In 2015, after the remarkable achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, member states of the United Nations adopted an agenda which seeks to enhance the world’s development and rapid growth before a stipulated time. The agenda was named the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and consists of 17 main strategies or goals which need to be achieved before 2030.
These goals are cherished by all countries and have been adopted to ensure that the World as one, attains a recognizable level of development and enhances the living standards of each citizen.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that though the SDGs have been made for the overall development of the World, it would be unsuccessful if each country does not personalize it and contribute their quota in whatever means possible to drive toward the achievement of the goals in their own countries.
Ghana has displayed great support for the SDGs and as a result, is doing all it can in its power to ensure that the goals are achieved.
Yet, it saddens me to know that despite all that is being done, some communities in the country are still battling some of the problems that the SDGs seek to eradicate. One of such problems is health which can be mapped to the third goal of the Sustainable Development Goals.
One of the communities that is battling the health problems that the SDGs seek to eradicate, is Koteyma, situated in the Ga – West District. This community has a lot of challenges, most of which are captured under the SDGs. However, it is yet to receive the kind of relief the SDGs offer. The community lacks a health facility and about 90% of the population do not own National Health Insurance Cards. Hence, people in the community do not have access to a proper health care.
Another issue that brings tears to my eyes is the fact that the young people in the community especially those of working age are constantly engaged in smoking marijuana and drinking numerous bottles of beer as a form of entertainment and keeping themselves active so they would not be bothered about their woes. To them, drinking and smoking are the surest way of living a healthy and stress-free life but what they ignore is the fact that these acts can land them in serious health predicaments which might even cause them to lose their lives.
If things keep going like this, how then can we ensure that we live healthy lives and promote the well-being of people of all ages when the aforementioned people of Koteyma are already damaging their lives? Is it possible that the story can be changed and that government can put a measure in place to ensure that the citizenry for which the SDGs seek to help, sieze the opportunity to start contributing their quota to the achievement of these goals in whatever way possible that they can?
The SDGs were fully recognized and set rolling in 2016 but I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the past and current governments for the unrelenting support in making sure that these goals are gradually being achieved (especially when it’s only a year after it was widely accepted) and that the lives of the citizenry are wholly improved.
On the other hand, I would like to also plead with government together with other stakeholders to ensure that the implementation process is completed and that the issues which the SDGs seek to eradicate and address die out completely starting from communities such as Koteyma.
I would like to leave the words of H. E Christine Evans-Klock the UN Resident Coordinator who admonished that the SDGs can only be realized and achieved when all the key stakeholders including people at the grassroots level comprehend its importance and partner with government in the fight for its achievement.
WRITER: Ivy Agbozo