It appears that we have become so familiar with the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic and its effects that we are losing sight of the overall impact on us as human beings, breadwinners and citizens, as well as responsible people with a duty to protect ourselves and others.
For those who are lucky not to have a family member afflicted by the disease, its poison appears to be light years away and possibility of us being infected very remote. However, for those who visit hospitals to be treated or see family people, the reality is still stark and grim.
But that may be, probably, because the numbers of those dead or convalescing or getting infected have drastically reduced as a result of interventions put in place by government, including testing, tracing and treating.
However more secured we have become, particularly in this part of the world, the harrowing pictures of doctors in other parts of the world overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, morgues overflowing with dead bodies and crematoriums blazing with rituals should scare us to sit up and commit ourselves to soldier on in collectively fighting the pandemic.
From the US and UK, through Canada, Russia, Germany to France and Italy, the reports we see daily on our TV channels show that it is still a long haul decisively winning the fight against the pandemic, without vaccination programmes.
It had been a long battle searching for potent vaccines after we began putting in place preventive measures approved by the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service. Across countries, we embraced the safety protocols in respect of washing our hands with soap under running water, using sanitizers, keeping social distances and getting ourselves masked in public.
Additionally, we were advised on the need to take nutritious diets, particularly laced with fruits and vegetables, to stay healthy while taking our meals hot. The results were satisfactory, and though we still lost precious lives, we were rated among the best in fighting the pandemic.
Heated search for vaccines
It was a whole professional and academic battle when we began a search for potent vaccines in moving up the scale to confront the pandemic, as political propagandists in our part of the sub-region made ugly noises scaring citizens away from credible efforts to save lives while improving livelihoods through support to small scale businesses.
Months into the vaccination initiative, the success rate has been largely impressive, in spite of the negative propaganda and attempts to deprecate certain brands of the vaccines by some professionals.
GHS official launch
Having scored excellent in COVID-19 management at development level, with Ghana leading as among the few nations that scored a positive growth under COVID-19, the imperative to sustain that position and even do better becomes compelling.
Unfortunately, the picture we have at the moment does not seem to suggest that we intend fighting on. From our markets and streets and transport yards through some public institutions and buses, the safety protocols, the compliance of which largely saved us, have been compromised.
We have become complacent and indifferent to the fact that the pandemic is still closer to us than the dress we wear.
That is why we commend the Ghana Health Service and allied agencies, as well as our health sector workers, for bringing the vaccination exercise closer to us in our communities so that we can sustain the fight.
Launching the national five-day programme, dubbed ‘Operation 2.5 million doses in five day’, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, cautioned that the pandemic still has enough venom to cause disease, death and disruption, having pushed even some of the most advanced health systems to the edge.
It is in that light that we appeal to all Ghanaians to ignore the propagandists, and report to the nearest vaccination points to take their doses. Doing so is in our own interests, as we seek to protect ourselves and families as well as livelihoods.