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Opinions Sat, 6 Sep 2014

Inside the solution

Ghana deserves applause. Yeah! No Ebola case has so far been recorded, however, the threat that it can still break out in Ghana still remains. The Ebola virus has tormented severely some of the nations in West Africa to the extent that the international media has labeled one nation ‘the Ebola Country’. Good people Ebola is no joke, it has continued to take lives every blessed day since the day it broke out.

It is like this Ebola has spread to four of the English speaking West African countries leaving out the non English speaking countries. It must be noted that no one is saying it should spread to the non English speaking West African Countries. Of the five English speaking West African countries Ghana still remains standing, although amidst suspicion that Ebola cases has been diagnosed but the government has intentionally failed to disclose that fact because it might create ‘fear and panic’ among the populace.

It is important to know that Ghana did not achieve this feat as the only English speaking country in West Africa that is currently officially Ebola free by chance- a lot of planning and thinking went into it and this must not be taken for granted by anyone or seen as a mere accomplishment. This simply underlines the fact that Ghana is still the only ‘shinning black star in Africa.’

Education on the Ebola virus has been heightened, Insurance for doctors who will treat Ebola patients has been postulated, setting up of Ebola treatment centers, giving of surgical gloves to toll collectors (T.C’s), setting up of Isolation centers, releasing funds to tackle the disease, political will to prevent the disease to mention a few. No wonder the United Nations Organization has decided to use Ghana as a center to move logistics to the other severely affected nations. It is all good. We should all applaud Ghana once more.

However, there seem to be a great concern that if not well addressed can bring all these efforts made by Ghana to prevent the outbreak of Ebola in the country to ground just like that- at the snap of a finger. It looks very minute but taking a second critical look at it shows that it is really the largest dent in all the efforts Ghana has made to curb the virus. That dent is the surgical gloves given to the toll collectors (T.C’s).

In fact, at first look, it is the best way. ‘Let them wear the gloves to protect them (toll collectors) from contracting the virus from the many hands that pass money to them- they (toll collectors will not catch the virus.’

All the movement to and fro one corner of the country always come to a pause at a toll booth, nobody knows what someone, especially the drivers, has contracted and is carrying from one end of the country to the other. When they pause at the toll booths to pay their toll they might pass whatever- it can be Ebola virus- that they have contracted to the gloves of toll collectors (T.C’s) not the hands of the toll collectors.

The big question is what happens to the gloves after that. Are they thrown away after sometime? Are they changed after money is taken from every single driver? Are they used for days, months? How will the toll collectors know if they have come into contact with someone carrying the virus? These are big questions that need answers.

The scary part is after the toll collectors have taken money from one driver, they use that same glove to take money from other drivers. This looks like a surgeon using one glove to perform multiple surgeries on different people. What this means is that the T.C’s take and pass whatever- it can be Ebola- that is on the glove to those drivers who pay their tolls. In our quest to protect the T.C’s, we might spread the virus to other people especially drivers should any T.C has the Ebola virus on his or her glove. Let us find a better way.

Hey drivers you all should wear gloves too.

From ; Asamoa Ernest Yeboah (concerned citizen)

Location: Kasoa, Central Region, Ghana/ West Africa.
Columnist: Yeboah, Asamoa Ernest