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General News of Thursday, 6 April 2017


Public interest forced disclosure of cause of Kumaca deaths – Pathologist

The outcome of the post-mortem examination carried out on students of Kumasi Academy Senior High School who lost their lives last week has been made public following the public interest the deaths generated, Dr Paul Sampene, senior pathologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), has said.

According to him, it is unethical for pathologists to put out such information into the public domain. However, given the mystery surrounding the cause of the deaths, there was the need for him to have made the findings public.

Dr Sampene, also a lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) who carried out the autopsy, revealed to the Ghana Education Service that the death was caused by the outbreak of meningitis.

Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Thursday April 6, he said: “Normally the work of the pathologist is not made public but this issue has become a public health concern.

There is the need for the public to know what has happened so that we can all protect ourselves from the cause of the deaths.
“Findings from the post mortem I carried on all the bodies were the same….”

He further revealed that the symptoms of meningitis were similar to that of malaria, hence the need to seek medical attention immediately when those symptoms appear.

“The symptoms of the meningitis are similar to that of malaria, just that with the meningitis it also affects your neck,” he explained.

Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. This inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis is usually caused by bacteria or viruses, but can be a result of injury, cancer, or certain drugs.