The Health Ministry has announced that efforts are underway to establish Ebola treatment centers across the country.
The centers are to be located in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale to cater for the southern, middle and the northern zones of Ghana.
Addressing a media briefing in Accra, the sector Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah admonished Ghanaians to be patient because the government is doing its possible best to protect Ghanaians.
“It is worth bearing in mind that preparedness is not an event but a process,” he said.
There is an outbreak of the Ebola disease in the West African sub-region which has already claimed over 600 lives.
Afected countries include Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
Even though a suspected fever case which was reported at a clinic in Ghana was negative, Ghanaians have expressed fear about the possible spread of the disease in country due to closeness to the four countries where deaths have been recorded.
Governments in the sub-region are putting in place stringent measures to prevent the further spread of the disease.
This has generated concern over the readiness of local agencies and the government to contain the disease if a case is recorded in Ghana.
But Dr. Agyeman-Mensah allayed the fears of Ghanaians with the news that the government is implementing a plan to battle the disease.
The components of the plan are risk communication, social mobilization and health education.
He disclosed that epidemiological and laboratory surveillance in humans and animals has also been put in place.
“Case management, logistics, security and financial resources, coordination which is why the inter Ministerial team comprising the Ministries of Health, Communications, Defence, Interior and Local Government and Rural Development has been set up,” he said.
The sector Minister further noted that there is ongoing public education in which posters and brochures have been printed and distributed.
Frontline staff at health facilities and those manning the various border posts into the country have all been sensitized to identify any suspected case.
According to him, the disease surveillance system in Ghana has been placed on “high alert through intensification of viral hemorrhagic fever surveillance, the field officers are on the alert to pick, package and transport specimens to the lab for confirmation.”
The respective health officers at Ghana’s ports have been given orientation in the detection of cases at points of entry.
“We have activated a system for screening all passengers especially from countries that have recorded cases,” Dr. Agyeman-Mensah indicated.
He said government is in the process of procuring and prepositioning personal protective equipment and is awaiting more supplies.
All health facilities across Ghana have been directed to set aside holding rooms or isolation facilities as well.
The Health Minister gave the surety his outfit is keenly monitoring the progression of the Ebola disease in West African nations because “the epidemic is far from slowing down and we must as a nation do all we can to keep it at bay.”
He said the various suspected cases of Ebola in Ghana “have strengthened our preparedness and response to possible EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) in Ghana.”
He cautioned the public to be “each other’s keeper and be vigilant. We must report suspicious cases early for quick action to be taken.”
“Simple hygienic measures such as washing with soap and water are a useful preventive measure which will also reduce the threat of perennial outbreaks of cholera with the onset of the rainy season,” he added.
Dr. Agyeman-Mensah insisted that the government will “not renege on our efforts to protect the people of Ghana especially our health workers who are at the fore front of this battle against Ebola Virus Disease.”
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana