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Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah - Chief Justice

Opinions

For long, many have recognised the gaps in that document we use in ruling our country, but have never attempted to get the entrenched clauses that makes for certain changes to happen swiftly, expunged.

Skilled youths for improved employment

Opinions

Productivity and job creation are critical issues that require urgent attention and the government has initiated policies over the last decade to help the country take advantage of its youthful population.

ICT lessons with students at the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre in Accra

Opinions

Obviously, the pedagogy and practice of teachers have been affected by COVID-19. A family’s financial means has dictated school choice, which inadvertently influences support received, especially regarding digitalisation and online learning.

Hope amidst COVID-19

Opinions

The striking theme in his narrative was God as his sole source of strength and guidance in overcoming all life’s challenges. Much as he was cautious and receptive to directives and general health advice, it was obvious that he was not perturbed.

COVID 19: Economic lessons, electoral implications

Opinions

The economic lessons for Ghana is not to create import substitution industries over-night.

The Confusion With Christianity And Religions

Opinions

For many years, I had a major problem (yes, it was actually a problem) with some of the Sermons I heard my Dad preach from the Pulpit.

Lifting lockdown, raising vigilance

Opinions

The government has cited the impact on the poor and mass testing improvements as a major factor in its decision.

How Simple is Your Simple Wedding?

Opinions

If your simple wedding means feting an entire generation, so be it. If your... The million dollar question is, “How much would you have left after the one day event!?”

The writer, Kobina Ansah

Opinions

I prefer to build my society with it. I prefer to build Ghana with my voodoo! I know you’ve yours, too. In my juju is my strength. Call me the juju man because in it is my divine calling.

The writer, Cesar A. Mba Abogo

Opinions

No one will help us if we do not help ourselves. Africa is no longer asking to be taught how to fish. Africa is already rowing towards the utopia enunciated in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa Union's Agenda 2063.

Four Commandments Every Mentee Should Know About Mentorship. Image credit - Josh Tels

Opinions

Instead of pushing to get closer, build the level of trust they have in you. When they can afford to trust you, they can afford to let you in!

COVID-19: The President Should Serve Positive Vibes Not Invectives

Opinions

Both the incumbent and the opposition have had their flaws in their bid to be in the good books of the citizens. They are always at each other's throat as to who is more knowledgeable in the management of the disease.

Full Text: Prez Akufo-Addo's speech at 2020 Eid-ul-Fitr celebration

Speeches

I wish all Muslims and Ghanaians a happy Eid ul-Fitr, even if a restrained one. Hopefully, the Almighty has listened to the cry of the faithful, through His Mercy, with which he envelopes the month of Ramadan.

Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic, On Sunday, 10th May, 2020.

Speeches

Uncomfortable as these restrictions have been, we have no option but to stay the course. We can only guarantee the safety of each other if we continue to adhere to them. As I have said before, ...

File image - President Akufo Addo

Speeches

Workers of Ghana, job creation is one of the most important priorities of this government. It is the thrust of the social contract, and over the course of our stay in Government, we have taken bold, innovative and urgent steps to realising this. Indeed, the latest Ghana Living Standards Survey states that the rate of unemployment, which stood at 11.9% in 2015, dropped to 7.3% in 2019.

Full Tex: Address To The Nation By President Nana Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic (Update No.8)

Speeches

That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals.

John Mahama writes: Day 20 of lockdown

Speeches

As I noted a few days ago, there is dissatisfaction with the quality and mode of distribution of the relief (food) packages. In some cases, there have been reports of distributions along partisan lines.

FULL TEXT: Akufo-Addo's 7th COVID Update speech (Lockdown lifted)

Speeches

Our success in defeating the virus is largely within our control. That means each and every one of us must exercise, at all times, during this period without the partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi, a strong sense of selflessness, self-control and self-discipline.

Mahama writes on Day 14 of Lockdown: Proposes plans for future pandemics. File image - Ex-president John Mahama

Speeches

We need to project quickly, what the expected peaking of infection will be, and when we will begin to see a flattening of the curve on new infections and hospitalizations.

Full Text: President Akufo-Addo On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To COVID-19

Speeches

The fight against Coronavirus has served as a humbling reminder of the things that matter, the things that cannot be bought, and the things that, all too often, go unappreciated, as a result of the stress of daily life.

President Akufo-Addo Provides Update On Ghana’s Enhanced Response To COVID-19

Speeches

Fellow Ghanaians, as I have said before, all that Government is doing is intended to achieve five (5) key objectives – limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life; and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.

Ghana Lockdown: Full Address by President Akufo-Addo

Speeches

This, in essence, means that everyone resident in these areas must stay at home for the next two weeks. However, if you must go out, it must only be to get essential items such as food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions, or to use public toilet facilities. But, as much as possible, stay at home.

Full text: John Mahama’s address at NDC’s end of 3-day fasting and prayer against coronavirus. File image

Speeches

It is my earnest prayer that at a time such as this, the public welfare will triumph over personal and partisan interest. Our leaders owe this nation not just prayers but a plan too. One that all of us can believe in, ....

File image - President Akufo-Addo

Speeches

Firstly, all our borders, that is by land, sea and air, will be closed to human traffic for the next two weeks, beginning midnight on Sunday. Anybody who comes into the country, before midnight on Sunday, will be ....

Press Release: FDA warns against the use of naphthalene (camphor) as inhalation treatment for Covid-19

Press Release

FDA orders recall of substandard COA FS supplement

Press Release

Coronavirus: All national service personnel directed to take mandatory paid leave

Press Release

Coronavirus: US Embassy Suspends Visa Services in Ghana

Press Release

Ghana confirms 2 cases of 'imported' Coronavirus [COVID-19]

Press Release

Ghanaians Will Not Be Spectators Of Parked Ambulances

Press Release

We rallied behind the President to his clarion call to be citizens. We will not settle to be spectators, especially to parked ambulances. Accordingly, ...

Ghana Integrity Initiative Shortlists Five Personalities For Maiden Integrity Awards

Press Release

Ensuring SME health in COVID-19 times

Features

Another unprecedented economic recession is not far-fetched, as profit losses and economic quarantine are in sight. Even though many businesses will suffer disruptions, there must be ways to get SMEs thriving.

Moono Mupotola, Director of Regional Development and Regional Integration, AfDB

Features

The African Development Bank, UNECA and the AU Commission launched the Africa Regional Integration Index Regional Integration Index report last week. Why does it matter?

File image - Mr Mevlut Cavusoglu, the author.

Features

Mr Ken Ofori Atta — Finance Minister

Features

The overall effect has been a vicious cycle of low investment, low growth, low revenue and further low investment, as public sector wages, bearing no discernible relationship to productivity continually strain the fiscus.

Delali Tettey Dzidzienyo, the author

Features

When Ghana's President, H.E Nana Akufo Addo announced the decision to oblige people to wear face masks in public spaces, it was as if Ghana had an overdue pregnancy expecting the birth of mask designers. Suddenly the "maskonomics" movement was born.

File image - A flooded scene in Accra, 2016

Features

The worsening trend of flooding in Accra, in particular, is partly due to the fact that landowners, who develop these structures have the penchant of occupying the entire space of the parcel of land with the structure, such that, no room is left to accommodate their building materials, such as, sand, gravels, blocks, etc.

Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng

Features

In Accra, people are behaving as if the virus is not real, which is what a growing number of people believe. Some people are openly doubting the existence of the virus.

To Finance its Energy Transition and Industrialization, Africa needs to Think Local

Features

For Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic is turning into a wake up call to find better ways to industrialize, chief amongst them being access to reliable, cheap and clean energy

International day of the family and why it is important to celebrate family and its benefits

Features

Parents and sibling are the closest and the biggest security in our families. The kind of person we become depends of the families we grow in. this year’s theme is “Families in Development”.

Coronally speaking, covidly inspired

Features

Perhaps the most vivid imagery created in my mind happened when in reporting the first case of COVID-19 in the Upper West Region, the Regional Minister, in sombre reflection, announced at a news conference that “the virginity of the Upper West Region with regard to COVID-19 has been broken”.

Ignatius Baffour Awuah — Minister, Employment and Labour Relations

Features

Conceivably, workers would want to call to mind actions taken by management in the course of the pandemic, the effect on their members and have an indication of the way forward.

COVID-19: Rescue The Perishing Private Schools Teachers. image credit - scooper

Features

Spare a prayer for private school teachers in this trying moment and stretch a helping hand by sending a token if you are in a position to help, for they are really struggling to keep body and soul together.

Fighting A Tiny, Unseen Enemy; The War Between Humanity And Coronavirus

Editorials

We all have been asked to stay indoors so we are not attacked by an enemy we don't see.

Commendable action by La Nkwantanang-Madina Assembly, but...

Editorials

At the Zongo Junction, about eight assembly guards and policemen are seen constantly directing pedestrians who come to stand by the side of the road waiting for vehicles to stop for them to cross to use the footbridge.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (in blue) in a bilateral talks with the President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Editorials

Cuban doctors offer health care to the world's poor because they have big hearts.

Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources.

Editorials

Indiscriminate disposal of refuse, generated at homes and workplaces, is a common feature, which if not tackled, ...

Export of nurses innovative

Editorials

But there are other areas where we can take advantage, as we may have a competitive edge over other nations.

Mother tongue may be our development launch pad. Image credit - ghanagrio

Editorials

Many scholars have posited that language develops with the rise and development of a society. Perhaps the most instructive postulation is that language dies when a society dies.

Cocoa farmers deserve a bigger share of the pie

Editorials

Sadly, however, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have little to show for their efforts at leading the sustenance of an industry that is equal to or more than the combined value of their national outputs ...

TIME TO TAKE HIV TREATMENT SERIOUS

Editorials

It is regrettable that Ghana who was tipped as far back as 2012 to be the first country on the African continent to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS has not as yet succeeded.

Press Freedom Must Mean Freedom And Responsibility

Editorials

Truth is that some media professionals have taken freedom of the press for granted and thrown professional ethics to the abyss.

COP Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah

Editorials

It is also very disappointing that the police service is behaving as if it has no communication policy in place. A senior officer says the girls have been found or their whereabouts are known but in the same breath the very Police Administration denies the abducted victims have been located.

Pay attention to the roads

Editorials

The importance of roads is well appreciated, viewed against the backdrop that they link producers to markets, workers to workplaces, students to schools and the sick to hospitals.

File image – Circa 2015, an unidentified location in Accra following a heavy downpour that left parts of the capital severely flooded.

Editorials

As if we were possessed then, all of a sudden we discovered all the causes and solutions to floods. We were overtaken by a certain powerful force to put measures in place to curtail once and for all the flooding menace.

File image - Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Letters

The best these unions could do was to write a letter to the GES to reject government’s intention to reopen the schools. This response, in my opinion, was an impulsive action that was not well thought out.

An Open Letter To The Director-General Of Ghana Education Service (Ges) On The Proposal To Re-Open Schools

Letters

The question is, would these union leaders seek for extension of the schools' lockdown if they were in the private sector and their salaries depended on the school fees collected? Certainly not!

Lessons From The Tema Covid-19 Factory Spread...

Letters

File image - Former president John D. Mahama (L) exchanging pleasantries with VP Mahamudu Bawumia in this undated image.

Letters

The other day, I met Sanatu, daughter of Mashu the shoemaker. She was being tickled in the dark by Yaamuha, the village womanizer. I detested what Yaamuha, known for his touch and go, hit and run, machinations, was about to do to the daughter of ...

Former presidetnt, John D. Mahama. File image

Letters

Unlike Akufo Addo who was in his usual belligerent best when you were battling to prevent Ebola from entering Ghana, you are offering practical recommendations and solution to this government to lift us from the doldrums.

President Akufo-Addo. File image

Letters

Mr President, the tone and spirit of the circular inviting the district level teams for training almost swept me off my feet.

Deputy Attorney-General Godfred Dame

Letters

An open letter to the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to review his directives on Covid-19

Letters

Mr. President, on the issue of travel ban, why is the travel permit limited to only countries that have recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19?

ON COVID-19: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND GHANAIANS

Letters

In the circumstances, please MoH, “make SOME payments” owed to Health Service Providers. It is no use entrusting our health to MoH when MoH is being quarantined by Service Providers for unpaid arrears.

Marricke Gane Writes to NDC and NPP Sympathisers: We are in a new dispensation. One that requires doing things differently

Letters

No One was born, with NDC or NPP in their blood. We were ALL born with Ghana in our Blood. NPP and NDC will come and Go. If Ghana goes well, it does for us all.

Kan Dapaah (c) with Chantelle Kujawu. Image credit - ghanapage

Letters

You see, our elders say that a bird that flies off the earth and lands on an anthill is still on the ground. Yes, it is ...

Open Letter To COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah

Letters

You are an injurious meretricious "poster-girl" of the Ghana Police, a true and valuable example of why blind affirmative action is unhealthy to the inviolable progress of every institution and/State.

Ambassador Shi Ting Wang, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana

Interviews

How will China help Ghana fight against the COVID-19?

2019 conference on land policy in Africa: why it matters for the continent - Cosmas Milton Ochieng

Interviews

The theme of this year’s Conference on Land Policy in Africa is “Winning the fight against corruption in the land sector in Africa

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed he gave his first interview to a Western news organization in late May, when he spoke to the Voice of America’s Horn of Africa service reporter Eskinder Firew, in Addis Ababa in Amharic.

Interviews

Bishop John Bonaventure Kwofie

Interviews

How can somebody like me from a small tribe - the Ahanta people in the Western Region - be called to go to work in Accra; I mean how are the people going to receive me?

DecoKraft’s Akua Obenewaa Donkor

Interviews

My chocolatier journey began when I came across the word “chocolatier” in a magazine. It piqued my curiosity, ...

Angolan businesswoman, Isabel dos Santos

Interviews

In 2013, according to research by Forbes, her net worth had reached more than three billion US dollars, making her Africa's first billionaire woman. Five years have passed ever since and her wealth has continued to grow.

Related: Exclusive Interview: Marricke Kofi Gane Talks Political Future and More - Part 3

Interviews

AA: Like any armchair football coach, the armchair politician’s task is always the easiest; it becomes a different story when the reality hits him in office. What is your take on that?

Exclusive Interview: Marricke Kofi Gane Talks Political Future and More – Part 2

Interviews

Well, let me put it this way – it is not enough if I wish to stand – the people must also want me to stand, after all, they will be the ones to vote for me. What I can say however is this - if I do make an announcement to stand in 2020, it will be because the people believe in me. Do I believe I am ready myself?

Exclusive Interview: Marricke Kofi Gane Talks Political Future and More - Part 1

Interviews

I am not sure there is a very new me from when we last spoke. I think it’s more the case that the Author side of me has been asked to proceed on leave, hahaha, and my more vocal and politically inclined self, awakened. Both have always been there.

The developing world is an easy target for populists – Kofi Annan

Interviews

There has been much debate about democratic dysfunction in the advanced world due to paralyzing polarization exacerbated by fake news and social media manipulation. Isn’t this also an issue in the fledgling democracies of the developing world, from Malaysia to Kenya, Nigeria and elsewhere?

The story is titled 'The Shimmer in the Photo Album', and it revolves around 4 children and their grandfather, and a series of time-porting adventures and mysteries they go through. The title was purely to create curiosity and thereby encourage anyone to pick up through book.

Abel Manomey (1st left) celebrates a goal with Gt. Olympics teammates. File image credit - @images_image

Interviews

SA: I find your reference to the use of occultism/juju in the Ghana Premier League very intriguing. I do recall a video on Twitter of several Gt. Olympics players walking backwards into a stadium with hopes of picking up the 3 points as they sought to escape relegation towards the end of the 2017 season. Did that really happen or was that clip a prank?

Made In Ghana Inventions

Commentary

One is fascinated by the indigenous but swift technological response to combating this virus, especially the simple but innovative technologies developed so far by the engineering and technology community. Several technologies have been developed across the globe to combat the virus.

Choosing between hand washing and drinking water in times of COVID 19: A deadly dilemma in rural Ghana

Commentary

COVID-19 And The God Factor

Commentary

No one can tell or predict, with even global systems that have worked reliably over the years, how and when this Covid-19 pandemic will slow down or be completely eradicated.

Historic Visit Of Overlord Of Dagbon To Jubilee House

Commentary

The visit became necessary following the restoration of peace after a two-decade chieftaincy dispute.

The Commissioning And Distribution Of 307 Ambulances

Commentary

It is not enough to have mere vehicles serving as ambulances to carry people on stretchers from one location to the other for medical care. A well established national ambulance system should …

Privacy and security settings exist for a reason. Make good use of it. Learn how to use it to protect your information.

Rice farms at Wheta Irrigation Project

Commentary

Ghanaians have fed on the so-called perfumed foreign rice to the extent that the consumption of locally produced rice is at an all-time low, even though it is very nutritious and healthier.

South Africans and foreign nationals wave the Ghana flag in Yeoville, outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday July 2, 2010. The African continent is rallying behind Ghana scheduled to play in the quarterfinal World Cup soccer match against Uruguay later in the day in Port Elizabeth. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Commentary

All this goes to point out that we need to come together in peace, whether as political players, economic and social actors or even as religious people. If the contribution of ....

Why Standards?

Commentary

The principle of creation and the standards that go with it require all human beings to show interest in standardisation so as to be able to ensure quality products for everyone on earth.

Termination Of PDS-ECG Agreement

Commentary

It is worthy of note that several government functionaries including the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu and his Deputy Owuraku Aidoo had described the contract with PDS as fraudulent.

Plastic Waste Menace In Ghana

Commentary

Latest in Category

Our Columnists

Grid List

JJ versus JDM… & other matters

At Large

Knowing it was going to change the register altogether in 2020, why did the EC go ahead to organise a limited voter registration exercise in June 2019?

My eyes don’t have to be in flames to show they have seen red, the Fantes say, and I have always wanted to avoid the label of a Jean Mensa-basher. Having complained once, therefore, I didn’t want to repeat myself. Truth, however, is that the Electoral Commission’s (EC) independence has cost Ghana dearly and financially.

The writer, Elizabeth Ohene

At Large

There are those who specialise in organising events; they plan the décor, they hire out the crockery, they have huge warehouses full of tables, chairs, fancy plates and cutlery and glasses and table linen; they employ carpenters, decorators.

One thing does lead to another.

Elizabeth Ohene writes: Place of joy, gone silent

At Large

The state of the African Regent Hotel broke my heart, but I am writing not about this particular hotel really, I am using the experience to highlight what is happening to hotels in general.

It is not often I am lost for words nor reduced to total incomprehensive silence. I have lived through quite a number of crises in my long life and have been suitably impressed with how devastating this current global crisis has been.

Elizabeth Ohene writes... Pre-existing conditions

At Large

I have now come to the conclusion that pre-existing conditions are not necessarily physical, they are more a state of mind. For example, look around our streets and see the number of signposts advertising cures for diabetes, kidney, lung and heart diseases. We believe in cures and have always struggled with the concept of managing a health condition.

There are new terms that have entered our everyday language with the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

President Nana Akufo-Addo

At Large

It was my maiden open letter to any ‘big’ person in this country, never mind one who occupies the top spot and oozes such power that he can sign a piece of paper requiring us all to stay home and we will have no choice.

On Sunday evening, I began to pen an open letter to the President through this column.

The writer, Elizabeth Ohne

At Large

Our doctors, nurses and other health workers have shown dedication and professionalism during the crisis. Our scientists and researchers have demonstrated that given the proper equipment and incentives, they can rise to the occasion and excel in the world any day.

Right at the beginning of our Ghana COVID-19 story, I wrote that pandemics tend to expose societies for their weaknesses and strengths. I did not mention luck but I think luck is an important ingredient in how the pandemic pans out.
Two months into the journey, the statement about strengths and weaknesses is proving to be quite worryingly true. Let me get the luck bit out first.

The writer, Elizabeth Ohene

At Large

Last Sunday, Mr Akufo-Addo announced the government was about to start a huge hospital building programme. He said the pandemic had exposed just how badly underserved we were with hospitals and he would build and equip 94 new ones within the next year.

In our series of letters from African writers, journalist and former Ghana government minister Elizabeth Ohene writes about the new normal - from how to hold a socially distant election to attending online funerals.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have come to accept that our lives have been turned upside down.

The author, Bright Simons

At Large

By the time the dust settled, it had become clear that it wasn’t massive investments into diagnostic assays and reagents, not to talk of RT-PCR testing machines, that had catapulted Ghana to its celebrated position of number two in the league table of African countries that have carried out the most tests.

A curious thing happened about a week ago. The Government of Ghana, which has been touting its investments into Covid-19 testing capacity to universal acclaim, as the country galloped up the continental league tables, suddenly found itself in the dock. Before long, prominent health leaders in the country were accusing the Government of massaging testing numbers for PR benefits.

The writer, Elizabeth Ohene

At Large

A lot has been said and written about the poor and disadvantaged in our society not being overawed by the threat of COVID-19, because they see hunger as a bigger and more immediate threat.

At the beginning of the year, I was having a conversation with a friend about what Ghana and Africa should do to enable us to make this elusive breakthrough to economic success.

Front Line

Here And There

Because I have gone round town, the social distancing is dissipating. The trotros are packing up again. The okadas are picking passengers again. The masks are won like fake beards, or hair bands, or sometimes like bow ties. Sometimes, maddeningly they are taken off ...

I know something of the helplessness of severe illness. I have memories from childhood. I have also had some experiences in my adulthood. It is not a good thing to be ill. The fact that an illness has a cure, takes nothing away from the naked terror of its journey through the body. Sometimes, I have been ill, and have known exactly what to do. I suffer nonetheless.

Ghana Covid-19

Here And There

This is the time to protect our limited numbers of medical people, who expose themselves to this virus on a daily basis. No expense must be spared. No strategy must be spurned.

I know a little about stigma. It was the year 2005. I had just finished my first surgical residency exam. I had left Battor and spent three weeks in Accra burning through anatomy, physiology and histology pages. I battled sleep, tiredness, I pushed through the days, until the final one when I stood in front of the examiners. And they told me 30 minutes after the exam, that I had passed. That was just how things were done. You knew your fate, almost as soon as you finished the exam.

Pushing Forward

Here And There

And a lockdown cannot quieten the busy streets, because sometimes the streets are an extension of the accommodation. Sometimes the place of convenience is at an inconvenient distance away from the home, and no policeman can do anything about the queue of nature’s call.

The plot thickens. There is talk of peaks, and curve flattening in the atmosphere of a pandemic gathering speed. Physical distancing seems like a dismissed fairy tale. A lockdown seems like that unachievable haven, that could just have offered some security… but the door is closed.

The scene in one of Accra's business district after the lockdown was lifted. Image credit - myjoyonline

Here And There

COVID19 closed the doors. And suddenly we can see the chasm for what it really is. But we have accepted it for so long, that it seems unchangeable, unbridgeable, and unconquerable.

I have part Fante ancestry. Maybe it is the reason why I love good bread, and cannot let delectable pastry pass by unappreciated. And this morning, I was on my way to visit my Mother, who is the genetic channel for this part of me. All the more reason I could not just pass by the bakery shop at the filling station along the road.

Lockdown Ends - Image credit - AFP

Here And There

For now, we cannot afford to forget the habits we have acquired on masking, social distancing and hand hygiene. The lockdown may have ended, but ...

Lockdown ends. The streets are already beginning to fill again. There is a new item of colour on the landscape of faces now: masks. I am learning to recognize people by the pattern on the masks they wear. It is a different world now. I don’t think things will ever be the same again. This virus has ravaged through the very fabric of our societies. We are living through historic times. This is a transition nobody could have seen coming. The syllabus for life’s textbook has undergone a major revision.

Ghana Lockdown. Image credit - The Hindu

Here And There

The challenge of the times, is keeping this disease boxed in. If people transmit this disease, then it will stop moving when people stay still. The disease will stop spreading, ...

The lockdown continues. An increase in children’s appetite has gone viral, driving down domestic food storage levels everywhere. Even our dog, has been cleaning up her plate on a much more regular basis.

Viral Musing

Here And There

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses with seven different strains. MERS and SARS were the last outbreaks of this family, but none of them ever did what COVID 19 has done.

A virus is an inanimate particle with the capacity to hijack the reproductive capacity of a living being, to produce more of itself. It has no capacity to do anything on its own. It is just a strand of genetic code surrounded by protein membrane. It is even incapable of protecting itself, but give it one chance. And it does not discriminate. Animal cell, human cell. As long as it has a nucleus, it’s game time.

A deserted transportation hub in Accra following the lockdown. Image credit – Ghanaian Times

Here And There

It is not real here yet. It is almost as if we have not seen the havoc that it has wreaked across the world. We are ...

Lockdown begins. I thought, going to work that I would see a ghost town. I did not. The traffic has definitely reduced, but there are still people on the streets. The shops are closed, or closing. The police stops are increasing. The first day, I was underwhelmed. I did not meet a single police man on my way to work. Today, I was stopped more times. The grip is tightening slowly, but maybe not fast enough.

File image - Workers in protective suits conduct RNA tests on specimens inside a laboratory at a center for disease control and prevention, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, Feb. 14, 2020.

Here And There

Right after the turn, the smell of urine usually wafts up, seeping even through the air conditioning vents. Sometimes I meet someone responsible for the stench.

On the final approach home, there is a turn unto a narrow dirt road. It is a left turn over an open gutter, with a limited concrete bridge of a cover. In the centre of the bridge, there is a hole, just big enough for a car tyre to get trapped in.

The Complacency Trap of SARS-CoV-2

Thoughts From Afar

In Ghana, this fatigue is obvious too; for example people find the need to wear face masks a strain. There have been cases also where it is claimed Veronica buckets have been left empty, ...

“But then we get exhausted and we wonder if we can accomplish any of the things we hope for, without destroying ourselves in the process. We ask ourselves if it’s time to quit.”

Giving Meaning to the Phrase “New Normal” Photo credit - Providence Adu

Thoughts From Afar

This supposed new normal is going to be lived in a world where economies are shrinking, unemployment is rife, jobs are hard to find and the current model for transacting all manner of business will not be fit for purpose. More importantly, ...

In Niccolò Machiavelli’s view, “it must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.”

The Role of Rapid Diagnostics in Exiting the COVID-19 Lockdown

Thoughts From Afar

Though very versatile, some have had concerns about their reliability and application in the fight against this novel coronavirus. These concerns primarily relate to the sensitivity of these tests.

“To each, there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.” -Winston Churchill

Avoiding the Generational Legacy of COVID-19

Thoughts From Afar

Considering that on average, the lag time between the taking of samples and the communication of test results in Ghana is approximately seven days, it can be implied that a person who is sampled and later confirmed as positive could cause the transfer of the infection to at least 40 people before he receives his test results and is put in mandatory isolation especially if they are symptomless.

Having fought many viruses for a career, Peter Piot after fighting off COVID-19 opined, “Many people think COVID-19 kills 1% of patients, and the rest get away with some flu-like symptoms. But the story gets more complicated. Many people will be left with chronic kidney and heart problems. Even their neural system is disrupted. There will be hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, possibly more, who will need treatments such as renal dialysis for the rest of their lives”.

Using Data As The Real Armament In This COVID-19 War

Thoughts From Afar

In recent times, I have been concerned about our approach as a country to conversations around data. At a minimum, it comes across as though many have not exorcised their school days demons that showed their faces anytime the math tutor entered the class.

“Objectivity of truth, reality, facts, data – they matter; otherwise, you have the ‘good guys’, the moral persons, in the name of what they call justice, in a fight against what they call injustice, unwittingly adopting the roles of oppressors by persecuting the innocent.”

Fighting a Meningitis Outbreak whilst the Storm of COVID-19 Blows

Thoughts From Afar

Thus, it is possible in this instance to kill two birds with the same stone and fight both COVID-19 and CSM from a public health education standpoint.

In war, the inevitable death of innocent civilians in the prosecution of an army’s agenda is termed collateral damage. Alan Dershowitz goes further by claiming that asymmetrical warfare is a euphemism for terrorism, just like collateral damage is a euphemism for killing innocent civilians.

COVID-19 and the Mental Health Conundrum. Image credit - The Tennessean

Thoughts From Afar

We will end by reminding readers that this war against COVID-19 is not a sprint. If the data and science are to be trusted, we are in this for the long haul and the longer this lasts the more the pressure is going to be put on our collective mental health.

Over seven decades ago Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung stated that “about a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.” By definition, neurosis is a relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviour, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality.

Ghana’s COVID-19 Numbers Game

Thoughts From Afar

The numbers also contain questions. Numbers tell stories the unaided eye cannot see. For numbers to make sense, however, they should be rightly sampled, reported and interpreted. This is because ...

In her book An Invisible Sign of My Own, Aimee Bender opines, “It is all about numbers. It is all about sequence. It’s the mathematical logic of being alive. If everything kept to its normal progression, we would live with the sadness, cry and then walk but what breaks us cleanest are the losses that happen out of order.”

A pharmacist gives Jennifer Haller, left, the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, Monday, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Thoughts From Afar

It is therefore disingenuous if the picture is painted as though Africans will be exclusively selected in a grand scheme by some conspirators in dark suits. It is actually unfair to ...

Elizabeth Bear argues in her book Ancestral Night that “conspiracy theories are really attractive. Figuring out patterns is one of the things that get your brain to give you a nice dose of chemical reward, the little ping of dopamine and whatever else that keeps you smiling. As a result, your brain is pretty good at finding patterns and at disregarding information that doesn’t fit. Which means it’s also pretty good at finding false patterns, and at confirmation bias, and a bunch of other things that can be fatal. Our brains are also really good at making us the centre of a narrative because it’s what we evolved for.”

My Beef With The ‘John’ At Work. Image credit - American standard

This And That

Personally, I don’t engage in the rushed entry business as it is disrespectful in my opinion. How do you relate to a colleague once you conclude that their shit smells bad? Interestingly, ...

I have for a while now come to the somber realization and conclusion that there are quite a few number of people whose behavior around the workplace John need to be readjusted. Either that, or they just have olfactory bearings in serious need of realignment.

Marshae Jones - Alabama Woman Indicted for Death of Her Fetus. Booking image released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

This And That

A pregnant woman, who was shot in the stomach by another woman, was recently charged with manslaughter in the death of her unborn baby.

The state of Alabama has always been somewhat radical. They threw themselves headlong into slavery, and after it was abolished, Alabama championed segregation. The state, and still is, known for unsteady race relations, and from its illustrious history, it’s clear that Alabama is also right-leaning in its tendencies.

Bottled Water Scare - How Can You Know What’s Safe?

This And That

Worse still is that this is not America’s first tryst with sullied drinking water. In April 2014, the Flint, Michigan water crisis ...

In recent news all over the United States, it has been discovered that certain brands of bottled water contain arsenic, a substance that can be deadly in humans. These brands are Starkey Water and Penafiel. According to news reports they were sold at Target, Wal Mart and Whole Foods.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Image credit - Atlas Obscura

This And That

I have no idea what went on inside during the ceremony but the smiles and joy on the faces of parents, ... was enough to signal joy and success of a fortune well-spent at this solely private Catholic girls school.. to provide their daughters an education many of them never had, ...

After frustratingly searching for my phone for several minutes to take a picture of people dumping trash in front of a mail box, I finally came to the realization that I was having a dream, something that I rarely have. This was three Thursdays ago.

Water for Togo

This And That

Tears shouldn’t be the easiest way to have clean water,

Togo’s leaders sit on thrones

Made of gold and bones

The dry, dehydrated bones of the people,

Several cows caught crossing the street around the Achimota Overhead area with flagrant disregard for traffic rules. Photo credit: On the road with Amigo.

This And That

These cows, and many of their other four-legged brethren, not to mention those of the two-legged and winged varieties, can be an eyesore in certain parts of the city. Together, they take care of their private business in full glare of the public, and without fail, fail to clean up after themselves. As for their owners, the less said about their interest in cleaning the public mess, the better.

As someone who dabbled in animal husbandry during his youthful days on a homestead within the city limits of Accra many years ago, and rose to the ranks of a Johnny-do-it-all General Manager, I was really taken aback by a news item from the renowned Associated Press (AP), about lawmakers in one of the States of our own spirited friend, Number Forty-Five, who currently occupies the WH, weighing a trespassing bill against chicken owners in the state of New Hampshire.