Health News of Monday, 11 August 2014
The inter-ministerial Committee on Ebola is expected to meet today to review strategies on preventing the entry of the deadly virus into the country, Joy News has learnt.
The committee was set up to institute measures to secure the country’s boarders against persons who may enter the country carrying the virus and also prepare for a possible outbreak.
It has so far helped to set up Ebola preparedness centres across the country, especially at the entry points. However, information gathered by Joy News indicates that today’s meeting will be chaired by the Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani.
It will review the measures taken so far on the deadly Ebola virus and identify areas which need further strengthening. After two days of meetings, the emergency committee of the World Health Organization unanimously agreed to declare the ebola virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on Friday.
According to the World Health Organization, the current Ebola outbreak began in Guinea last December and has since spread to Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. As of Aug. 4, the WHO statement said there have been 1,711 reported cases of the disease, over 1,000 of which have been confirmed, and 932 deaths due to the virus.
Meanwhile, Immigration and Port officials at the Elubo border in the Western Region told the Health Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang Mensah, when he visited the area that measures they have put in place will make it extremely difficult for anyone with the Ebola virus to enter Ghana from their end.
According to them, the Elubo border and all unapproved routes to Ghana from Ivory Coast have been well secured to make it impossible for anyone to enter Ghana without their knowledge.
Facts about the Ebola virus
The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases.
The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care.
During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.
Ebola virus disease outbreaks can devastate families and communities, but the infection can be controlled through the use of recommended protective measures in clinics and hospitals, at community gatherings, or at home.