The farther the ambulance drove from his house, the closer he felt to his grave. His transfer was required after a voluntary health check-up, necessitated by minor complications in his body revealed his status.
He was later pronounced positive for a virus, which in the mind of the ordinary Ghanaian, is a severe call for stigmatization of anyone who contracts it.
In the ambulance, en route to what was going to be his new home until a miracle happened, Fred Kweku Drah, one of the first coronavirus patients in Ghana said he was overwhelmed with fear as he came face to face with death.
His fears were further heightened when a health official told initially asked him to “pick a few clothes.”
According to Mr Drah, the reports about the coronavirus which mostly focused on the number of deaths had eroded all positivity in his mind thus as he left his house that day in the company of health officials, he knew he was never going to come back alive.
As a way to give Ghanaians a clear explanation of how that moment of his life felt like, he used the following words; “On Saturday, 21st March the ambulance came and that’s the moment I saw myself dying…I really saw myself dying simply because of the information out there. I also knew that the moment you contract the virus within two or three days you’d be dead and gone. I saw my wife and children crying seriously.”
He further recounted that, “…I received a strange call the day after I visited the hospital and the gentleman told me I had tested positive to COVID-19. In fact, it wasn’t easy for me. I was trying to control myself the doctor even called me and encouraged myself to dissociate myself from my family, I did that but my children became suspicious but all the same, my wife was strong…I’ve never sat in an ambulance before but that day I sat in one and the only thing I could do was wave at my wife (the local sign of ‘I’ll be back’). It was very terrible moment in my life…One thing the doctor told me and I felt I wouldn’t return was that I should take some clothes…”[embedded content]
However, even when he returned home as a healed man, the stigma his family has faced is even more severe than before.
He reveals that children in his neighbourhood have refused to interact with his children and shop owners have also refused to sell foodstuff to his wife. Not only those, barbers have also failed to attend to him for fear of contracting coronavirus.
“Whenever my wife goes out to buy something from the stores around us, the stores refuse to sell to them. In some circumstances, even though they have a particular item, they will not sell it with the excuse they don’t have it,” Mr Drah said.
Mr Drah, per his experience, has advised Ghanaians not to kill themselves with false reports and negativity about the virus even before they are diagnosed.
He further asked persons to take safety measures seriously to avert all impending health crisis.
SHARE THIS STORY