General News of Monday, 28 July 2014
The Ghana Health Service is collaborating with the National Security outfit to ensure that the country is not taken unaware by the deadly Ebola disease, Ghana’s Deputy Health Minister, Victor Bampoe has said.
In a Facebook response to a question about the country’s preparedness for a possible outbreak, Dr Bampoe said “Yes, Ebola is in the sub-region - the worst outbreak ever, but the Ghana Health Service is well prepared to deal with any case that occurs. There is a misconception that every single health facility in every single district in every single region should have a standing isolation ward, etc. that is neither practical nor feasible”.
He explained “The epidemiology of the disease has changed, and so if we're going to get a case in Ghana, it will likely be someone traveling from the sub-region. What has been done so far, and what needs to be done?”
“The GHS is working with National Security and the Border agencies to screen people from areas in the sub-region with to spot suspected cases 2. Messages from the Health Service are going out with periodic updates to let people know how to spot suspected cases, who to report them to, how to, avoid getting infected, etc. Much more needs to be done and will be done in this area 3. Each region has been given an allocation of protective equipment that can be rapidly deployed when there is a suspected case. Even before that, health workers are being trained to identify suspected cases and apply barrier nursing” methods, even before the protective equipment are sent,” he disclosed.
Reports of the virus in the Ashanti region have been dismissed by health authorities after news went viral on Sunday that a patient who visited the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital carried the disease.
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%. EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
Patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for both humans and animals