Director of the Ghana Public Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie, has assured Ghanaians his outfit is prepared to contain lassa fever should there be an outbreak in the country.
He was reacting to the lassa fever alert issued by the Ghana Health Service following outbreaks in neighboring countries.
“Should there be a case for now, we can be very definite to detect it, pick the necessary lab test for specimen for investigation and then we can manage it appropriately and adequately within the country,” told TV3.
He revealed they have holding centers to handle possible cases, indicating “the holding centers that we had at the time of Ebola at Tema, it’s readily available. If you go in there it’s still functional and the one in Tamale was recently commissioned”.
He allayed fears that Ghana’s borders may be porous to allow the disease into the country.
“Our staff have been sensitized, and we are intensifying it over the period. We’re continuously doing temperature check of passengers. This process has started at various points of entry” he assured.
Dr. Sarkodie also cautioned the public to stay away from rats, the animal that carries the Lassa virus.
He, however, called for an infectious disease hospital and a ring-fenced budget to be made readily available for public emergencies.
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness of between two and 21 days transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
It is known to be endemic in Benin where it was diagnosed for the first time in November 2014.
Ghana recorded the first case in October 2011, and the Ghana Health Service is currently on the alert following 31 reported deaths in Nigeria.
By Wendy Larye|TV3|Ghana