23 Key takeaways from John Mahama for Ghana during the infamous JohnMahamaLive today. John Dramani Mahama, the former president of Ghana and flag bearer of the NDC today touched on critical issues that must be looked at devoid of politics. These are issues that are t the heart of a resilient, agile, effective and efficient capacity building to properly this nation beyond policies.
Below are key issues worth noting from the JohnMahamaLive event.
1. WE ARE NOT IN NORMAL TIMES, AT ALL. … if you have nothing essential doing outside of your home, observe the protocols of handwashing as frequently as you can….disinfect commonly used surfaces as while continuing to wash our hands
2. The COVID-19 pandemic and its outbreak in Ghana has brought out the very best in all of us. The enthusiasm and the sacrifice of our health workers are superb.
3. I am elated that my government’s heavy investments in health infrastructure is paying off today.
4. Health workers, across the country, still, do not have personal protective equipment. This is obviously because we did not plan early as a country and our importation of test kits was also late. 100 PPEs together with other items and drinking water to them.
5. Over a total of 500 PPEs together with 500 gumboots valued at 300,000 Ghana Cedis to the COVID-Team to be presented to a number of health facilities, particularly, the Korle Bu and Tamale Teaching Hospitals.
6. Additional 150 PPEs, at a cost of 90,000 Ghana Cedis, to reach out to other facilities in the regions. That puts the total number of PPEs we will be handing over to 650 sets at a cost of 390,000 Ghana Cedis.
7. New NDC administration, we will consider an insurance package woven into the conditions of service of our health personnel.
8. It is with great humility that I note that the massive investments we made in health facilities during my tenure as President have become the mainstay of the response to the novel virus. This marks progress and demonstrates what vision and foresight can do in nation-building.
9 Our people stand to suffer tremendously if such diseases are allowed to take us by surprise. I propose the immediate development of a National Infectious Disease Response Plan that clearly sets out the specific steps to be taken to prevent the entry of such diseases, quickly arrest them even if they do enter our shores at a very early stage and reduce their impact to the barest minimum.
10. We must establish another medical research centre with capacity like the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in the Northern part of Ghana.
NEXT 10 out of the 23 Key takeaways from John Mahama for Ghana
11. We must expand the 37 military hospitals, doubling the current bed size.
12. Build an Infectious Diseases Centre there to cater for the Southern sector to help with the management of cases like Ebola and COVID-19.
13. A second and fully-equipped National Infectious Diseases Centre should be built in the middle and Northern Sectors of the country.
14. As part of our national strategic medical stock, we must have such items as PPEs and other vital logistics in place well in advance of any outbreak.
15. A key plank to this strategy is to boost the capacity of our manufacturing firms to produce these items locally to reduce, if not eliminate our dependence on imports which can be unreliable in times like this.
16. Expand the testing centres to include the Navrongo and Kintampo Research Centres, ensuring that Noguchi or KCCR supports them to test more people and on time.
17. Move the deadlines for businesses to submit their SSNIT, Tax returns a few months back, due to many factors including depletion of manpower and difficulties with modalities of payment.
18. We need a proper trickling down economics to alleviate the plight of Ghanaians: Direct distribution- Buffer stock must step in to distribute food stuffs to deprived households in deprived communities, and Expand LEAP to cover many more poor households. Vitamin C, fruits and food supplements should also be distributed.
19. Government through the Ministry of Health must target vulnerable groups such as people with Cancer, Diabetes, Asthma, pregnant women and extend support to them (Hospitals have some data on them).
20. Reduce indirect taxes (zero rate tax on essential products such as sanitizers, wipes, toilet rolls, food for a while).
Final 3 Key takeaways from John Mahama for Ghana
21.Insurance for frontline health workers and security personnel who are fighting COVID-19.
22.ECOWAS & AU- Need for partnerships and consensual efforts to manage borders, leverage on food production capabilities.
23. Negotiate with the Telcos to suppress their prices. Telcos can be assured of a free 6 months extension of licenses – some of which are to expire very soon).