An Epidemiologist with extensive experience in health research and capacity development in Africa, Professor Fred Newton Binka, is raising red flags about the adhoc approach to addressing the death cases recorded at the Kumasi Academy.
In his opinion, the panic response by the Ghana Health Service may rather complicate matters. He is advising the Ministry of Health to properly put in place measures and also ensure adequate dissemination of information to allay fears of parents and other stakeholders.
“We’ve really dropped the ball. Our preparations for such epidemic situations are things that we do before these things happen. . .we are groping in the dark and everybody is trying to put up his approach. . . we have to put information out there. We are in an age that you have to take along the public. We are getting pieces of information that tells you that we just got caught into this thing and we are not really prepared,” He added.
On mitigating the situation in the school, Prof. Binka advised that the right way be used instead of the GHS rushing to administer vaccination without a clue what is really causing the deaths.
“What we’ve heard so far that have been done, giving people antibiotics and so on: I don’t know what they are trying to use the antibiotic for. . . the world is crying over antimicrobial resistance, so if you are giving antibacterial for something that is virus, it’s a waste of time because you don’t know. If it is a virus then all the antibacterial you are giving the people will not heed anything. Antibacterial don’t kill viruses. They have not told us much but what we have heard so far is not appropriate,” the epidemiologist revealed.
As of yesterday, 1, 634 students, 102-teaching staff and 61-non teaching staff had received dosages as part of preventive measures to arrest the spread of the disease.
XYZ’s Jonathan Ofori reports from Asokore Mampong, where the school is located, that there is relative calm on campus, after the chaos triggered by conflicting reports when the fresh deaths were recorded.
Meanwhile, the Ghana health Service is preparing to brief the press later Thursday in Accra on its findings so far.
Speaking on the Morning Xpress Thursday morning, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare said the results his outfit is receiving from the diagnosis made so far needs to be communicated to the Media to ward off speculations.
“We took lumber puncture using all our reference labs in the country. We sent samples to Noguchi, we sent some to Tamale because of Meningitis, we sent some to Kumasi Reference lab, Komfo Anokye and Accra Reference lab. They are all working. So far we haven’t put our finger on a definite diagnosis, but this morning we are getting there. Today, we are hopeful that by the close of work today, we shall brief the press,” the director said.
Seven students of KUMACA have died under mysterious circumstances in the past eight months, with the latest on Tuesday. Health officials have not been able to point out the cause of the deaths, leaving many stakeholders in fear.