‘We are ready for Ebola’ – GMA assures Ghanaians

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has said it is collaborating with the government agencies to contain any possible outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country.

The Ghana Health service earlier this week asked all regional, district and local health institutions to be on high alert as the deadly virus had been recorded in West African country, Guinea.

Guinea’s National Security and Health Agency (ANSS) declared an Ebola outbreak in one of its regions on Sunday, after confirming at least seven cases of the disease, including three deaths.

Health officials in the southeastern N’Zerekore district said seven people who attended the funeral of a nurse tested positive for the disease and experienced symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding, reports CNN.

Three of them died following the February 1 funeral but it is unclear if the nurse, who worked at the local health centre, died from Ebola.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (yellow-green). Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Ft. Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID. (Photo by: IMAGE POINT FR/NIH/NIAID/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

But the GMA General Secretary, Dr Titus Beyuo has allayed fears in Ghanaians saying they are prepared to deal with the situation should the country records a case.

“We are putting in a lot of measures [in place] some of those measures are helpful to us in this pandemic [covid-19],” Dr Beyuo told XYZ News Wednesday.

He said the personal protective equipment (PPEs) currently being used to combat the coronavirus can be relied on when a suspected EVD case is reported.

Dr Beyuo explaine that, “in the time of a crisis like this, the Ghana Medical Association has a standing committee on infectious diseases that study whatever is happening and then tried to advise doctors, the public and government as well on how to handle this.”

He said the collaboration with stakeholders including the government of Ghana “has been great and going forward, it is going to be better because these pandemics have taught us that we need all hands on deck.”

Currently the GHS has directed all its Regional and District Public Health Emergency Management Committees to include EVD on their agenda.

“Additionally, regions, districts, health facilities, port health units at all border posts particularly along the Western border and all landing beaches are to heighten surveillance for EVD using the standard case definition. They are also requested to remind all Ghanaians and residents in Ghana on the need to protect themselves from the disease,” the statement instructed.

About Ebola

The GHS in its statement said EVD is a severe, often fatal illness in humans caused by the Ebola virus. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. It can be transmitted through contact with body fluids of a person infected with the virus.

How to prevent Ebola according to the GHS:

  • Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of people who show any of the Ebola symptoms
  • Practice hand hygiene: frequent handwashing with soap and under running water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids
  • Avoid contact with dead bodies, including participating in funeral or burial rituals of suspected or confirmed Ebola cases
  • Avoid contact with animals or with raw or undercooked meat
  • Do not handle bushmeat
  • Seek medical care immediately if one develops a fever (body temperature 38°C or above) or other symptoms such as severe headache, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.


By Henryson Okrah|

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