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Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Repercussions Of Corrupt Judiciary System On The Economic, Political And Social System

The power of Ghana's corrupt judiciary system is stronger than the strength of the Biblical Samson, photo credit: Ghana media

The power of Ghana's corrupt judiciary system is stronger than the strength of the Biblical Samson, photo credit: Ghana media

Probably many people like to live in a country which judiciary system is weak and corrupt, whereby offenders have an easy game, enjoy impunity, while honest people suffer. 

However, the fact is a country without rules is abandoned to violence, abuse, crime, without culture and eventually becomes the victim of ignorance and human misery.

In such a nation, corruption proliferates and crimes of all kinds thrive. To be honest, like every country, Ghana has laws, unfortunately often, it seems that the country has transformed into tax evasion haven, the law of privilege, the exchange of favours, unscrupulous business, nepotism and corruption.

The very idea that people can commit crimes and get away with it, undermines the credibility of Ghana’s criminal system and the seriousness of our security laws, undermining citizens' trust in the legal system on the one hand and on the other in the ruling class. 

Given the episodes of ineptitude, inefficiency, and corruption that we have witnessed in recent years, defining the discredit that has hit the Ghanaian ruling class unjustified would be an understatement. 

Corruption and frauds led to the collapsed of the banking institutions because the judiciary system has no power to pursue corruptible people.

If we are serious in the analysis of the facts, how can we even think for a moment that, a ruling class like the current one, already in itself inefficient, discredited and disconnected from civil society, solve problems?

This endogenous inability has contributed to the creation of anti-politics, that meant that Ghana is no longer perceived as a reliable country.

In a catastrophic situation like the current political atmosphere in Ghana, one of the essential remedies to restore some glimmer of hope to the Nation is the reform of the judicial system. 

Justice is a vital infrastructure for the country's productive fabric to modernize and recover that competitiveness which is the pre-condition for economic and social growth. 

Justice is one of the cornerstones through which the country's growth and competitiveness pass and, therefore, the functioning of the judicial system represents a fundamental element for this process, in which the whole country must commit itself.

Justice is the fundamental institution that acts as a hub for all interventions because it guarantees their effective application. Any initiative, normative and legislative, would be useless if an apparatus capable of guaranteeing enforcement did not exist and did not work. 

Justice deals with the rules, which are the fundamental condition for being able to live in order in a community. 

Without rules there is no possibility of common life, there is no possibility of promoting an orderly society in which each one, through the application of his or her own potential, can contribute to the common well-being and, therefore, to the general good of the country. 

The state is the prerequisite for citizens to live in peace and prosperity, to do their job, to invest by relying on that system of rules which, however, must be able to count on a system of efficient and effective application.

A country where the rules are unreliable because their enforcement does not work is unreliable and is not credible either inside or outside its borders. 

The functioning of the judicial system is not a matter that concerns only magistrates, lawyers or operators, but it is a matter that has very important repercussions on the economic, political and social system. 

If we operate in a context where there is no respect for the rules, meritocracy cannot arise and the result is a lack of quality which then reflects on the performance of a country totally abandoned to itself and an easy prey to crime.

Thursday, February 6, 2020


China protects against the coronavirus

China protects against the coronavirus

January 30, was the inaugural World NTD Day. NTD stands for Neglected Tropical Diseases. Combined, 20 NTDs affect more than 1.5 billion people in 149 countries, including the Philippines (

The World NTD Day is part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2012-2020 Roadmap on NTDs. Unfortunately, the emergence of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) overshadowed the event. 

Instead, we will remember Jan. 30, 2020 as the day the WHO declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak “public health the emergency of international concern.” The neglected tropical diseases that kill, blind, disable and disfigure thousands of mostly poor people continue to be relatively neglected as the world’s attention is focused on the Wuhan virus outbreak.

As of February 1, it was confirmed that there were11,943 cases of infection with 2019-nCoV, with 259 deaths since Dec. 8, 2019, when the first case emerged in Wuhan. From Wuhan, the virus spread to the rest of China and more than 20 other countries so far. 

Anti-Chinese sentiment has been reported in some countries as a result. This is unfortunate. If we want to blame anybody for the spread of the virus it should be the government authorities, not the people.

The figure of 11,943 confirmed cases in less than two months is alarming. But let us not forget that every day, more than 14,000 children below the age of 5 die from mostly preventable diseases. There are other international health emergencies such as measles, polio, Ebola and HIV-AIDS, all competing for inadequate resources, both material and human. 

Nations, including the Philippines, struggling to cope with existing public health challenges are now forced to divert and dedicate already inadequate health sector funding, facilities, and manpower to the 2019-nCoV outbreak. 

The Department of Health has been busy addressing polio and measles outbreaks, dengue, tuberculosis, HIV, 10 NTDs, among others. Government hospitals in urban centers are overcrowded with patients who cannot afford admission and treatment at private hospitals, while public provincial medical facilities lack doctors, nurses, equipment and medical supplies.

More than 1.6 million Chinese tourists visited The Philippines last year. About 50 percent of them arrived at Mactan Cebu International Airport. The woman reported as the first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the country entered the Philippines via Mactan. 

Absent a ban, the Cebu provincial government is calling for a two-week quarantine for travelers arriving from China. 

Such a long quarantine period will likely deter most Chinese tourists from entering the Philippines through Cebu — 14 days’ quarantine is likely longer than most tourists intend to spend in Cebu. 

Jia Le, the Consul General of China in Cebu, in a press conference on January 29, emphasized that so far no country had banned travelers from China. However, since then several nations, including the US and Singapore, have instituted such travel restrictions.

There is no denying that the virus spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world, including China. But that is already water under the bridge. Chinese tourists and consumers, goods and investments fuel the economy of today’s globalized world. 

While the Chinese government may have failed in some major ways to manage the outbreak, it is unlikely to be the end of the world. As stated, disease and death in much larger numbers plague our modern world. 

This doesn’t mean that the 2019-nCoV outbreak is a trivial matter. Aside from causing infection and death, the outbreak has already resulted in major economic disruptions. Hundreds of business establishments and factories have been closed in China. 

The tourism sector, including the airline industry in China and in the countries that benefit from the growing number of Chinese tourists, is taking a big hit. All in all, thousands if not millions of jobs are affected.

The Lancet, in “Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of [2019-nCoV] pneumonia in Wuhan, China” (Jan. 30, 2020), details the course of the disease in early fatalities: Patient 1 (a 61-year-old man) was “diagnosed with severe pneumonia and [acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS]. 

He was immediately admitted to the [ICU] and given an intubated ventilator-assisted breathing therapy. Later, the patient, having developed severe respiratory failure, heart failure, and sepsis, experienced a sudden cardiac arrest on the 11th day of admission and was declared dead. Patient 2 (a 69-year-old man) had severe pneumonia and ARDS after admission.

The patient was transferred to the ICU and given ventilator-assisted breathing and received anti-infection and (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) treatment after admission. …On the ninth day of admission, the patient died of severe pneumonia, septic shock, and respiratory failure. …

The course of the disease and lung lesions progressed rapidly in both patients, with both developing multiple organ failure in a short time.” The painful deaths of these two Chinese men illustrate the immense suffering of 2019-nCoV victims and remind us that actions towards containing the outbreak must be tempered with solidarity and compassion.

By Marit Stinus-Cabugon The Manila Times

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


New cases of mystery virus in China

New cases of mystery virus in China

With the recent discovery of a dangerous strain of unknown viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges the Chinese government and the World Health Organization (WHO) to do all that is necessary to identify and limit transmission of the pathogen and to be fully transparent throughout the entire process.

It is currently not known what causes the illness, but signs and symptoms include fever, with some patients having difficulty in breathing and chest x-rays showing invasive lesions of both lungs.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome, bird flu, and severe acute respiratory syndrome – the deadly virus that killed 774 people in China, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada, Vietnam, Philippines, and Hong Kong during a 2002-2003 outbreak – have all been ruled out as the cause of the current strain.

In addition to the 59 confirmed cases of the mysterious pneumonia in Wuhan to date, Hong Kong has also added the virus to its list of notifiable infectious diseases and is monitoring 14 patients as a precaution.

“With China’s New Year holiday season approaching, this is probably the worst time for a dangerous, unknown virus to be going around—it’s critical that in-country health agencies and the WHO go above and beyond to get it under control,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein.

“China was criticized for under-reporting SARS cases after the 2003 outbreak, and WHO has its own issues with its handling of infectious disease outbreaks like Ebola. We just want to ensure full transparency and a dedicated response for this virus from the outset.”

WHO also came under fire for mishandling the initial stages of the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014 and has been pressured to ensure a secured, sufficient response for the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has been raging since August of last year and has so far killed 2,231 people as of Jan. 6.

“Too often, politics and bureaucracy interfere with the response to an infectious disease outbreak, when the reality on the ground and getting people the most effective and efficient help possible should be the top priority” added Weinstein. “There’s simply too much at stake in a city [Wuhan] with over 11 million people to not ensure this virus is identified and one-hundred percent contained as quickly as possible.”

For more information, please contact Ged Kenslea at or (323) 791-5526.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.3 million people in 43 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe.