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General News Sat, 9 May 2009

Minister calls for more education on swine flu

Koforidua, May 9, GNA - Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Eastern Regional Minister, has called for more education on the mode of transmission of the swine flu to disabuse people's minds that eating pork meat would transmit the virus.

He said proper education would help save the piggery industry from collapse.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said this at an emergency meeting with the Regional Disaster Management Committee aimed at putting measures in place to prevent an outbreak of the disease in Ghana at Koforidua on Friday. He said enough measures must be put in place to prevent the spread of the disease and in addition it must be done in a manner that would not destroy the piggery industry as well as people's livelihood. Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said research had shown that the virus was transmitted from human to human through handshake and therefore it was important for the public to be educated on that instead of targeting the eating of pork, which was killing peoples businesses. The members of the committee, who attended the meeting, included officials from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Red Cross, Social Welfare, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Vertinary Services, Information Services Department (ISD) and the Security Agencies. A seven-member committee chaired by the Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Babal Jamal Mohamed, was constituted to draw an implementation programme for the awareness creation.

The Regional Director of NADMO, Mr Hussein Tajudeen, said research had shown that, the virus died when exposed to temperatures of over 70 degrees Celsius, therefore, cooking pork well made it safe from all health related implications.

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The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Erasmus Arongo said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had put preventive and responsive activities in place to manage any outbreak of the disease in Ghana.

He said for instance, measures had been put in place at the Airport to refer and transport immediately any arriving passenger, who would be found to be ill to the "37" Military Hospital for prompt treatment. Mr Arongo urged the public to report any feverishness, temperature, cold or severe nose running to the nearest health centre for the necessary diagnosis and treatment. May 9, 2009.

Source: GNA
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