All 16 regions are ready to contain the Coronavirus – GHS

Accra Directors of Health in all 16 regions across the country on Wednesday met in Accra to update the leadership of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on the regional preparedness, response plan and challenges to contain any suspected case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr Patrick Aboagye, the Director General of the Service, said the directors were engaged and given instructions on how best to identify and contain any case of COVID-19.

He said the meeting identified the need for more community education across the country.

Dr Aboagye said presently all the regions have treatment rooms in different stages, stating that “some are ready and others would also be made ready within the shortest possible time.

Dr Alberta Biritrum-Nyarko, the Eastern Regional Director of Health, said regional directors of health services have disseminated all relevant information about the coronavirus to their staff in all health facilities and CHIPS centres.

She said the Health Promotion Department of the GHS has developed audios and jingles in various languages which will be shared to community information centres, media houses and places where people congregate to keep people well informed.

“We have also shared case definitions for easy detection of the virus as well as standard operating procedures that will make people know what steps to take if they encounter a suspected case, all these are in the effort to keep staff well informed to ensure that the panic and fear goes down as well as the margin of error,” she said.

Dr Biritrum said the rapid response teams were also ready to respond to any suspected case.

She said a lot of health workers have been trained adding that ‘the service will continue to train staff to ensure that even those working in the remote arears are enlightened on what to do when they encounter the case’.

She said the regions have been challenged with staff trainings and how to get free education slots in the media.

The regional director said the regions have also been given enough logistics, accessible to them at any given time

“We have facilities in the region that can hold suspected cases until cases are confirmed but for those who will have severe illness that we think we cannot contain, we have laid down procedures to send them to the designated treatment centers in Greater Accra for them to be managed,” she said.

The regional hospitals, she said, will begin patient segregation to reduce infections among patients who are awaiting treatment and to enable them pick cases on time.

Dr Kofi Issah, Bono Regional Director of Health, said Bono has strengthened its surveillance because it has nine approved points of entry and the port health staff at the points of entry screens persons entering and leaving Ghana on a daily basis.

He said the staff are also prepared to approach persons with suspected COVID-19 cases with courtesy to avoid stigmatization.

Ghana has as of Wednesday recorded 47 suspected cases of the Coronavirus.

The World Health Organization has labeled the coronavirus, a family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from common cold to severe diseases as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Ghana News Agency