Residual Capacity and the Political Economy of the Pandemic Response in Ghana – Ghana



Overall, poor countries in Africa and elsewhere appear to have weathered the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) pandemic better than wealthier countries with superior health systems.

Using the Ghanaian case, this article draws on newspaper articles, political statements, and other secondary sources to explain how the country’s competitive patronage political settlement influenced the public health outcomes of the pandemic.

He argues that even though it lacks overall state capacity, Ghana has been able to overcome the limitations of its weak and underfunded public health system by leveraging the “residual capacity” of health care programs. public health precedents and a strong proactive response from continental and sub-regional organizations.

The government’s swift and forceful response enabled it to take control of the situation during the crucial first months of the outbreak. However, with elections looming later in the year and unwilling to bear the political costs of sustaining its initial efforts, the government subsequently wavered in its response. The country’s infection and death rates have risen and fallen in response to these waves of repression.

The paper ends with a brief discussion of the limits of “residual capacity” in the provision of public services.

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