There is a looming health crisis at Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) in the Ashanti Region but the president, vice president and appointees seem not to appreciate the gravity of the situation.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has chosen the path of silence and party over the KUMACA health crisis that has become parents and guardians’ worst nightmare.
Figures released by the Ghana Health Service indicated at least four students died last week from what has now been confirmed as an Influenza Type A (H1N1) known as swine flu.
The tragic incident brings to 11 the number of students who have died in the school since the first case was reported in March. An autopsy reportedly conducted by some experienced pathologists in Kumasi wasn’t able to establish the cause of death.
That revelation further heightened the fears of Ghanaians, causing parents to throng KUMACA to take their wards. Footage released by the media showed parents and students with swollen eyes, a consequence of sleepless nights. Now we know it’s swine flu and we need to be tact in the way we handle it.
But while we need to commend the health officials who worked to ensure that the cause of death was established, the action of the president, vice president and his 110 appointees need to be condemned.
The president has not commented on the crisis since it resurfaced to the extent that when he addressed the school’s 60th-anniversary celebration over the weekend, he didn’t acknowledge it. Vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has also not said anything about it.
If it had been the birthday of dancehall artiste Shatta Wale, president Akufo-Addo would have sent a tweet to celebrate the day. Surprisingly, his social media handles have been busy this week, but it appears he doesn’t know what is going on as leader of the nation.
I am tempted to believe there is a grand scheme to let the KUMACA crisis slide and this explains why the president naively bought into the school authorities plan to keep the matter from the public domain. But they have failed and their action is to blame for the latest death recorded in the school and the danger ahead because of the withdrawal of many of the students. Out of a population of over 2,800 students, there are only 1,200 currently in the school. This portends trouble for the country.
It is unpardonable for the president to pretend that he doesn’t know what Ghanaians have been talking about especially after being in Kumasi more than twice this week alone to attend the funeral of Asantehemaa. And his appointees, are crying more than Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II who has lost his mother.
Ironically, while some parents are mourning the death of their children, the president, Vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and hundreds of appointees and supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) attended a thanksgiving service held to show appreciation to God for their victory in last year’s general elections. But what’s there to celebrate when people are dying from a curable disease? How do our leaders think?
This is not the first time Ghana has had a president who doesn’t appreciate the weight of a looming disaster, but Akufo-Addo’s attitude is clearly an irresponsible one.
When it mattered most, the president and his appointees chose party over the death of students at KUMACA as well as the failure of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to resolve issues with its prepaid system.
Let me extend my condolences to parents who lost their wards. Akufo-Addo, Dr Bawumia and their appointees can do better.
The author, Austin Brakopowers is a Broadcast journalist at Joy99.7 and views expressed here are exclusively his and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Multimedia Group Limited or Myjoyonline.com. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com
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