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COVID-19: Time to stand, be counted

BY: Dr Patrick Amoah Bekoe

Pandemics and epidemics have generally changed the course of history of the world. From the Prehistoric epidemic which annihilated the whole city of Hamin Mangha in North Eastern China (Circa 3000 B.C.) through the Plague of Justinian (AD. 541-542), which killed over 25 million in Europe to the HIV/AIDS pandemic which at its peak in 2005 to 2012 killed over 36 million, the world has never been the same after the outbreak of these epidemics and pandemics.

In most cases, this has led to new frontiers in medical research and enhanced both national and cross-border unity.

It is in the light of this that I believe humanity will never be the same after we finally conquer the coronavirus pandemic.

When all is said and done, we will all better appreciate the need for one another, collaborative research and the role of the hand of God in the affairs of man.

Contribution

For the past week, my attention has been drawn to the contribution of individuals and corporate organisations towards the fight against coronavirus. I am impressed by the donations from Jack Ma from China, Roger Federer and wife from Switzerland ($1million), Pep Guardiola from Spain (€1 million), Lionel Messi from Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal (one million euros), Rahinna from Barbados ($5 million), Angelina Jolie from America ($1 million), and many other celebrities.

There have been other worldwide online support against the coronavirus fight. My last check on https://www.globalgiving.org/ a GlobalGiving's Disaster Recovery Network, is that about $5 million had been raised by over 4,000 donors.

There are similar support services by the World Health Organisation, World Vision International, United Nations, Red Cross, etc.

Ghana

There have been some noble attempts by some Ghanaian individuals and organisations but I still believe the silence of the large majority is too loud. I read of the support by McDan Foundation, Ken Agyapong, Ghana Association of Doctors in Residency.

The Church of Pentecost, Tobinco Group, Presbyterian Church of Ghana, etc.

The contribution of the media, especially, in giving free airtime towards the coronavirus education cannot be overlooked. These are all laudable but there is the need for more of such contributions from all, especially, the rich and famous.

This is the time for all and sundry to use our gifts towards the service of Ghana. As we applaud the dedicated service of our frontline health workers, immigration officials, police, the military, the government advisory team, the anonymous individuals and organisations, I call on many more to contribute towards the fight.

Support

We all need to support the government financially in the fight against this deadly pestilence. Our religious bodies, especially those who in recent times flaunt their fleet of vehicles and display their mansions, this is the time to support your country.

Our politicians who can mobilise so many millions of cedis for campaign; this is the time to stand up and be counted.

Irrespective of the political divide, you can support the government. This is the time to help in the purchase of test kits and medical personal protective equipment (PPE).

I urge the government, non-governmental organisations, parastatals, religious bodies, political parties and corporate Ghana to start setting up platforms to receive these contributions.

The President has called for support from all.

We should all be reminded by the second stanza of our National Anthem:

“Hail to thy name, O Ghana,

To thee we make our solemn vow:

Steadfast to build together

A nation strong in Unity;

With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,

Whether night or day, in mist or storm,

In every need what’er the call may be,

To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore.”

This is a time for you, you and you to standup and be counted for your beloved country, Ghana.

 The writer is a Principal Engineer with the Department of Feeder Roads/National Councilor of the Ghana Institution of Engineering.