SeerS are not easy to spot. You see them roaming along the banks of their particular Jordans or Voltas, eating their particular locusts, preaching to the wind.
Their voices in their particular wilderness die there, and are buried with their bones. So let it be with Courage Kobla Quashigah (deceased).
Let us set the scene for the next two weeks or so. We shall re-visit one of the central pillars in what Courage Quashigah stood for when he was the Minister of Health. It was “Health promotion and Maintenance.”
He might have termed his particular brand “Regenerative Health.” But in the domain of health reform, and in that domain alone, the evidence tells us a couple of truths: “First, Seers are not easy to spot. Second, for Barak Obama, read Courage Quashigah.”
We begin from July 11 2009. The title of the feature was “President Barak Obama – Invest in Prevention & Wellness.”
Readers, bear witness. From my inaugural arti-cle, and lo! throughout these past three years, this column has had but one mantra. The sub-title of my inaugural article, July 7, 2006: “An Advo-cacy for Health Promo-tion and Maintenance in Ghana”.
With our emphasis on wellness, we are in the company of presidents who care deeply about the wellbeing of all their people. President Obama also has embarked on a program of Health Reform in the USA.
At www. HealthReform.gov, we learn more about the President’s commitment to health reform. Four of the eight items on his shopping list of requirements are:
* Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
* Invest in prevention and wellness
* Improve patient safety and quality of care
* Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all.
EPICENTER & THE SINGER,
NOT THE SONG
“Invest in prevention and wellness,” is at the mid-point of the list. It is an ancient saying. Prevention is better than cure. Prevention is top priority for health reform in the minds of most people.
What you are about to read is what you’ve been reading in this column over the past three years. But who knows? [Namo aale?] Perhaps another singer may make us hear angelic voices, and so heed the message in the lyrics. Therefore, here are more excerpts from the Health Secretary’s “Preventing Diseases Before They Happen.”
KEEP OUT OF HOSPITALS
We must have health reform in order to ensure the high-quality, affordable care we need and deserve. Real health reform must improve the health of our nation by investing in prevention and wellness. This will help to keep us healthy. Therefore, it will help to keep us out of the hospital in the first place.
This is the win-win situation we have written about.
INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE WELLNESS
Who needs candies to encourage their own wellness? But the Secretary for Health continues: “If we do nothing, many of our children will grow up to develop chronic diseases that could have been prevented if we created incentives to encourage wellness rather than just focusing on treatment.”
She adds: “When we help you quit smoking, prevent obesity and provide the tools and information you need to live healthier lives, we all benefit. Some of these preventable conditions include diabetes, heart disease and obesity, as well as some cancers.”
PREVENTION: FOUNDATION OF HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Read this statement. Coming out of America, it is almost unbelievable. It is certainly a shift in emphasis of seismic proportions.
“Preventing illness and disease is an essential component of health reform. We know that it isn’t enough to provide coverage, and keep doing the same thing. Health reform can help stop diseases before they happen. It can make our homes, our communities and our families healthier, safer and stronger. It’s time to make preventing illness and disease the foundation of our health care system.”
THE LAST WORD
In the original article, July 2009, we left the last word to President Obama. So, again this week. “That is why the President is investing in prevention and wellness.” Wellness needs investment.
“The President has devoted an unprecedented $1 billion for prevention and wellness interventions. This will dramatically expand community-based interventions proven to reduce chronic diseases.”
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
The individual is the lord and master of this columnist. So, the question is this: As an individual, who needs not wait for “government to do something,” what are you doing about the wellness of your family and yourself?
Next week, we shall bury the dead. In the process, we shall try to celebrate the beauty and strength in differences of opinion. Your wellness is our business.