21 Jun 2016

Nude Content In The Media

It is worrying that some individuals find it normal posting nude pictures and videos of themselves and other people on social media with impunity. It is even more disturbing to know that some of those who post these items do it on the blind side of the people involved. It is believed this is done to bring shame on those involved. What I don't understand is how that has become the best form of bringing shame on someone.
Image Courtesy Wikimedia

There is even a new hacking software on social media (especially Facebook) where some rogues post videos to certain groups and those who watch such videos get their social accounts hacked. The only means of knowing that your account has been hacked is when a close friend draws your attention to one or you happen to come across one yourself.


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These hackers not only post on your personal timeline but also in all the groups you've joined. And the most worrying thing is that such videos get posted at a time you won't get to see them.

Until recently, when the new hacking system was employed, I didn't know many Christians and Muslims actually fancy pornography. Yes, they like the sexually explicit content! Many of them got their accounts hacked and used to post some of these links.

Pornography sells these days, unlike in the past when it was frowned upon by society. There is a race among media houses these days to make enough cash. No questions are asked relating to morality.

Some few years back, this was not the case. Content believed to be pornographic in nature was shown only after 11 pm, when children were believed to be asleep. Children thought less about sex at the time and had no urge to try anything like it.


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Children who are avid watchers of television, get their minds polluted at an early stage in their lives as they are fed automatically with what they see. Profits have occupied the minds of people who manage these channels, without a single thought about morality. Anything gets advertised because of the money attached to it.

I see this upsurge in nudity in the media as an evidence of a breakdown in the moral fiber of our society. Even traditional media adverts are mixed with some of these nude pictures and videos. Ladies are seen in adverts half-naked. Their reason is that such adverts easily get noticed. Some of the movies shown even depict plain pornography.

Despite some people's claims of piety, they still want to see other people naked and engaging in immoral acts. No religion endorses this behavior but people who belong to one religion or the other are those who practice these acts.

I think the media these days are mostly for "politico-tainment" than education and information. No educative material gets broadcasted. It is either movies, music or politics.


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Educative programs seem to have jumped out through the window the moment thoughts about profits entered the media. No educative programs such as the President's Special Initiative on Distance Learning (PSI-DL) which used to show on GTV and Metro TV's live science education program are shown these days.

The people in charge of these channels have to wake up and salvage the situation. They must think about the future leaders of this nation and formulate good programs and policies to help them learn than just being obsessed with the 'cash'! It can be done if there is a will.

What do you think about this current trend of events in the media? Leave a comment below.

13 Jun 2016

Plight Of Female Nursing Students: Who Is To Blame?

Nursing as a noble profession is guided by a code of ethics and code of conduct. In fact, it takes someone with a kind heart and empathy to be able to care for the sick and the dying. No wonder it is often said, “Nursing is a calling.”

There are numerous government and private nursing institutions in Ghana that train people with the interest to become nurses. As such, nursing students are seen in almost every corner of Ghana these days. It is easy to distinguish between female staff nurses and student nurses from their uniform. Whilst female staff have a full white armband on their uniforms, students have strips of white bands on their uniforms. The level or stage in which you are in school determines the number of white stripes on your uniform. However, a male staff is not so distinguished from male students as they all dress in the same manner.
Ghana student nurses
Image Courtesy GhanaWeb


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When I was a student nurse in one of the nursing training colleges in Ghana, I observed a very interesting trend. As part of the training, all students are supposed to go to hospitals and practically observe and perform most of the things that have been taught in school. This is done very frequently, at least not less than eight times during the training period.

Interestingly, whenever we go on clinical, I observed that the male staff nurses had a very “cordial” relationship with our female young student nurses as compared to us the male students. Sometimes you can be playing with your colleague female student nurse and a male staff nurse will jokingly tell you, “young man, be careful with the way you are playing with my wife.” We will all laugh about it and end it there. Whether that statement was true or not, I couldn’t tell because I was very naive at the time.

Sometimes, our colleague females were given food, money, drinks and gifts. These ladies sometimes had pity on us and invite us to partake in their food. This trend continued even after I completed school. So, I then developed the interest to know what actually happens.

When I was posted as a staff nurse in 2012, I started my investigations. I have worked in some government hospitals and through my investigations, I realized the story is not different from when I was in school as a student. Some male staff always give preferential treatment to female student nurses. The reason accounting for this is just a vague one.


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During a personal encounter with some students and then colleague staff, it was revealed that female student nurses sometimes become victims to their senior colleagues due to one or two reasons.

According to some staff I encountered, students serve as a form of motivation for them at work whenever they come on attachment. Others say some of the students attach themselves to them very closely. Others say they are just entertaining them to make their stay ‘comfortable’ during the clinical period.

From the students’ perspective, “sometimes the seniors take advantage of our being in want,” says one female student. Another also said some of them have the mindset of meeting their life partners in the hospitals.

Hmm. Is this actually happening? Yes, some staff, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians got their wives when they were students. This is however not the case with student nurses. Sometimes students are being deceived and slept with in the name of a relationship. Afterward, they dump these unfortunate ones to continue their search for life partners. Right from the medical doctor, matron, administrator, accountant, nurses, laboratory technicians, and records staff, there is no exception.

Once students arrive for clinical practice, it becomes a competition among some staff of the hospital. They are seen desperately moving from ward to ward trying to get female students to court to their hungry beds. It is there that you will see a nurse giving a “friendly” but strong warning to a doctor to back off a particular student since he had already “picked the move”, as they fondly say.

The interesting thing is that most of the students also count themselves 'lucky' if they're being sought after by workers. So, it is not surprising to see students tightly hooked onto those who have expressed an interest in them to avoid other students from “interfering in their relationship.”

The big question is, what happens to their clinical practice as their minds are now divided? Can they learn with a divided mind? What happens to the competencies they are supposed to master before the clinical period is over?


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Besides, are these staff single? No, some are even married. Are the students also single? Some have left their boyfriends and yet-to-be husbands at home. Yet, they agree to go into wacky relationships with staff as long as they are on clinical attachment.

A student once told her colleague that for her, she doesn’t go into relationships with her colleague students since they can’t cater for her needs. She rather deals with staff that is already working and are on salary. Can you believe this? With this mindset, it is not surprising to see them always hanging around their admirers to prevent their colleagues from getting close. Sometimes, staff even pick quarrels with one another because of female students.

When “boys boys” meet, discussions on these students arise. It is there that you will know who was successful in sleeping with which student and who was not, the number of students they slept with, the number of students who are “cheap” and those who are not, and so on and so forth.

The question also is, is this love real? When students leave, what happens afterward? “Oh Charlie, they were just treated and discharged,” says some colleagues. This means the staff often don’t think about marriage. It is just for the fun of it. The students also have a mind of their own, and that is to get a life partner out of the relationship, although others also want to just have fun.

The code of conduct for health staff describes most of these instances as forms of harassment, which are punishable. Most workers seem not to be aware of this, even though the code of conduct is in every unit. Some are aware but think it can’t be applied to them. Others are simply ignoramuses who think they are doing nothing wrong. Even those to apply the code are morally bankrupt themselves. So, with nothing in place to check the effectiveness of this code of conduct, all will have to get on their knees in prayer to help halt the escalation of this situation.

Written By: Francis Appiah
The writer is a Senior Staff Nurse (SSN) with the Ghana Health Service.
Email: afranzoa87@gmail.com

9 Jun 2016

Electricity Situation In Savelugu Getting Worse

The erratic power supply that has plagued this nation for more than four years, popularly known as “dumsor” among Ghanaians, is stabilizing gradually and the general economic situation is improving too.  Businesses are beginning to increase production and work output is increasing. However, the situation in the Savelugu Municipality of the northern region of Ghana, which is about thirty minutes drive from Tamale, has assumed a downward trend.
Image - ECG
The erratic power supply in Ghana is called "Dumsor." This is a worrying phenomenon for most Ghanaians.

Savelugu Municipality is mostly a farming community with a few small-scale enterprises dotted across the town. Businesses in Savelugu include grocery stores, barbering and hairdressing saloons, sachet water production, grinding mills, and a few others. All these businesses depend on electricity to operate. So, in the absence of electricity, all businesses tend to suffer in one way or the other.
Savelugu is being supplied with two power lines; the first and more powerful four-phase line and a newer two-phase line.


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The part being supplied with the two-phase line never experience any frequent interruptions in power supply as compared to those on the four-phase line. One thing accounting for this is because this line supplies power to just a few households and business ventures. All the major businesses are connected to the four-phase line. Most households in Savelugu and nearby villages depend on the four-phase line. Government facilities such as the district health directorate, the district assembly, district hospital, and the district police station are all connected to the four-phase line.

It is as if the lights have been programmed to work in a certain way. When clouds begin to gather, the lights are sure to go off; when there is a little wind, the lights automatically go off. When these lights go off, it can take about two or three whole days for them to return. Sometimes, nothing is needed for the lights to go off. They just decide to go off.

Ideally, there shouldn’t be a problem if every facility wants to depend on the more powerful line, the four-phase one. It, however, becomes a worry if there is much load on the transformer that regulates this supply. It has been alleged that the electricity has been extended to another village using the same transformer that supplies the Savelugu municipality and its surrounding communities, putting more pressure on the transformer. This has led to intermittent power outages on a daily basis. The power is not stable for work to go on smoothly.

The district hospital suffers the most in this situation. The money needed to buy consumable material is channeled towards fueling the generator to enable routine work to go on. This has left the hospital in a fix. The hospital, which needs renovation and expansion, is not able to do so because of this persistent problem.

When management of the hospital contacted the Savelugu municipal manager of the electricity company, he boldly told them that he doesn't know what the cause of the problem might be. Shocking, you may say, that the manager of electricity in the district doesn't know what the cause of this problem that has lasted over three years is.


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Households are not left out of this predicament. Some families are beginning to relocate to the northern regional capital of Tamale because the situation has assumed an alarming proportion. Food in the fridge goes bad; gadgets get destroyed by the continuous fluctuation in electricity; rooms heat up at night and people can’t relax comfortably after a hard day’s work. Even ironing of clothes is a nightmare. There is frustration written on the faces of most of the workers of Savelugu because they have to move up and down every day from Tamale to work and back. This puts a drain on their meager resources.

All the business ventures that depend on electricity come to a standstill because machines such as sachet water producing machines and grinding mills cannot work with the less powerful two-phase power line. Even government workers stop work and perambulate in the absence of light because meetings and important activities cannot go on.

This problem has persisted for more than four years now. Hence, it is not a new problem to managers of electricity in the district. Nevertheless, nothing concrete seems to have been put in place to solve it permanently, apart from the usual firefighting that we see every day.

Instead of working to fix these power challenges, managers are rather interested in attending meetings and conferences where they can get per diem than doing the work they are being paid to do.