25th July 2020, Cape Coast – The Deputy Chief Executive of the Coastal Development Authority (CODA) and a Vice-Chairperson of the Central Regional NPP, Kofi Karikari Bondzie has admonished all Ghanaians “Not to trust anyone with their health because that made him contract coronavirus which nearly cost him his life”. He added that Covid-19 is real and Ghanaians must take it seriously and abide by all the necessary protocols to safeguard their life.
The Deputy CEO of CODA was speaking on “Wɔnfre Yie” hosted by D. C. Kwame Kwakye today Saturday 25th July 2020 on GBC Radio Central’s weekend morning programme.
When asked how he got to know he had contracted Covid-19, he said he thinks he contracted the disease on a visit to Sekondi Takoradi. According to Mr Bondzie, after they had finished their formal meeting in the Sekondi Takoradi, the MCE in the person of Hon. K. K. Sam requested for a personal conversation with him. “We only spoke for about five minutes and I left”. He explained that because of trust he never wore a nose mask and neither did Mr Sam. He continued that, after several days when news broke out that Mr K. K. Sam had passed to eternity and the cause of his death was coronavirus, “there I knew I was in trouble” he added.
Hospitalisation and Covid-19 Confirmation.
He continued his narration by saying that he was feeling feverish and went for a check-up. The results proved that he wasn’t having malaria but he instructed the health professionals to administer malaria treatment, which they did. Mr Bondzie added that he normally gets malaria within July to August, so, that feeling made him think this that it was his normal malaria. According to him, several days passed and he had the same feelings and getting weaker each passing day. He had to visit the hospital again. He added further that, this time around he requested for a Covid-19 test. Mr Bondzie said while waiting for the Covid-19 results he told the health professionals at the University of Cape Coast Hospital to begin treating him for coronavirus. “Initially the health professionals were reluctant and insisted they can only do so when the results confirm he is positive.” I told them to start because I cannot wait any longer and might be dead by the time the results come through”.
Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) Experience
Expounding further, the Vice-Chairperson of the ruling NPP in the central region said, he was later moved from the UCC hospital to CCTH. He narrated that he was taken to an isolation centre for treatment. “It’s like leaving in cell”. “Not even your wife, children or any family relation is allowed to see except health officials”. He recounted that that experience was harrowing and he knew he was going to die at one point but the assurances from the health professionals was very encouraging and gave him hope.
He explained further that, within the first few days he was so weak that nurses had to be cleaning him from time to time. “We have a very good medical team at the CCTH and I must thank them for their support and care”. “They did extremely well for me and I thank God for them”. According to him, the CEO of CCTH Dr Eric Kofi Ngyedu together with the medical team that took care of him deserve some commendation for a good job done.
He revealed that coronavirus affected his pancreas to the extent that he started having an irregular sugar measurement in his system. According to him sometimes when his sugar measurement was taken in the morning, it would read for example 22, in about three hours it could drop to 3.4 and latter rise to 11. 2. “This made tracking the sugar movement cumbersome for the health professionals to track and help me”. It was very hectic” he explained. Elaborating further, he said before contracting coronavirus, he had no health history with either high or low sugar problem but all of a sudden Covid-19 thrust on him irregular sugar levels in his body which he is now battling even though he has recovered from Covid-19.
Down Moments with Coronavirus
Responding to how he felt during all these trying times, Mr Bondzie said, the encounter that downed his spirit was food services. He continued that every time food was brought to him, it was placed at the entrance of his door, and he was called to come to pick it up. “A nurse can only enter my room and serve me my food when they are dressed in their coverall otherwise, I must pick it up from my entrance without seeing anyone”. He continued that those times were difficult moments for him. According to Mr Bondzie, he lost his sense of taste, and most times vomited all the food that he ate.
But with all these notwithstanding, Mr Bondzie said, one encouraging moment when he was battling with Coronavirus was when one friend of his risked his life to come to the hospital and gave him the elbow handshake. He continued that, the gentleman said: “Once I’ve shaken your hand, I know you’re alive and you shall not die”. This according to him happened after several days of hospitalisation.
Discharge and Stigmatisation
Stigmatisation has been part of our society. People Stigmatise others for various reason and as society grows, we expect such socially deviant behaviour to subside but, it persists. People Stigmatise rape, HIV/AIDS, TB and now Covid-19 victims.
Stigmatisation could be an act of describing or regarding someone or something as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval. Unfortunately, this happened to Mr Karikari Bondzie due to coronavirus.
He recounts three main stigmatization experiences that broke his heart and hope it never reoccurs again. According to the deputy CEO, after he had been discharged, he decides to attend a party programme. He continued that as soon as he got to the venue, his family member took to the podium and announced that he was a Covid-19 patient and that he wasn’t needed at the venue. “That was very difficult for me because how can my family member behave this way” he quizzed.
With the second experience, Mr Bondzie explained that his driver was sacked from a bar he has been a regular customer because of his association with him. “Their boss is Covid-19 patient and we cannot allow his driver to patronise this bar”. “Even though I call it a positive experience because I want my driver to stop drinking but the experience is very bad for him” he fumed.
Narrating his third stigmatisation encounter, the Central Region NPP Vice-Chair said, his outfit is collaborating with the Fisheries Commission to distribute outboard motors. According to him, his counterpart was to call him so they could meet to ascertain the number of outboard motors before handing it over to the Central Region Minister. He continued that, he waited and the Fisheries Commission guy never called him all because he is a Covid-19 recoverer. “I was furious and gave it to him well, well.
In concluding the discussion, Mr Bondzie cautioned all Ghanaians to be very careful and that he wouldn’t wish the experience even for his enemy. He continued that, the only way we can overcome the coronavirus fight is to wear facemask at all times and all places. The doctors at CCTH are very good and did a very good. He continued that we in the Central Region need to cherish our health professionals especially those at CCTH. He further revealed that he spent about ¢12,000.00 in battling coronavirus. “Not every treatment regarding Covid-19 is free and citizens must know this and be careful.
(By D.C. Kwame Kwakye)