MP proposes resident health officers for SHSs as disease outbreak surges

The latest three death Tuesday caused parents to besiege the school premises

The outbreak of diseases in some Senior High Schools (SHS) that us causing deaths of students in the country has triggered proposals for resident health officers to be employed in the various schools.

Eastern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) together with the Eastern Regional Health Directorate has proposed that heads of SHS are compelled to at least employ a resident health officer.

A second-year student of the Koforidua Secondary Technical School in the Eastern Region died Friday at the Government Hospital in Koforidua of a suspected case of meningitis.

Similar deaths and outbreak of diseases including swine flu have been recorded in a number of SHSs in the country

The death of the Koforidua Sec has caused some concern in the school as some students fear that this could be the onset of a disease outbreak, similar to the health crisis at the Kumasi Academy in the Ashanti Region.

Speaking on the issue, Eric Kwakye Darfuor, Eastern Regional Minister said he wouldn’t want to state that the death recorded at Koforidua Sec Tech was a result of “overcrowding” in the school as is being purported.

He added that friends of the deceased student asserted to the fact that, the student had been ill for some time.

“If you talk to those of them who are close to him, he has not been healthy for some time. He did not report early,” he said.

The Regional Minister added that it is a call to “actually compel heads of institution to create a first point of call for all the schools, employ some health officials and put them there, because it beats imagination how you can be handling about three thousand students without any form of medical attendance; anything can happen’’

But the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Education Service, Reverend Jonathan Bettey said the GES “does not listen to suggestion and take immediately” but rather present such suggestions to the Minister of Education.

“He [the minister] will also move ahead and present it the parliament or the government for that matter and to the final person that will take a decision” he added.

Rev. Bettey indicated that GES only implements policies so if it becomes a policy that all schools in this country should have clinics, and then it will “trickle down” to GES to compel the schools to comply.


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