- One thing that has been striking in the last few weeks, is a renewed awareness of the need for something beyond just primary health care. We are beginning to ask questions of ourselves: why do we send so many people out of Ghana when it could be done here?
I have spent my last few weeks settling down. Getting back into the groove of all things Ghana. Not much has changed in one year. A few new buildings here, another road there, same people, same challenges.
Terminal 3 is the big change from a year ago. It is a beautiful glitzy welcome especially at night, heralding big new things, until one plunges into the darkness just a 2 minute drive from the airport. And any new dreams become drowned in the reality of shirked responsibility. The streetlights stand impotently staring down at the dark unmarked roads just minutes outside the modern airport, they shone for a while some time ago, now someone has forgotten to change the bulbs.
It is refreshing to be back with family. It is comforting to walk into the sunlit day with no thought about warm clothing. The birds seem to scream a bit more on this side of the world, their song is closer to the window in the dawning light. The cock crow heralds the mornings again. Home is home.
As workload increases and the vestiges of a better system whittle away along my mind’s horizon, I have introspected in the moments that only systemic inefficiency grants. Sitting in a theatre unused because someone has just not turned up, or waiting for lab results for days rather than minutes because a machine is allowed to fail, I have had some mental space to think.
But this kind of space is not the kind that creative thinking thrives in. This is not the kind of space to conceive ideas that change the world. It is not planned for, and our minds just don’t function like that. And if this is all the space I have, to ventilate mentally, then my output is bound to be compromised. Unless I create an alternative reality.
One thing that has been striking in the last few weeks, is a renewed awareness of the need for something beyond just primary health care. We are beginning to ask questions of ourselves: why do we send so many people out of Ghana when it could be done here? Do we deserve something better than the health care we have as a people? Do we have a plan for our future needs, have we projected our strategies to cover our growing population over the next few decades?
The health care industry is the most complex industry in the world. Navigating its intricacies and leveraging its strengths demand unfettered mental mettle and concerted focus that is not in anyway politically compromised. If our health care is 50 years behind the developed world it is because of choices we made decades ago. And maybe the donor’s demands for us to focus solely on primary care in order to merit the funds they voted, blinded us to our responsibility to develop totally. They were just hired to fund projects, not chart the course of third world progress.
The herbalists still have a field day. The diseases they heal still fill the public information space. The signboards populating the unpaved street sides, promise a better place, better life, better health but only in the way that the person of God, with the million dollar smile spanning significant board space, can provide.
There is a growing understanding of how unacceptable things are, it’s just that the perceived complexity of the way forward, may be overestimated sometimes.
For now, I will settle. Get back to using my tools and doing my best. I will try enforcing on myself the limitlessness that I have the responsibility to actualize as a human being. I will keep reminding myself to ask why not, rather than declare I can’t. I will build on what I can, and collaborate with others on what I can’t. Every small movement will be a push in the forward direction.
If other people made it, so will I.