I Could Have Died


I am scared. So scared in fact, I might’ve just developed me some hodophobia, the fear of travelling. I currently live in Tamale and could have easily been involved in the horrifying Kintampo accident where 71 people have been reported dead. I’ve had plans since last year to attend a concert in Accra today last Saturday by all means. A pinch in my finances might have saved me? I can’t tell. I am absolutely positive I wouldn’t have used the Metro Mass transit and I wouldn’t have been travelling that day. That however doesn’t take away from the possibilities of such mishaps occurring regardless.

Hodoophobia.

In hindsight, that’s not quite it. The accident doesn’t bother me as much but rather, an unfolding story on Manasseh Azure’s Facebook about a lack of basic hospital facilities like beds, oxygen and ambulances to wheel victims to and from the carnage.

The said hospital has just one ambulance with the capacity of two victims at a time. Two! How would they prioritize victims? What criteria could they possibly use? I can’t imagine how many of the deceased missed a fighting chance just ‘cause they didn’t make it to the hospital in time.

Then there’s the hospital. Understaffed and horribly lacking in facilities as per Manasseh’s post, a cry that has become a hit song in my twenty something years alive, a song that has been played repeatedly by the same people, a song that frightens me to the core because of all indications it wouldn’t ever be a one hit wonder.

The hospital. What this means is that my timely arrival at the hospital would have probably been futile anyway and I might have lost a limb, developed some complication or worse, died. Just because…

Then there’s the really upsetting part. The part that makes my blood boil, no, that’s not it, the part that exsanguinates me is the shenanigans of the undeserving power wielders who are by all indications, unworthy of their honorable farce of a title.

They flew to the hospital in record time in a chopper, obviously did a PR campaign then bounced [Update: they supposedly flew six victims to Accra for better care]. A freaking helicopter. No doctors aboard, no blood deposits, no oxygen tanks, no makeshift beds and mattresses, nada. Just a bunch of potbellied suits in an intricate and heart wrenching popularity contest along, I’m sure, with their guards.[Update: excerpt from a Rainbow Radio publication: the government delegation presented a number of medical supplies and an undisclosed amount of money to assist up the upkeep of the survivors at the hospital]

I admit, I dunno the details of their journey to “console and see first-hand” the “situation” and what can be “done about it.” I’m only basing this off of Manasseh Azure’s post, a journalist with a reputation as glorious as the sun. I trust his work and so do Ghanaians, well maybe save for those who’ve fallen in his crosshairs.

These guys, they scare me. I am afraid of these guys. Hang on let me find a word for this new phobia. Ha! Politicophobia, what an apt word. I know I shouldn’t be afraid, but chale, that could have been me on that bus, that could have been anyone, your sons, your daughters, the greatest Ghanaian ever, the future, your parents, anyone.

And their lives would be lost in the ether. Why? Because our decision makers who’ve over the years failed to make things work are too short-sighted to sensibly tackle situations as they arise.

Maybe the fault isn’t with them. Maybe it’s with us, those who vote for these guys and those who don’t vote at all. Maybe it’s those who fail to pursue their passions. Maybe it’s the squares in the wrong holes. Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s the systems we have in place. Maybe it’s our gullibility, like how I’m venting based on a journalist’s words. Maybe it’s you and I. maybe colonialism is to blame. Maybe, maybe. So many maybes. Maybe.

I dunno the solution. What I do know definitely is that people died in that accident and they could have been anyone. You reading this or me.

Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, condolences to our nation.

The Universe bless our homeland Ghana.

 

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