact, the most recent "renovation" of the ward was courtesy of some foreigners. Joy FM did its bit recently. But clearly, much more remains to be done.

You would think that a Children's Ward in this day and age would have at least a nice little playroom with enough decorations to cheer up these kids. But no, not on this side of Eden, where greed and vanity define leadership. The environment is as bleak as some of the prospects the poor (literally) kids face.

The picture of course cannot pick up the scent of the warm and humid "emergency room," the size of an anteroom of a chamber and hall, overflowing with parents perched on the edge of their children's beds. You have to see, feel, and smell to believe.

I learned - not surprisingly - that but for donors, not even a single Ghanaian child would be vaccinated against any of those deadly childhood diseases. Seems the whole "independence" enterprise has been a farce. We can't feed ourselves. We can't build our own roads. We can't educate ourselves. Hell, we can't even build toilets for ourselves. And now we can't - or choose not to - take care of our children and for that matter our future. But we are willing to spend billions of Cedis on the vanity that becomes us - or, more specifically, our leaders.

What a crying shame. If indeed there is a hell, I have no doubt that these so-called leaders will be consigned to its inner-most recesses. Any society that doesn't take care of its children, its future, is doomed to fail. The children we fail today will be the failed leaders of tomorrow and the cycle will continue, unfortunately.

I consider today one of the saddest days of my life.

Dr Nii Moi Thompson.

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.