The Kumasi Academy is to be closed down indefinitely after three days to allow health officials conduct a thorough environment assessment with the view to identifying the root cause of the mysterious disease that has claimed the lives of four students within a week.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, told a gathering of the school authorities and parents Tuesday that preliminary results from blood samples of the diseased proved negative of meningitis and haemorrhagic.
He said they currently suspect atypical bacterial infection hence they have resolved to give all the students a broad spectrum antibiotic to contain the disease from further spreading.
Dr Tinkorang explained each student would have to take the antibiotic for three days before they could be allowed to move out of the campus.
One more student of the School died Tuesday morning, bringing the death toll to four within a week. Anxious parents Tuesday besieged the school premises to take their wards home following news of the death of the the female second year student studying science.
Three students who reportedly complained of fever have since last Thursday died under mysterious circumstances. Autopsy report on the three conducted by the Noguchi Memorial Research Institute is expected to be ready Wednesday, December 6.
“From the pathology report we believe that there was an infection and because of the fatality, most probably it is one of the atypical bacterial we’re dealing with and that is the reason why we believe that if we start the broad spectrum antibiotics, we may be able to contain the infection” Dr. Tinkorang told the gathering.
Two more students collapse
But the Tuesday meeting ended abruptly after two more students collapsed and were rushed to the hospital. The development heightened the worry of the parents who said the safety of their wards can no more be guaranteed in the school.
Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, said after the three-day dosage, they would make a case to the Ministry of Education to close down the school indefinitely to allow for the environmental assessment as health authorities try to establish what has been causing the death on the campus.
“…after the three days we will consult the Ministry of Education and close down the school indefinitely for in-depth analysis, environmental study to be done to unearth what is causing this type of disease in this particular school,” Mr Osei-Mensah said.
The Health Director has meanwhile used the opportunity appeal to agitating parents who are demanding their wards be release to them “to allow their children to take the dose.
He said once the school is closed they would san every environment in this school and investigate every staff to establish if there is any infection hiding anywhere.
“It’s not panic a situation and i believe we can solve it…we believe that the system we have put in place is such that we are going to address the issue. We wouldn’t like a situation where a child will go home and transfer the infection to the parent or household. That will be very difficult for us to contain,” he told the parents.
He asked both parents and the students to remain very calm.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana