Diseases abound in our world, and it seems some people and countries just became well known after some diseases were named after them. By doing that, such countries and individuals become the centres of attraction. Examples that come to mind are the Spanish Influenza,Aarskog-Scott syndrome – (Dagfinn Aarskog, Charles Scott),Aase-Smith syndrome – (Jon Morton Aase, David Weyhe Smith),Abdallat Davis Farrage syndrome – (Adnan Al Abdallat, S.M. Davis, James Robert Farrage)Abderhalden-Kaufmann-Lignac syndrome – (Emil Abderhalden, Eduard Kauffman, George Lignac)
Abercrombie disease – (John Abercrombie),Achard-Thiers syndrome – (Emile Achard, Joseph Thiers),Ackerman tumor – (Lauren Ackerman),Addison disease – (Thomas Addison),Adson-Caffey syndrome – (Alfred Adson, I.R. Caffey), and a host of others. All these diseases were named after certain individuals who discovered them. But we in Ghana have a disease of our own which when it infects you, you might never recover from its effects. One major side effect of the “Ghanaian Disease” is the “Wait and See” attitude. Just observe how people have built in water ways and in unauthorized areas all over the country. This is done with the connivance of some officials of the Town and Country Planning Department and the Lands Commission who take monies from the people and allow them to put up their structures. When these structures are flooded during the rainy season, these same people will call on the government to come to their aid. The moment a demolition exercise is announced, the media and those affected goes into overdrive and start pleading with the government to put a human face to the demolition exercise. Some also ask for compensation to be paid to them before they allow their buildings to be demolished. Thus the disease starts eating away the individual’s attitude and every action by the authorities to do the right thing is given a political tag. Another effect of this “Ghanaian Disease”, is our poor maintenance culture. We are very quick to commission grand projects in this country, but just a year after, that building or facility would not be in the same condition. We wait for it to deteriorate and we call on the government again to rehabilitate it for us. It shocks me to observe this “Ghanaian Disease” in most of our tertiary institutions particularly the universities. Sometimes i wonder if we really have intellectuals in our country. All that some of them know is to buy big cars, drink beer at the club house and engage in unnecessary politics on the various campuses to the detriment of the intellectual development of the students. Some of them too hate to see their students bringing out their new research findings. More on this “Ghanaian Disease” in the second part of this article. But hey don’t be infected by this contagious disease, be on your guard.