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The Author : Dzifa Amekugee

Open letter to President Akuffo Addo!


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Dear President,

I am a young mother of three children who just immigrated to the US. I have a bachelors degree from University of Ghana, Legon and currently pursuing another bachelors degree in nursing. I hope to venture into medicine and come home to serve our country Ghana, in the near future. You may be wondering why I am giving you my resume and where I may be heading. Well, until I came to the US and until my nursing education, I really never had anything to compare our healthcare system in Ghana to.
I really don’t care about politics and I am not going to play the political blame game here.
I perfectly understand that our nation is not privileged with the technological advancements that may exist here in the US and other parts of the world but I do know that we are blessed with great healthcare professionals. Majority of Ghanaian Healthcare Professionals are passionate about what they do. Unfortunately, there might be a few who are causing too many deaths arising from negligence, maybe, maybe not, but seems more likely!

Maternal mortality is always on the rise in Ghana! Just this quarter, I have lost 3 acquaintances and their newborns during child birth. Each time I get on social media, it’s one hospital story of professional negligence or another that have resulted in death or injury. The list goes on and on. The latest this week was the death of a young boy from Tema! It was alleged by his mother that the doctor gave the child an adults’ dose of a medication that may have resulted in the child’s death. The mother claims the doctor admitted to the fact that the dose was higher than she had prescribed, yet she asked the “poor” lady to administer the dose anyway! Unfortunately, the child died hours after that!
Now my questions are:
1. Are there any regulatory legislations that check healthcare negligence’s or ethics in Ghana?
2. Are healthcare professionals held accountable for malpractices in Ghana?
3. Are there standards of practice , be it for nurses or Doctors or other health professionals in Ghana?
4. Is there a body or institution that monitors healthcare progress or problems, and or conducts research on how we can improve in Ghana?
5. Are leaders responsible for healthcare management knowledgeable and experienced to improve healthcare delivery in Ghana?
These are the only five questions I badly need answers for.

While I patiently wait and hope my concerns would be addressed, I would attempt to make these recommendations to whom it may concern. Let’s face the realities on the ground and begin to improve our basic human relations. Maybe we can start communicating to patients in a more professional and dignified manner to enable them begin their healing process in a conducive environment. Maybe hospitals and managements can devise a platform on which doctors can send prescriptions to other healthcare professionals or print them (or even via text) instead of the old fashioned handwriting , “scribbling”, that will be misconstrued and result in death or injury. Maybe we can encourage and devise ways for better patient education and participation in their individualized care processes. Maybe we can take off our ‘title garments’ and come to the level of our patients to eradicate the unnecessary tension and intimidation, between health care professionals and patients. Maybe we can begin to take our work ethics more seriously and realize that we are dealing with lives of human-beings. Maybe we can start from these little but important things, then we can begin to provide better healthcare to our people.

I appreciate our health care professionals and mean no malice but the truth is that, there has been many instances of lack of empathy towards patients and without empathy, one can easily gain immunity to real human regard.

I would appreciate that we all come together and work at a better healthy future. I believe in Ghana, God bless Ghana! God bless our Leaders God bless our Health Care Professionals!
Sincerely,
A concerned Ghanaian.
Dzifa (Dzisel).

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