Christmas is the second most important event in Christendom after Easter. The social side of the celebration is marked with family feasts, where all sit around a table and break bread.
It is expected that professionals who are off duty will take the opportunity to unite with their families around the dining table to share meals and gifts. This will include medics from the Bob Freeman Clinic and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and teachers from Achimota Senior High School, who would be in blissful moments, united with their families.
In, at least, two homes this Christmas, as the festive lunch table is laid and all are seated, there will be spare chairs without anyone sitting on them. In these two homes, those empty chairs will bring back sad memories of departed loved ones. Eating the meal, family members, especially parent,s will only eat to satisfy their hunger but not to celebrate the season. Because they will not know it is Christmas.
Due to irresponsibility and the total neglect of professional ethics, two young souls were lost in situations that could have been avoidable. Two sets of parents had to bury their young, instead of the other way round,
The first to die and be laid to rest was a vibrant twenty-three year old first class graduate in Sociology. She was an asset to society; even at that age, she set up a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to get the young ones off the streets and teach them how to focus on their dreams. She also gave free revision lessons to students preparing for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West Africa Senior Secondary Examination (WASSCE) among many other pro-society ventures she under took.
Her life was cut short when she was unnecessarily given a strong dosage of anti-malarial drugs without proper diagnosis. In hospital, she was denied the right to proper medical attention, and her post-mortem report could be alleged to be contentious, because she exhibited symptoms of G6PDD, which showed in her urine but was absent in the report.
The second to die and laid to rest was a young fifteen year old, only son and child of his mother’s. He was ill and obediently reported to the school sick bay and was wrongly diagnosed and given pain killers, while he had malaria and asked to go to rest. Feeling that was not enough, he called his mother to come pick him to go for better medical treatment. His Housemaster stopped his mother from coming for him, and had him punished for calling her; and for two days the young boy’s health was deteriorating without any attention given to him by the school. On the third day, his colleagues took him to a hospital nearby and called his mother. Since his condition was rather getting worse, his mother took him to a better medical facility, where he gave up the ghost the following day.
On Friday December 16, 2016, Verma Marie Annan was laid to rest the Osu Cemetery, after a packed auditorium burial service at the Royal House Chapel (Ahenfie) near Kaneshie.
On Saturday December 17, 2016, Kervin Nana Kofi Moses was given a simple send-off ceremony at the 37 Military Hospital, and was also laid to rest at the Osu Cemetery.
This Christmas, when the two sets of parents sit with other family members for Christmas lunch, will they know it is Christmas? Meanwhile, the doctors, nurses and medics of Bob Freeman and Korle Bu, and the housemaster of Fraser House, will sit with family members for Christmas lunch and cry out the “Merry Christmas” chorus and thank God for another season, with pomp and pageantry.
Can Yvette, who lost her first daughter through the gross negligence of medical practitioners, and Sonia, who lost her only son and child through gross irresponsibility and show of vain power and authority, will both be in the celebration mood? Yes, will they know it is Christmas?
If it is true that young Kervin was punished for calling his mother, then seriously, this can pass for demonic wickedness. Punishing someone who was sick and dying? What kind of slave-master attitude and callousness have Motown members of staff adopted?
Kervin spent only a month as a student of this famous school, which most of the students who passed through feel very proud of. Those could be said to be the golden days of Motown, when the school was one big family.
Today, the call is on the Akoras to rescue the school and encourage independent-minded contributions from parents. It is because of the boys and girls that is why the headmaster/mistress and staff are there in the first place. The over-disciplinary tactics have backfired, especially in the event that the student and parents are always at the receiving end, and some students are pushed into their early grave.
We cannot assume that this canker is only in Motown. The whole Ghanaian school system must be over-hauled and those in charge of the pupils and students be made responsible for their well-being. Students are suffering nationwide, with some of them being sexually harassed among other things. Unfortunately, some quack disciplinary committee will always find them guilty, and guilty members of staff innocent.
For when a drunken teacher on duty could slap a student till he lost consciousness, the teacher walked away freely and the boy was stripped off his post; when a female student passed a harmless comment to another female and was slapped by a male student who was not in any way provoked, the school disciplinary committee found the victim guilty and she was punished to weed and clean the school compound for a week. The case is in DOVVSU, and the girl’s parents have resolved to go to court as soon as the villain completes his national service after his university education. All this happened in Motown, and one can imagine what will be happening in other schools.
Meanwhile, in the medical field, some medics are having field days in the way they treat patients. It is as if it is an offence to fall ill. How many deaths could have been prevented, if only some of these medics in state and government hospitals worked professionally?
The medics of Bob Freeman and Korle Bu emergency ward and medical main ward will be celebrating this Christmas with their families, but will Verma’s family know it is Christmas?
Mr. Danso, Housemaster of Fraser House of Achimota Senior High School, and his associates will be celebrating this Christmas with their families, but will Kervin’s mother know it is Christmas?
Hon. Daniel Dugan