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GHANA ACQUIRES FACILITIES, TRAINING FOR HEALTH WORKERS AGAINST EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE


By Doris Sodjah


In the wake of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the West African sub-region, Ghana’s Ministry of Health began strenuous preparations in anticipation of a possible case in Ghana.

 

EVD, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal, illness in human. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human.


As part of the preparations, an Ebola Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) medical stores valued at GHC 80,000 was built, commissioned by the Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Victor Bampoe, and handed over to the Ministry of Health at the Tema General Hospital in April 2015.


The facility, which includes two medical stores, an office and a washroom to accommodate specific equipment and staff of the Centre, was constructed through collaboration between Barry Callebaut Ghana Limited, the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality cocoa chocolate products, the Swiss Embassy and the Ministry of Health.


The Centre consists of an Emergency Operations Centre which will liaise with other institutions to manage public information and co-ordinate community action, while an incident management unit is also being established to indentify, isolate and manage any case of Ebola that is detected in Ghana.


Ghana has also sent about 42 health workers to support Ebola-affected countries who have returned with enough experience to assist Ghana in case of any reported incident or outbreak.


By the end of the first quarter of 2015, records at the Ministry of Health show that about 138 suspected cases of Ebola had been reported and tested at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and that the results of all the tests turned out to be negative.


That notwithstanding, the threat of an outbreak cannot be taken for granted.


With three pillars consisting of Public Education, Point of Entry Screening and Active Community Surveillance, especially at flash points and Case Management and Contact Tracing, Ghana is, therefore, fully prepared to tackle the disease in the event of an outbreak.

The author works with Information Services Dept. Accra

 

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