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Coronavirus: Without any case yet, Ghana earmarks $.464m for preparedness plan

Proactive government of Ghana has set aside, the sum of GH¢2.5 million (about $.464m), as initial fund for the implementation of Coronavirus national preparedness plan.

Already global infection has climbed to over 28,000 with 567 deaths though most deaths are recorded in China.

This is coming at a time the Nigerian House of Representatives had rejected a motion of urgent national importance calling for the evacuation of trapped Nigerians in China, citing presence of better facilities to be treated over there in China than here in Nigeria.

Already, several other nations of the world had been evacuating their trapped nationals including the US and some African nations.

Briefing the Ghanaian parliamentarians, the Health Minister, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, recalled that the fund allocation was in proactive response to recommendation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for countries to strengthen their health systems following the outbreak of the deadly disease in Wuhan City of China.

Health Osagie
Nigerian Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Enahire

Already, the Ministry had initiated a process to procure 10,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for use by frontline workers in case of any reported case, he told the lawmakers that “As part of efforts to effectively coordinate activities, Ghana’s Public Health Emergency Management Structures at national, regional and district levels have been put on high alert.”

“Also a National Technical Coordination Committee, with experts from various health and security agencies, has been formed and stakeholders being engaged on the disease.

“The experts are from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ghana Health Service, the WHO, Veterinary Services Department, Immigration Service, security agencies, and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aside the ministerial preparedness, Dr Agyeman-Manu revealed that a strategic meeting had been held with the Chinese Ambassador on the regulation of high risk travels to and from the affected areas.

Continuing, he added that “In addition to screening for fever, using walk through and non-contact thermometers at the Kotoka International Airport and other designated points of entry had been deemed necessary and plans were underway to ensure all points of entry had the non-contact thermometers.”

“We are also using Health Declaration Forms to extract salient information from travellers to assess their risk profile,” Dr Agyeman-Manu said.

“In respect of laboratory confirmation, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has demonstrated capacity to conduct tests for confirmation.”

NASS Femi
Speaker, federal House of Representatives, Abuja, Hon. femi Gbajabiamila

Ghana Business Hilights Bureau chief reports that for case management, the Ministry had designated treatment centres, isolation facilities and holding places for the management of any case that would be confirmed or suspected going forward.

The Minister further averred that “The Tema General, Ga East, Ridge, and the Police hospitals as well as all the Regional and Teaching Hospitals have the capacity to treat cases.

“The Ministry has conducted training for case management teams in Tema and Ridge hospitals and initiated a process to designate more centres in the highly populated areas of Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale.

While noting that “Key message and alerts have been developed for use by the public while other mass and social media channels and engagements were being used for information dissemination,” Dr Agyeman-Manu assured that “We continue to conduct monitoring and provide responses through health promotion and intelligence.”