Mr Speaker, I rise to also associate myself with the Motion and to call on the House to take on the Report and make the requisite recommendations to Government.
Mr Speaker, as have been put across by Hon Members, we did meet the Minister for Health and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the officials from the Ministries and we were given a whole lot of reasons Ghana should be positioned the way it is.
Mr Speaker, it is also a commendable gesture on the part of Ghana, based on the features of Ghana which was one of the reasons Ghana was chosen. Ghana was chosen because, as was put across, especially by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana is seen from its governance status as one of the leading governance systems in the West African sub-region.
Ghana is also seen as a very stable and peaceful country and, yes, there was some little commendation also on our health
infrastructure. But the main thing was about the peaceful nature and our governance infrastructure which was what recommended Ghana to be used for the United Nations Missions for Ebola Emergency Response Hub (UNMEER) Centre.
Mr Speaker, be that as it may, we in Ghana must also ask ourselves whether being touted as it is, whether we really have done enough to counter Ebola if it does happen in the country.
Mr Speaker, yes, I have taken it upon myself and at our airport, I intentionally went through the normal entry point to find out and I could see that some great preparations have been made. One could even be captured without contact on a television screen to be seen whether you have Ebola. I did intentionally go there and I even have pictures of them at least, to prove to the Committee that yes, there was some preparedness. But that is only at the Kotoka International Airport, it is not at other airports and it is also not at our borders.
Mr Speaker, I do say this because just a few days back, about a week or so ago, I was not in the country and I had a very urgent email from my family. What was it? My son who is a medical doctor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Hospital was said to have come into contact with a supposed case of Ebola.
It has been shown not to be so but Mr Speaker, that told me that whether we thought Ebola is far away or not, it is within our reach. Why? Here was a case of a man who happened to be a Sierra Leonean and had travelled into the country as far back as the 20 th of November. He had been in Accra for some time, had gone to Kumasi for a funeral and then was caught with the high fever illness.
The patient was sent to the University Hospital and in the examination, when he was asked to even pass urine, the urine was found to be bloody and that was the first episode and that was what even created some panic among the staff. At the end of the day, yes, it was found not to be so. But how come we can have this thing happening around us? Assuming it were, it would have been a very bad case for all of us. This is because the man had been in the country for some time, had gone for a funeral. Definitely, he had been shaking hands with people and eventually was caught with that fever that landed him in the hospital.
So, Mr Speaker, yes, while we are being commended and while we are giving the necessary support to our sub-region, which is part of the South-South co- operation. Indeed, I did attend a high level consulting meeting on South-South Co-operation and I think it was a very good example and it was one of the examples I cited.
Mr Speaker, while we are doing that, we must prepare ourselves. Hon Members have come up to tell us that when we were briefed by the Ministry of Health, we found out that the Ministry was not prepared for the middle sector and for the northern sector. As of now, the Kumasi Centre has still not been put up; as of now, the Tamale Centre has not been put up. So in case we have any such problems, we are going to have problems. We do not have to sit down until there is a catastrophe before we decide to take note and decide to take actions, which should be what should counter the kind of things that we want.
So, Mr Speaker, while associating myself with the Report, while com- mending the Ministry for that action taken
and while calling on the House to adopt the Report, Mr Speaker, I would still want us to call on the Ministry and the requisite agencies to take the requisite actions to ensure that at the end of the day, we are prepared not just as a centre for the UNMEER activities but also to cater for ourselves when we are confronted with a case of Ebola.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with the Report.