Open Letter By Dr Rashid Pelpuo to the President of the Republic, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in the Upper West Region.
6th April 2020
Your Excellency am writing to you today because of the loud silence and lack of expeditious action over the devastating CSM infection in the Upper West Region. I had reason to draw attention of your Government on the floor of Parliament about the effect of the disease in the Region but unhappy with the lack of urgency with which the Ministry of Health is tackling the problem.
Mr President as at the last count the Region recorded 214 infections and still counting with 33 deaths from this infectious deadly disease. Both the rate of infection and resultant deaths are more than the national averages of infections and deaths from COVID 19
The report of the extent of infection came to us from the website of a local Fm stationnn, Home Radio Fm. Painfully according to the report the news about the infection came out as an issue when the Regional Director of Health was reporting on COVID 19 infections in the Upper West Region and mentioned it in passing. It was the Fm station that streamlined it to the public. This is how the disease and its devastation is underreported and poorly attended to so far.
Mr President our nation is at a standstill because of our fear that COVID 19 disease will cause deaths amongst us. With the CSM infections deaths are occurring beyond those caused by COVID 19 but we do not see Government acting with the an equal amount of exigency and demonstrating same kind of leadership!!! Am wondering what kind of logic we working with.
Your Excellency most disturbing is the report that needed drugs used to treat the disease which are in short supply were donated by an individual. Those drugs are not sold in the market and can only be supplied by government.
What this means is that government rather than supplying the Regional central medical store with the drugs, decided to hand them over to that individual who then presented them as her own effort seeking to reap political gains out of it. What happens if that individual, who obviously is not a health personnel mishandled and contaminated the drug? This to a large extent is disrespectful to the lives of the people.. It is unacceptable and condemnable.
Mr President we need a conscious expidicious action by you and your government in the same way we’re fighting the COVID 19 disease. This lack of urgency and disregard of the lives of people in the Upper West region cannot be tolerated.
I call on you Mr President to address this issue and to apply some of the reliefs you graciously have spelt out in the fight against COVID 19 to the fight against the Celebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in the Upper West Region
Mr President we all know these are no normal times and with these uncertain moments of our lives as Ghanaians we need to close our ranks and work together as citizens with you providing impartial leadership. The people of the Upper West Region are looking up to that leadership that dispenses justice and equality in addressing our present two prong attacks in the Upper West Region and the nation at large.
I thank you for your attention
Hon Dr Rashid Pelpuo
MP, Wa Central
Upper West Region