Health News Fri, 31 Oct 2014

Health Ministry tests readiness for Ebola

The Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service on Thursday organised an Ebola simulation exercise to test the country’s preparedness for a potential outbreak of Ebola.

The simulation exercise, held at the Tema General Hospital, which is currently the only health facility in the country with an isolation center, was to test how health personnel in the country would deal with a suspected case of the disease.

Ebola has killed close to 5, 000 people and is currently most prevalent in West African countries Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Citi News’ Elvis Washington reported that the exercise begun with health personnel who were dressed in the appropriate protective suits who proceeded to attend to a patient showing symptoms of the disease.

The suspected Ebola patient was taken from the holding area, where the case was reported, to where a sample of his blood is taken and tested. After he tested positive for the disease, the patient is taken to the isolation centre where he is quarantined.

The deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Victor Bampoe, who spoke before the simulation exercise said: “Everybody is asking, is Ghana ready? It is a very important question because when you go through the real thing then you are able to pick up some of the challenges that we may have if we have a real case. So it’s very good for us to do this, and it is important to pick up some of the challenges we may have and try to correct them even before we have a real case. Because if Ebola strikes today or tomorrow life as we know it will change.”

The Director for Institutional care Division at the Ghana Health Service and the head of the Ebola case management team, Dr. Samuel Kaba Akoriyea, said the team would review the process after the simulation but was optimistic about the country’s chances of dealing with suspected cases after the test.

Ghana is yet to officially record a case of the disease, but fears have increased of a possible outbreak in recent times following reports of suspected cases across the country, all of which have so far tested negative.

The country has, however, been named among 15 countries to monitor in order to prevent the spread of the disease by the World Health Organisation.

Several bodies have slammed the country’s preparedness for the disease, including the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) who believe the health system in the country does not have the capacity to deal with the disease.

However, D. Bampoe said on the Citi Breakfast Show earlier in October that the country was “moderately ready” to fight a possible outbreak of the deadly disease.

Source: citifmonline.com
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