The last time countries in West Africa contributed something technologically substantial to a global pandemic, dinosaurs still roamed the earth.
Our inadequacy has been revealed time and time again as far back as 1918–19 when The Gold Coast (modern Ghana) was severely attacked by the influenza pandemic which killed 100,000 or more in less than a period of six months.
This went down in history as one of the worst short-term epidemic to ever ravage our dear nation, what is more interesting here is the fact that this led to the introduction of the Neem tree to the Gold Coast by the British.
Yes, you read right, the Neem is never native to us but an imported plant from India.
Hundred years later and the world is faced with yet another pandemic, technology, brains and an effective solution is sought after to curtail this problem but Africa still finds herself at the same place she has been in the last century (on her knees).
Few days ago I read an article that offered the most beneficial news after the global outbreak of COVID-19 was announced, the news has been received in both positive and negative light which is normal for any new technological breakthrough that will serve all of Humanity but my only problem is the reaction of most Africans who are complaining about the clause that suggests Africa be used as a testing field for the Coronavirus vaccine.
If we are to evaluate this sentiments, it means without making any contribution we expect the West to invest in science, create a vaccine, test it on themselves and roll it to us for free so we can cure ourselves? Interesting…..
Personally I agree for the vaccine to be tested here in Ghana because this will be our only contribution to its development and success story, we already have a suitable controlled demographics that can easily be monitored. 275 Mps, 123 ministers and about 50 deputy ministers are enough samples to test the vaccine.
The MPs represent the people. They can agree to represent the population as a sample of the covid-19 vaccine trial, after all they already representing us in law making processes.
Afterwards, they will report to us the findings after their parliamentary recess. This is a win-win situation for everyone and it comes with a high degree of ensuring effective and efficient close monitoring of test subjects, and you know the best part? This will serve as the perfect opportunity of restoring citizens’ lost faith and confidence in our leaders.
Rally behind me, let’s be a part of this noble cause and someday when our progeny reflects on our actions we will be revered for the good work we did for the good of all humanity.
Columnist: Agyemang Duah Kweku Eric