The AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Programme (AGAMal) is to facilitate the establishment of a COVID-19 testing centre in the Upper West Region.
This will not only take away the burden of carrying samples to Tamale, Kumasi or Accra for testing but will also enhance the region’s testing rate and speedy release of results of samples taken.
Mr Samuel Asiedu, Programme Director for AGAMal disclosed this while presenting COVID-19 Support items to the Upper West Regional Health Directorate in Wa. He said the centre when established would be able to test for other infectious diseases such that it would continue to be relevant even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Asiedu said AGAMal would also equally embark on a massive education and sensitization of the general public for them to come to understand and appreciate what it takes to prevent COVID-19.
The AGAMal Programme Director disclosed that the company would soon be distributing thousands of free nose masks to the public to help protect them against the disease.
The items they presented included 100 pieces of tissue paper; 200 bottles of hand sanitizer (500ml); 26 boxes of surgical gloves; seven pieces each of beds, mattresses, T-Rolls, blankets, and pillows as well as two pieces/boxes each of BP Apparatus, infrared thermometers, patient screen, medicine tray, veronica buckets and carbolic soap.
The rest are one piece of autoclave, 12 mini gallons of bleach/chlorine, 30 pieces of visor/face shield, 14 pieces of bed-sheets, 30 bottles of Dettol antiseptic liquid and 10 boxes of bottled water.
This was followed by the disinfection of 13 high risk health facilities across the region including the Upper West and Wa Municipal Hospitals to make them user friendly for clients who visit these facilities to seek health care. Mr Asiedu said the 300,000 dollar programme was being implemented in the Upper West, Upper East and Obuasi in the Ashanti Region.
Dr. Damien Punguyire, the Upper West Regional Director of Health Services in receiving the items thanked AGAMal for the kind gesture, noting that health facilities were places for healing but if not properly managed, they could rather become centres for spreading diseases.
He said with the donation, the Sissala East isolation center, which was not functional due to the lack of needed logistics would become fully operational in the next few days as all that was required had been provided.
On the COVID-19 update in the Region, Dr Punguyire said the region had 22 confirmed cases out of which 12 have fully recovered and had been integrated into their communities while the remaining cases were all asymptomatic and in stable condition.
He advised against stigmatizing those who survived the disease and rather urged the public to receive them well into their communities.
The Regional Director of Health Services also dispelled rumours that the region was having low number of confirmed cases due to low rate of testing, saying that as at last Thursday, the region had sent about 1,000 samples for testing.
He said 21 out of the 22 confirmed cases were identified through active surveillance and not that they were sick and reported to the hospital, pointing out that, had they not identified all these 21 people through surveillance, they would have continued living and spreading the disease in their communities.