ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF GHANA: PAUSE THE ONGOING EXERCISE, UNTIL WE CAN DO IT SAFELY

ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF GHANA: PAUSE THE ONGOING EXERCISE, UNTIL WE CAN DO IT SAFELY

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
William Menson started this petition to Electoral commission of Ghana and

THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF GHANA

RIDGE-ACCRA

GHANA

 

July 5, 2020

 

ATTN: MRS. JEAN MENSAH

CHAIRPERSON, THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF GHANA

 

Dear Madam,

A SECOND OPEN LETTER TO GHANA’S ELECTORAL COMMISSION: THERE WILL BE AN EXPLOSION OF NEW COVID-19 CASES AND ALMOST-INEVITABLE DEATHS IF THE ONGOING REGISTRATION EXERCISE CONTINUES

We have taken note of the brazen disregard for all precautions against COVID-19 at the ongoing voter registration exercise.

We wish to reiterate our arguments, made in an open letter to you, dated June 24,2020. In that letter, we provided multiple reasons why massing up people for the sole purpose of getting onto the electoral roll could lead to an increase in the infection rates and the number of deaths from the much-dreaded COVID-19. The response from officialdom was that all public health protocols and precautions against COVID-19 will be adhered to.

Unfortunately, ongoing events across the country have confirmed our worst fears. With an increasing number of people from all walks of life including prominent politicians and colleague healthcare professionals testing positive and succumbing to this disease, it is unconscionable that your commission ignores all caution and still proceeds with this exercise.

We are by this letter appealing to your good self to pause this mass registration exercise until your commission comes up with a safer way of going about this registration. That will prevent the almost-inevitable rise in COVID-19 cases, with its attendant increases in morbidity and mortality and will position you firmly on the right side of history, as a public official who chose to prevent needless deaths.

We will also take this opportunity to caution your good office about the consequences of a continuous rise in COVID- 19 cases on our already-wobbly health system. Reports indicate that the capacity of our isolation and holding centers have been stretched beyond limits by our ever-increasing case count. Data from Ghana Health Service show that up to 25% of our reported COVID-19 cases were detected in the last month alone, a rather worrying indication of our worsening position as a country.  The specific impacts of ignoring this well-meaning admonition include, but are not limited to the following:

1.       Intense pressure on all levers of all our health system. The sub-effects of this include:

a.       A significant reduction in the number of effective health workers available to render preventive, curative, and rehabilitative care for patients. This will occur because the already high number of infected health workers is likely to remain on that trajectory, with a concomitant increase in the number of deaths from COVID-19 if care is not taken. In addition, a higher number of specialist staff would be required to take care of the ever-increasing number of “sick people” with COVID-19 leading to even fewer health workers available to treat other non- COVID-19 conditions.

b.       Increasing pressure on our already inadequate health infrastructure. Already, many facilities are running out of bed space for not only COVID-19 patients, but also people seeking care for other conditions. The resultant effect of this will be that patients would be turned away from health facilities, with accompanying increases in morbidity and mortality. We do not want a resurgence of the “no bed syndrome” in the middle of this pandemic.

c.       A deterioration of health service delivery, owing to factors such as missed appointments, increasing stigma and self-medication with a decline in health outcomes. Many people we have interacted with have declined to go on their mandated reviews and have resorted to self-medication. This will potentially lead to complications and death, due to non-COVID-19 causes

 

2.       Increasing morbidity and mortality, with attendant reduction in productivity. We have been informed of precautions your commission intends to take to minimize new infections. We respectfully submit that given the high levels of excitement generated during political activity, these will not be complied with. The first two days of the exercise and the recent nationwide NPP primaries are a cautionary tale of what will transpire if our well-intentioned admonition is ignored. Hundreds of people massed up at multiple locations, ostensibly oblivious of the danger of close contact. We are reliably informed that several people who took part in this exercise have tested positive for COVID-19, with at least one death in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

We would entreat you to treat this correspondence with a lot of thought and measured reflection, thinking rightly about the primacy of life before any other considerations.

At this juncture, two choices lie before you:

1.       PAUSE the mass registration, figure out safer ways of carrying it out and prevent Ghana from suffering potentially thousands of deaths or

2.       Continue with the exercise in this form and be remembered by posterity as leaders who supervised an exercise that allowed for the loss of multiple lives.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Thank you

Best regards,

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!