The Global Media Alliance Broadcasting Company (GMABC) and Kencity Media have co-organised an experience-sharing virtual dialogue with a group of Ghanaian experts from China, led by Ambassador Edward Boateng.
The virtual dialogue was under theme ‘COVID-19, Dealing with the Challenges: A Dialogue with Ghanaians in China’, and featured various experts who discussed a range of issues pertaining to their respective fields of expertise.
Mr. Boateng led the discussion around the broader topic of government’s role during the coronavirus outbreak in China.
“The president of Ghana took the decision to keep Ghanaian students here in China. He thought about the issues thoroughly and decided that the best course of action was for everybody to stay here in China. And the president has been vindicated, because not a single Ghanaian in China has tested positive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As an embassy, we accepted the president’s directive to stay in China. When other countries started evacuating their citizens, I went back to the president and he said we should keep the students here because it was still the right thing to do. He actually opted to take full responsibility for not bringing the students from China in case of any eventuality,” he stated.
A Physician, Clinical Psychologist and Bioethicist at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), Dr. Ama Edwin – who counselled students and members of Ghanaian community groups during the peak of COVID-19 outbreak in China, addressed issues of fear and anxiety during a pandemic.
“If we don’t handle and regulate the information we expose ourselves to, we will find ourselves dealing with the issue of fear – which can cause more problems than the pandemic itself. If we don’t calm down, the situation might get worse,” she advised.
The National Union of Ghanaian Students (NUGS) Chapter President of Wuhan-China, Sampson Opoku, expressed profound gratitude to both the government of Ghana and Ambassador of Ghana to China for their efforts which kept them safe in what was the outbreak’s epicentre, Wuhan.
“The level of cooperation between the Ghanaian embassy, students and other stakeholders was top-notch. People from other embassies wanted to know the strategies ours had put in place, because our support system was noticed as a remarkable one,” he revealed.
Furthermore, the Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Ghana in Beijing-China, and Coordinator of the embassy’s logistics and response efforts, Abu Osuman, also shared how the embassy worked to ensure transparency.
“For the sake of transparency and accountability, we made sure the US$500 relief from government for every student in China was wired straight to their bank and WeChat accounts.”
Hepatobillary surgery PhD student and Chairman of the Ghanaian Association, Wenzhou, China, Dr. Percy Akuetteh, shared his experience as a volunteer at the lockdown checkpoint during the peak of the pandemic in China. He advised that cooperation between government, agencies and citizens is the only way by which we can fight the coronavirus outbreak in Ghana.
“Our pharmacy systems are essential to fight the coronavirus. In China, the pharmacies were not allowed to sell any drugs that reduced fever. Anyone with a fever, instead of purchasing drugs from a pharmacy, was directed to report to a hospital for testing.”
Miss Gloria Akpabla, who is the Women’s Commissioner of NUGS-China, also worked with Dr. Ama Edwin during the peak of the outbreak to address the needs of female students in China.
Chief Director of GMA, Emma Wenani who spoke on behalf of the organisers said: “GMABC and Kencity – with our platforms e.TV Ghana, Happy FM, Oman FM, Net2 TV and Ash FM – worked to give our audience a conversation that is timely; so that we can all learn something from their experiences to guide us as we face our own lockdown and confirmed cases”.
The discussion was facilitated by Samuel Eshun, Host of Happy Morning Show (HMS) on Happy FM, and Abedi Anim, host of ‘The Dialogue’ on Net2 TV.