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Opinions of Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.

Toxic Strike: Minster of Health Joins Doctors' Strike

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

“The Minister of Health, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, has received the blessings of
President John Evans Atta-Mills to go on a week leave at a crucial stage when public
sector doctors have taken off their stethoscope and refused to attend to emergency
cases. The Minister of Communication Haruna Iddrisu, who is acting in Yieleh
Chireh’s stead, said his colleague will be off for seven days and does not think it
would affect the current crisis ongoing in the health sector” (Ghanaweb, October 14,

Ah! Filmic signification of it all
Atta Mess-iah’s messy NDC
Dazed troubadours of chaos
Watersheds of letdowns
Fetishizing messianic chaos
Career gyrations of chaos
Minster of Health strikes
Yieleh Chireh is on strike
Like doctors
Like nurses
Like pharmacists
Elitist entitlements
Elites posing in SUVs
Ministering cargo-cults
Manicuring marginality
Of lethal doses of strike
Moronic elitist thieves
Thieves who prize cars
Cars they never make
Cars above all things
Above healthcare
Above good roads
Above good education
Above food & water
Above good electricity
Above future generations

Atta Mess-iah’s messy NDC
Circus of train-wrecks
Of deploying chaos
Of deceitful declarations
Of vacuous speeches
Of sterile policies
In search of poverty
In search of ruins
Atta Mess-iah’s theater
Of a better Ghana
Of a year in action
Of sod-cuttings
Where chaos is kinship
Of enduring anomies
Of birthing mediocrity
Of miragic progress
Like Saharan rivers
Always dry at source
Luxuriant-ing futility
With savage gaiety
Doctors on strike
Nurses on strike
Pharmacists to go on strike
Minister of Health on strike

Yieleh isn’t on leave
He is on elitist strike
The man of women
Ah! May be! Oh! May be
He will strike overseas
Soaring in aburokyire
To seek healthcare
Striking for healthcare
Better healthcare overseas
To heal his sickness
Of strikes everywhere

Killers of the dream
Perpetual elitist thieves
Mercenaries of doom
Of wanton corruption
Of wanton negligence
Of wanton entitlements
Killers of the dream
Pen-robbers of our time
Luminaries of theft
With tragic policies
Of tragic healthcare
Of tragic road-building
Of tragic “tree”-schools
Of tragic water, electricity

Ah! Minister of Health
Has gone elsewhere
To heal his own strike
So all strike, strike & strike
Strikes from local doctors
Strikes from local nurses
Strikes from local pharmacists
Strikes from local hospitals
Hospitals of strikes
Of dilapidation
Of mismanagement
Of indiscipline
Of corruption
Our viruses of healthcare
Our trappings of health
Our deathtraps of health

*Akadu N. Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained oral
historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in Pennsylvania with
her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college in Maryland. In her
pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist hyperbolic, satirical”
poetry. She can be reached at