GMA, GHS clash over H1N1, CSM

Two key bodies in the health sector appear to be shadow-boxing on what is seen as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s lackadaisical response to the concurrent outbreak of H1N1 and CSM in the country.

As many senior high school students catch the two diseases and die on various campuses across the country, the Ghana Medical Service is bemoaning poor emergency response to the outbreaks.

“The Association bemoans inadequate preparedness of the nation for medical emergencies and epidemics,” the GMA stated in a statement Friday that has been provoked by the outbreaks that are killing students across the country.

Interestingly however, Dr. Badu Sarkodie, Head of Disease Control at the Ghana Health Service, has assessed the issue differently, claiming Ghana’s emergency response to the outbreaks is the fastest in the world!

“It didn’t delay at all, indeed this is one of the fastest investigations conducted worldwide,” Dr. Badu Sarkodie in response to concern that Radio Gold’s Sammy Eshun had raised yesterday about the pace at which even the causative factor behind the outbreaks had been determined.

According to the GHS man, rather than bemoan the response to the outbreaks so far, researchers and laboratory technicians at the country’s premier laboratory research institute, Noguchi should be applauded.

Explaining the reason for his claims, Dr. Badu Sarkodie had said that H1N1 had been investigated out as causative factors within days of the outbreak and that it would have taken longer if test samples had been shipped abroad for testing.

He attributed the quick response to the outbreaks to sleepless efforts by staff of Noguchi who he said had spent sleepless nights to ensure that the causative viruses and bacteria had been cultured out quickly.

However, the Ghana Medical Association, which says it is not enthused by the penchant of some of its members rushing to the media to shoot off their mouths on issues that they have not really thought through, called on such members to desist from such presumptiveness.

“We advise our colleague medical professionals to be circumspect with media reportage on health matters in such emergencies. We encourage improvement in the surveillance system at all levels of the health service both public and private.”

The statement, which was released last week, is jointly signed by Dr. Frank Ankobea, President of the GMA and Dr. Titus Beyuo, Assistant General Secretary of the Association.

It condemned the misguided and populist heroism of President Akufo-Addo who had rushed to the Kumasi Academy, a place where a number of students had died of the H1N1 infection, saying the President’s life had been recklessly exposed to danger.

The President, seen by many Ghanaians as the main architect of the disease outbreaks through a populist implementation of Free Senior High School which has led to overcrowding in schools around the country, had stormed KumAca without any protective kits whatsoever.

“We condemn the manner in which the life of the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other citizens were endangered by their visit to the school without the necessary measures being instituted. We recommend that due diligence should be done at all times including consultations with all needed professionals in subsequent events of this nature to forestall any further occurrence.”

The statement also repeated calls on government to put in place two national infectious disease centers to cater for the Northern and Southern sectors of the country respectively.

It also called for improvement in the schools health system.



Source: Adotey

The Republic News Online

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