Obroni’s Mind: My 2016 Health Manifesto

So I am back from work and expecting to watch a local movie to relax after my stressful day, yet the TV station decides to show a flagbearer who is making noise. Mere political talk, same promises every time.

Like seriously? You lie to me for power?

Yes it is true a president cannot implement all the promises he makes during a campaign moment, but having a reality check Manifesto serves as a guideline to policy formulation.

The most important thing to my family and I is health. With a good health, we can work and do any other thing to contribute our quota to the nation’s GDP.

I expect all the political parties to critically analyse health issues in their manifesto. My family will only vote if the issues raised are realistic.

Ain’t it surprising that Cholera and malaria are the number one killers in Ghana? What happened to the sanitation laws? There should be a review and enforcement of our sanitation laws. I miss those days when sanitation officers popularly known as “tankas’ were trooping in and out of houses to ensure a clean environment.

Recently I heard in the news that the people of Nsawam had no portable water, yet there were government officials parading in the town in their luxurious vehicles. Provision of clean and potable water to all towns, facilitating and supporting of the growth of a vibrant pharmaceutical Industry could help make available anti-malaria drugs anytime and any day must be key to every political party.

Political parties should seek to improve rural access to medical
Care by providing wide incentives for rural Practice for public and private medical practitioners. Nurses graduate from school and their posting becomes a problem when society yearns for their immediate service. Posting newly-qualified specialists to Regional and District Hospitals must be looked at.

Equip Regional and District Hospitals with Pharmacists and other professionals.
Build more facilities to reduce queues in the hospitals.

Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) must be strengthened and given the needed powers to prosecute. It’s amazing to find fake drugs, fake foods and drinks, contaminated or expired products on the market. How did all those products get into the market? Illiteracy rate in the country is high and not all will know what a fake drug is hence the authorities in charge must work to protect the vulnerable from being exposed to products that can harm them.

Political parties should clearly state in their manifestoes how they seek to Step up the fight against drug trade and also their implementation of our mental health policy.

How can a psychiatric nurse go on demonstration and a possible strike for failure on the government’s part to pay them or provide drugs when we know the nurse and doctor ratio to psychiatric patients is on the low?

As I sit in the Trotro to work every day, I meet several people promoting different herbal medicines. Traditional medicine has been accepted by the populace but there needs to be a regulation to check its abuse. There should be a proper and effective Integration of traditional medical practice into the orthodox health care system. In as much as I am aware that some integration is ongoing, no proper evaluation has taken place to assess the impact of the policy as well as its effectiveness.

There should be an ambulance service to all districts and regional hospitals for emergency cases.1.9363238

The National Service Scheme, a good and a bad servant must be checked. A possible instant issuance of an NHIS card, Expansion of the NHIS benefit package to possibly cover family planning, and the physically challenged. Strengthening the NHIS both in terms of coverage and effectiveness as well as administrative and operational efficiency must be key to every party with an Improvement in the efficiency of the provider payment mechanisms.

My child was diagnosed of pneumothorax only to be told it’s not covered by the health insurance. He would have died if there was no money to cater for the cash and carry system.

My kid sister Betina died minutes after child birth. And even in this modern age, we still suffer from a high rate of maternal mortalities. Enrolling pregnant women unto the NHIS freely is not the solution but ensuring all their drugs are also supplied freely and maximum care given to them will reduce the infant-maternal mortalities. Several children have been rendered orphans due to this. I miss Betina. She was my only sister. May her soul rest in peace.

Is it not appalling to visit a government hospital and they complain of Plaster and even Gloves? A surgeon cannot function properly at the theatre without basic consumables like cotton wool and yet these are all too often in shortage in various hospitals and the burden transferred to patients to provide. A political party that seeks to Promote the local manufacture of hospital items such as Plaster, POP, Gauze, Cotton wool, Wooden Tongue Depressors and Gloves (surgical & examination), Syringes and Needles will surely have my vote.

Several of our leaders do travel abroad to seek medical care. Our specialised health facilities and qualitative skills should be tapped to attract foreigners to come and use the facilities and pay their medical fees in foreign currency. Why must our leaders travel to seek medical attention abroad when they have the capacity to transform that of Ghana?

AIDS is real!!!
The nation is acting like the disease has gone on hibernation. Priority should be given to the education of this killer disease. I wouldn’t even say anything about the anti-retroviral drugs and its frequent shortage. Hmmmmm boi!!!!

Looks like I am giving up on voting but not voting will mean giving power to someone who do not deserve it and will lead the nation into a pit.

I expect to read these in a political party’s manifesto to attract my vote. My health is supreme to me and hence cannot be taken for a ride. Until then, I’m off to bed. Good night.

This article was first published in the Ghana Medical Association magazine
By Maame Broni | Sandra.frimpong94@gmail.com, Sandra.frimpong@kasapafmonline.com | Facebook: Maame Broni, Instagram : @Maame Broni, Twitter: @ Maame Broni.

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