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“Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth?” John 1: 46

Radio/TV News on Wednesday, 13 June, 2024 throughout the day, broadcast the story of about 120 containers of drugs/medicines still detained at Tema Harbour for over a year now.


The apparent running-fight between two government agencies, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance over non-payment of customs duties/tax exemption by the Health Ministry, hence Finance not releasing the urgently needed drugs/medicines/medical supplies as Ghanaians die needlessly, defies reasoning.

A member of a recent delegation to Switzerland led by the Minister of Health disclosed that, the Global Fund had given Ghana two weeks to clear the medicines from the port or face appropriate sanctions.

The Global Fund is further said to have stated that, Ghana is the first country in the world to have been unable to clear live-saving drugs from its port after over one year.


Not surprisingly, an angry MP asked the Minister of Health on TV “what country is this?” However, a later picture of the two of them said to have been taken soon after the programme showed them all smiles.

The ongoing Ambulance case also featured prominently on the TV screen as did the difficulties faced by Dialysis patients at Korle Bu. Cape Coast Hospital is said to have shut down its dialysis facility.

Perhaps, the saddest of the multitude of sad stories on TV for the day was the alleged dumping and subsequent death of an accident-victim, 60-year-old lady with dementia at her village Gomoa-Ojobi by officials of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital (TSH), Winneba.

TSH dumps old-lady?

The national outcry against such inhumane treatment was similar to that of Akua Dente who was publicly flogged to death in Salaga in 2023 after being declared a witch who had prevented rainfall.


The Winneba Hospital claims it discharged the patient and left her in a bush after failing to identify her family members.

However, some residents of Gomoa-Ojobi said they saw the ambulance driver removing the 60-year-old patient in a wheelchair and dumping her in the bush.

The Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital, Winneba is said to have been been suspended as investigations continue.

Anything Good?

Recently, a frustrated Ghanaian living abroad, hearing all the negative stories asked sadly, “so can no good news ever come from home (Ghana)?” This was his rendition of the Biblical quote in John 1:46, when Nathanael/aka Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, after he heard Jesus came from Nazareth asked,

“can anything good come from Nazareth?”

This is because Nazareth, where Jesus performed his first miracle turning water into wine, was looked down upon, even by the people of Cana where Nathanael came from, also in Galilee.

With technology, Ghanaians outside Ghana have more access to Ghanaian TV stations than most Ghanaians have at home. They therefore have up-to-the minute account of developments in Ghana, hence the man’s lamentation about no good news coming out of Ghana.

Discussion

As young officers training at the Jungle Warfare School, Achiase in the mid-1970s, my colleagues and I did not think twice as we gulped water from the River Birim to quench our thirst during exercises. The water was so clean and clear we could see pebbles resting on the riverbed more than five feet down with fish happily swimming.


The cold water was refreshing and soothed our parched throats comfortingly. On my most recent visit to Kade, the Birim I saw as we drove over a bridge was a slow moving sludge of mud. Obvious reason? Galamsey! The river was heavily contaminated with mercury and cyanide, with fish life non-existent.

Ghanaians overseas watching Ghana TV see the destruction of our forests and water bodies. They see schools under trees with very few teachers. They see and hear unalloyed arrogance by those who have power.


Patients die needlessly as drugs donated by the Global Fund remain uncleared after a year at the port such that Ghana has to be given a deadline to clear them, or face sanctions.

With all this, why should the frustrating question, “so can no good news ever come from home” not be asked? Going by current trends, it is difficult to be optimistic about Ghana.

However, at the risk of sounding unreasonable/unrealistic, just as nothing good was expected to come out of Nazareth, Jesus came out of Nazareth for mankind.


Similarly, with proper and effectively selfless leadership imbued with humility, respect, integrity and selflessness, Ghana will rise again! We are too blessed to be where we are! A lot of good can come from Ghana.

Since the best form of Leadership is Example, let us the adults of Ghana especially senior citizens use decorous and non-violent language which the younger generation can proudly learn from. Violent “Rambo/Ramboline-like” behaviour must stop. Calm common sense will yield better dividends than an arrogant/rowdy, intemperate-language-using leadership.

Leadership, lead by Example! Followers, WAKE UP!

 
Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association

Nairobi, Kenya

​Council Chairman

Family Health University College, Accra            

[email protected]