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Sunday, November 17, 2019


A crammed hospital shows the health crisis in Africa, photo credit: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

Health is a guaranteed right in the western world, the reason hospitals and doctors are enough to serve communities but in Africa, it is still a privilege for the few. 

According to the United Nations, the black continent is home to only 3% of the world's medical staff. 

 Despite the commitments made globally, within the United Nations and the World Health The organization, health coverage in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, is still a mirage. 

Poor medical facilities and insufficient qualified medical doctors have made diseases that are preventable in the developed world, the causes of death in Africa. 

It is, therefore, clear that even though health is considered a key aspect of human economic development, it is not available in Africa or probably only in a few countries because the number of doctors a hundred times below developed average.

In many African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea, etc, a huge percentage of poor families cannot afford health care. You will die if you don't have many to go to the hospital. 

About 4 Kenyans out of 5 do not have access to medical insurance, with the inevitable exclusion of a significant portion of the population from quality health services. 

A scenario that can be replicated throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of Rwanda, which has 90% of health insurance coverage, surpassing even the United States. 

Modern designed hospital facilities for patients in Belgium

Modern designed hospital facilities for patients in Belgium

The health crisis in Africa illustrates how infectious diseases, such as HIV, diarrheal diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis, are still today, alarming. 

Infectious diseases are the cause of 40% of deaths in developing countries, 1% in industrialized ones. In sub-Saharan Africa the HIV is still the leading cause of death: 11.5%, and 70% of new cases occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. 

The same region still holds 89% of malaria cases and 91% of deaths worldwide. 95% of deaths due to tuberculosis occur in low and medium-low income countries.

In the 2014 Human Development Index, the last 17 places in the ranking are all occupied by the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, a complex context in which 50% of the population, on average, lives below the poverty line, that is with less than 2 dollars a day. 

University hospital in Antwerp, Belgium

University hospital in Antwerp, Belgium

This means, to be optimistic, half of the population cannot afford adequate health care, because health care is paid in Africa and access is not guaranteed to poor sections of the population. 

Ricardo Veronesi, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Honorary President, Brazilian Society for Infectious Diseases, once said, “The transmission of retroviruses, including HIV, by arthropods, and for the different cofactors prevalent in the Third World are absent or rare in the first world.

Africa is not poor in terms of natural resources, for example, Angola (about 2 million barrels of oil per day, population 21 million) or Nigeria (1.75 million barrels a day, population 173 million), but also Gabon (234 thousand barrels a day, population 1.7 million ) and the Republic of the Congo (about 300 thousand barrels a day, population 3.8 million). 

In reality, these countries can have equal welfare, if not above European standards but there are health crises looming in these countries.

The countries' Ministry of Health found a reduction in the number of doctors, a decrease in the number of doctors was recorded in 54 regions. 

They run away from low salaries and over-processing. The salary in many regions remains extremely low, while one doctor examines hundreds or sometimes over a thousand patients per day.

As a result, many African countries have a shortage of health workers. This also applies to junior staff and nurses who also receive low salaries. 

It really doesn't make sense at all if one takes into consideration the wealth of Africa, yet can't build hospitals for the increasing population. At the same time, many of the hospitals lack better health facilities, including ambulances and beds.

According to the United Nations estimate, in 2016, the African continent registered close to 1.2 billion deaths. The fact is this figure may not accurate because those Aids alone claim millions of lives yearly. 

We must accept the fact that the second name of the African continent is now: The Black Man’s Grave. Africa is not poor, the governments can afford developed standard of medical care in the continent if they stopped that corruption.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


The aftermath of the tribal war in Rwanda

The aftermath of the tribal war in Rwanda

Tribalism is a serious disease in Ghana, which the hospitals in the country must try their possible best to create units to help those suffering from this kind of sickness. In this modern Ghana, sixty-two years after independence, if you are a tribalistic then you need medical attention.

Actually, if you study thoroughly, you will notice that those advocating or practicing strong loyalty to tribalism, suffer from inferiority complex. They feel that they have been left behind or not easily recognized as humans, therefore, they try hard to make their voices be heard.

But why do you have to feel that way if you are a Ghanaian? Unless you are sick in mind, the reason we have thousands of such people in Ghana. Whether you are a native Ghanaian or from a tribe, we are all Ghanaians, no one is better than his fellow Ghanaian.

I can’t even remember in my life, saying any bad thing to a Ghanaian, whether he is an Ashanti, Fante, Ga, Ewe, or Hausa, therefore, it baffles me a lot when I read the reactions or comments of those living on such hate and tribalistic principles like the German Adolf Hitler.

I have enjoyed the association of different tribes in Ghana, including Muslims in both Holland and Belgium, and was impressed recently to learn about the significance of Islam, a peaceful religion, many have tainted their name because of terrorism.

If you are an illiterate, let alone educated, you should know the hate, bloodshed, and death, tribalism can bring into society. Surprising, in political history, things don’t end up well for those that incline on racial hate.

The Rwanda genocide, involving the Tutsis and the Hutus, was inspired by hate, the Nigerian-Biafra war, between Ojukwu and Gowon, was inspired by hate, Adolf Hitler killed over six million Jews because of racial hate. 

Therefore, it’s only a fool in Ghana who will live on tribalism, especially, taking into consideration the havoc in racial hate or tribalism.

For example, over 140 people killed and 90 injured in one week during Sudan's tribal wars. Is that what you love if you are a Ghanaian? Say No, to tribalism in Ghana.

Monday, November 11, 2019


Child labour in the mining industry

Child labour in the mining industry

Ghana is one of the worst corrupt countries in West Africa; with leaders that try to cover up every corruptible activity to portray the country as corrupt-free.

However, certain grave factors lowering the esteem of the country lie in child trafficking and labour in the agricultural and fishing sectors.

When CNN investigation reveals the dark side of Ghana in child labour and trafficking, many Ghanaians weren’t happy about that reportage but the bitter truth is a child labour is still flourishing in Ghana, without any serious intervention by the law.

Even though the Ghanaian law doesn’t permit child labour, due to poverty in rural areas throughout Ghana, many parents depend on child labour for survival.  

Ugly scenes of child labour in Ghana

Ugly scenes of child labour in Ghana

In Ghana, 2015, over 376 thousand children, that is 40% of the total of those employed to work in the cocoa industry in conditions dangerous to their health.

Everywhere, children around six years old bring their merchandise to potential customers. They sell everything from fruit, ice water, and used clothes, while others serve as assistants to the poor and beggars on the main streets of the congested cities. 

Most of these children, both boys, and girls have to work all day. Many receive no education and often suffer from hunger, thus; they are often abused and suffer from emotional and psychological traumas.

Child labour in the fishing industry

Child labour in the fishing industry

Statistics are difficult to make due to the informal nature of these activities, but it is clear that child labour is more widespread in Ghana than in the past. 

The country's harsh economic situation has forced many parents to push their children into situations that are difficult to justify. 

Some parents, especially those in rural areas, practically give their children to child traffickers because they are unlikely to have enough to eat and think that their children could get better somewhere else. 

Traffickers pay parents a modest sum with the promise that their children will be wealthy when they return. The children are then taken to various parts of the country where they work in extreme conditions.

Ghanaian children are taken to Ivory Coast, Togo, and Nigeria, then used for domestic servitude, as work in the fields, the fishing industry and for prostitution, while children were taken from Burkina Faso pass through Ghana to the Ivory Coast, "said Elsie Johnson, a social worker. 

Although Ghana has signed the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Safety of the Child (ACRWC), children are subjected to many forms of abuse.

Child labour in the agricultural industry

Child labour in the agricultural industry

Today, numerous fishing communities along the coast and also around the Lake Volta, employ hundreds of children in conditions of slavery. 

In the past, the International Immigration Organization (IOM) has been interested in this problem and  implemented a program to assist and return home children involved in trafficking and child labour.

This is the time for the Ghanaian government to make it compulsory for all children to go to school and the adults who often abuse the children should face the full force of the law.