When the 2019 Novel Coronavirus hit China late in 2019, it seemed very abstract until it took a deadly and devastating tour of the world.
Africa was spared at the beginning. When countries such as Spain, Italy and the US swayed under the weighty grief of the virus, Africa was generally free, fueling conspiracy theories that blacks were immune to the virus.
The pandemic eventually hit Africa, but it was mild when compared to the devastation in other continents.
As in many countries in Africa, Ghana’s healthcare system was already in a sorry state. Even before the pandemic, it was a common feature to have patients turned away from hospitals because of the lack of beds. Consumables such as gloves were a luxury in some health facilities.
In Ghana, for instance, the entire country of about 30 million people had only 67 ventilators in all public health facilities, less than half the ministers of state at the time.
The main testing centres responsible for over 95% of the tests conducted in the country survived mainly on grants from foreign donors.
In the following documentary, The Fourth Estate’s Manasseh Azure Awuni comprehensively examines Ghana’s fight against the pandemic and reveals that, even with the milder impact of the virus here, some people died because they could not get care.
He also reveals, using the undercover method, how some people took undue advantage of the shortage of Covid-19 testing to make money.