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General News of Friday, 15 December 2017


Deaths in SHS: Minority wants answers from Health, Education ministers

The Minority in Parliament says the Health and Education Ministers must appear before the House to update members on the roadmap to dealing with the outbreak of meningitis and swine flu in the country’s senior high schools and the attendant deaths.

At least seven students have died in the recent scourge, a situation which has triggered fear and panic in most schools across the country.

Students of Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) were the worst hit with some four students dying in November as a result of the outbreak of Swine Flu there.

Scores have since died from meningitis in other schools especially in the Northern and Upper East Regions.

Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the situation is worrying and requires urgent steps to be taken.

Even though H1N1 vaccines and anti-viral agents have arrived, at least for students in Kumasi Academy, the MP believes the ministers of Education and Health must appear before the House to give a full account of what has happened and steps being taken to address the challenges.

“Students have died at Bawku Senior High School, Damongo, Tempane Senior High Schools, Koforidua Sec Tech. This is in addition to the Kumaca issue, St. Martins as well and many reports keep coming in.

“We dealt with the KUMACA issue last week and we should not create the impression as if other secondary schools are not of importance to us.

He pleaded with the Speaker to summon the Ministers of Health and Education to “appear before us in the coming week so that we can, all together, see how we deliberate and find lasting solutions to the public health nightmare which our senior high schools are currently facing.”

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu supported the call from the North Tongu MP and encouraged the Speaker to summon the two ministers before Parliament.

“The deaths are not waiting for us,” he said and called for urgent action by the two ministers.

Joy FM’s Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo said the Speaker is yet to react to the calls from the Minority MPs.

The two ministers are also Members of Parliament but were not present in the House when the calls were made for them to appear before the House.

With the House preparing to rise for the Christmas break next week, Gakpo reported the two ministers are likely to appear before the House early next wee if the Speaker gives that directive.