A civil society group, OneGhana Movement, is warning of dire consequences for Ghana’s healthcare system and infrastructure in the event of coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The group claimed in a statement on Monday that there remain low levels of official information on the extent of Ghana’s preparedness to deal with the potential spread of the virus in the country.
It suggested that Ghanaian authorities have failed to ratchet-up interventions for the deadly novel coronavirus which has infected thousands of people globally and killed hundreds.
Nigeria last week recorded its first case, an Italian citizen who flew into Lagos from Milan last week. Authorities say he is clinically stable and is being treated at a hospital in the city.
Globally, almost 90,000 people in 60 countries have been infected. More than 3,000 have died, the vast majority in China’s Hubei province.
“While the OneGhana Movement acknowledges measures put in place including the dedicated 24-hour hotline service of the Ministry of Health/ Ghana Health Service and the designation of Tema General Hospital and Accra Regional Hospital as Covid – 19 quarantine and management centres; the movement will stress the inadequacy of these in the meantime to deal with any potential outbreak and the psycho-social challenges that could be posed by the myths and fears surrounding the disease,” it said on Monday.
The group underscored the need to have what it termed anticipatory interventions to address issues of infrastructure, strategy, personnel, mobilisation and education.
It has on the basis of that suggested the formation of an Inter-Ministerial (Aviation, Health, Education, National Security) management “to work a functional nexus to coordinate, manage, and control a possible national outbreak”.
It is also suggested a comprehensive national Covid – 19 awareness programme to sensitize and help prepare the population psychologically.
OneGhana Movement again wants an enhanced preparedness of designated Covid-19 detention and management centres as well as an enhanced readiness of diagnostic centres including the Noguchi Memorial Institute.
They want training and re-tooling for more health personnel for Covid – 19 combat and control in preparation of a possible spread to Ghana.
“Anticipatory stocking of Covid – 19 management and control kits, particularly as the global situation signifies acute shortages in many of the affected locations,” it added.
It has meanwhile called upon the government as well as the relevant Health authorities to marshal required resources as a matter of urgency.
“We also urge the government to get the nation together in preparedness and proactive readiness so as to forestall or minimise loss of life in the event of a Covid – 19 spread to Ghana,” it added.
The group however said it has confidence in the ability of the government “to lead in these uncertain times of global public health emergency”