Regional News of Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Source: GNA

Gov’t directs the establishment of Ebola centres

Government has directed all tertiary institutions in the country to establish emergency screening centres on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

The directive, which forms part of measures by the government to prevent an outbreak of the dreaded disease in Ghana, also entails the intensification of information and awareness creation campaigns on the various campuses.

The educational institutions should also be ready to extend their health measures to communities around their campuses, said a statement signed by Ben Dotsei Malor, Head of Communications at the Presidency.

These decisions were arrived at after a meeting between the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Prosper Douglas Bani and Vice-Chancellors, Rectors and Principals of all tertiary institutions at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

According to the statement, the meeting was called to coordinate efforts and strengthen preparatory planning and other measures that are relevant to preventing (and fighting, if necessary) the risk of Ebola entering Ghana and on the various campuses.

It was revealed at the meeting that Government has procured 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to be given to frontline health workers.

The Chief of Staff was quoted to have assured that health professionals working in both public and private tertiary institutions would also receive the PPEs when the consignment arrives in Ghana later this week.

According to Mr. Bani, there is the need for effective cooperation and coordination of strategy between the inter-ministerial committee constituted by the government and the heads of all tertiary institutions in the country.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Kweku Agyeman Mensah, announced that Ghana has not recorded any case of Ebola so far.

He stated that the 57 suspected cases reported so far from nine regions, with the exception of the Volta Region, have been tested and proved negative.

The Health Minister gave the assurance that the government has established emergency response units across the country and already trained selected health personnel to man these emergency health facilities.

Emergency expertise is also being provided at all entry points in Ghana, especially at airports.

Several heads of institutions gave updates on steps they have been taking to prevent Ebola, including setting up isolation units on campuses, public education of staff and students, procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), distribution of free sanitizers and improvements in personal hygiene.

Some of the speakers called for a more stringent observation of health procedures at the airports in particular.

The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, indicated that communication will be sent out by today on when it will be considered appropriate to commence the 2014/15 academic year.