General News of 2014-08-22

Ebola scare: Doctors turn off emergency lines

Doctors tasked to give information on the deadly Ebola virus have switched off emergency lines, complaining they receive too many “unnecessary” calls, an officer of the Ministry of Health has disclosed.

According to the doctors, they have other things doing, the officer told TV3’s Portia Gabor on Thursday, August 21.

Tony Goodman, the Head of Public Affairs at the Ministry of Health, indicated that new personnel, as a result, are being sought to man the emergency lines.

“Mine has now become the only line and it is so busy. Anytime, I have to receive calls,” Mr Goodman stated.

The lines were made available to help in educating the public on the Ebola virus.

The outbreak of the disease in West Africa has been the deadliest since 1976, when it was first recorded in Africa.

So far, over 1,200 lives have been lost with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone being the hardest hit.

Government of Ghana has intensified prevention measures over the past couple of months.

An inter-ministerial team under the chairmanship of the Health Minister was set up to oversee government's efforts at preventing an outbreak of the disease in the country.

As part of measures adopted by the inter-ministerial team, three emergency lines were made available.

According to Mr Goodman, only 0299009949 is working.

Meanwhile, checks by TV3 have revealed that most Ghanaians have little knowledge about the emergency lines with most of them advising short codes are used instead.

But Mr Goodman insists the numbers are easy to memorize.

Other emergency lines to be contacted in case of any person showing symptoms of the disease are 0299100157, 02991000574 and 0299100807.

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