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No ambulance: ‘Okada’ to the rescue of ‘dying’ woman

Source The Ghana Report/ Dave Alamisi

A set of photos, of a woman being conveyed to the hospital on a commercial motorcycle, have gotten social media talking in the wake of a campaign to get the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to release to hospitals ambulances parked at the forecourt of the Parliament House.

Striking when least expected, a medical condition that left a woman unconscious got some members of the public shocked when the patient, believed to be in her 30s, was bundled behind the motorbike in a desperate attempt to save her life.

It was September 20, 2019, at the Abor Junction on the Keta-Aflao road in the Keta Municipal District of the Volta Region that the sad event unfolded. Even though it happened within a flash, the scenes did not escape the camera lens of Health Blogger, Kobby Blay, who was with colleagues in the area for a Photowalk in the morning.

“I was buying something at the market when I saw them put a woman behind a bike. I had packed my cameras but I quickly had to bring it out to get that [shot],” he recounted in an interview with theghanareport.com.

 

The dark, frail patient at the point of death, with only a cloth wrapped up to her chest, was carried onto the motorcycle.

Unable to sit still, an elderly woman believed to be in her forties helped the patient by wrapping her hands around the rider’s torso so she does not fall off the motorcycle.

The helper was left with no choice than to sit behind the patient to hold her in position with the three persons travelling on the same motorbike.

With shouts of “hurry, hurry” in the Ewe parlance by onlookers who had gathered at the scene, caution was thrown to the wind as the three sped off without helmets to the nearby health facility, likely, the National Catholic Health Service – Sacred Heart Hospital, Weme-Abor.

With the availability of a ready ambulance and paramedics, perhaps a first aid and proper patient transfer could be carried out without further complications and compromise of safety.

“The Minister for Special Development Initiatives, who has been responsible for bringing them, told me about a month, six weeks ago that some of the ambulances were in; should she distribute them? And I said: ‘No, she shouldn’t’, she should wait till they all come in so one day, we can distribute them all at the same time to all 275 constituencies… I saw myself getting into a tremendous amount of issues if I started distributing some and others didn’t get it”.

That was the response President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo offered at the recent press media encounter after a journalist posed a question about some 48 stationed ambulances left under the mercy of the weather, while sick citizens are left to their fate.

While the government adopts a  foot-dragging approach to the distribution of ambulances to save lives, there are many patients struggling to make it to the hospital.

Procuring ambulances commendable, however, a person’s life could be saved each day the country waits for a pomp and pageantry funfair to release ambulances in a year of election for credits.

Almost five days after the furore generated by the President’s response to the ambulance question, not even a #ReleaseTheAmbulancesNow campaign on social media would compel the government to act.

 

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