Health News of Thursday, 21 August 2014

Source: GNA

Heath workers urged to observe universal precautions to prevent infections

Mr Kwaku Asante-Krobea, President of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA), has called on all health workers to religiously observe the universal precautions in health care provision to prevent infections, especially the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD).

The precautionary measures, he said, required health workers, particularly nurses, midwives and doctors to ensure thorough hand washing with soap under running water, observing sterile procedures of all medical equipment, while wearing of gloves, aprons, nose masks and other protective gears, before handling patients.

He said this to a large extent had proven very effective in the history of disease management, prevention and infections globally.

Mr Asante-Krobea said this at a national workshop on the EVD in Accra that was attended by nurses and midwifery managers from health facilities across the country.

The workshop sought to complement the efforts of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in terms of Nursing and Midwifery preparedness should there be any outbreak in the country.

It was jointly organized by the Nurses and Midwives Council, the Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery Services of the MOH, the GRNA and the Ghana Registered Midwives Association.

He said reports reaching the GRNA’s Secretariat from the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives’ Federation showed that over 20 nurses had died from Ebola infections and four more had been infected and are on admission.

He described the outbreak of the EVD as the mother of all health battles which has caught the attention of the health systems of all countries and a major concern for the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Mr Asante-Krobea said nurses and midwives formed the largest contingent of the health workforce, reaching at least 65 per cent among health professionals across the field of health care globally.

He said it was crucial for this group of health professionals to gain broader knowledge on the current Ebola Viral Disease, so that they could protect both themselves and others from contracting it.

“Undoubtedly, so much is expected of us as nurses and midwives and as West Africa, the worst affected region of the globe, struggles to survive its toll on its precious citizens, it behooves on us as frontline health care professionals to endeavor to make an impact in the fight against the Ebola health menace,” he said.

He appealed to his colleagues to stay alive by strictly observing all the golden rules and rising up to the occasion to educate members of their communities, religious and also be their brother’s keeper at their places of work.

Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano of the Public Health Division of the Ghana Health Service assured the participants that the MOH and his outfit had put in place elaborate measures to contain the disease in the event of an outbreak.

He said the government had released GH¢940,000.00 to the MOH to finance essential components of preparedness activities including the procurement of the personal protective equipment for health facilities across the country.

He said so far Ghana has not recorded any case of the Ebola Viral disease, but have conducted tests on 57 suspected cases which had all proven negative.

He urged nurses and midwives to be courageous and follow all the necessary professional regulations in healthcare provision and also help in educating the public on basic hygiene practices as well as on the mode of transmission, symptoms and treatment of Ebola cases.