The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has condemned what it says was “the lack of observation of safety protocols” during the recently-held parliamentary primaries of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The GMA said it “believes that such an attitude, as exhibited, does not help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease”.
In an 8-point statement, the GMA said: “Indeed, identifiable individuals, who took part in throwing all the precautionary measures prescribed by the Ghana Health Service and, for that matter, the government to the dogs, should be apprehended and prosecuted by the police according to the dictates of the law”.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, at the weekend, told members of the NPP that they must not break the COVID-19 safety protocols again as they did during the parliamentary primaries on Saturday, 20 June 2020.
In his acceptance speech at the party’s ceremony to acclaim him as the presidential candidate for 2020 on Saturday, 27 June 2020, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “My dear friends and colleagues, this past weekend, our party came to the end of the processes that we have to go through to prepare for the elections in December with the primaries in constituencies, where we have sitting MPs”.
“Unfortunately, in our enthusiasm and sheer unbridled joy, we broke some of the COVID-19 safety protocols. It should not happen again”, he warned.
The cursing members
Read the GMA’s full statement below:
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Health Professionals continue to face huge challenges accessing the appropriate PPE for their work. This has contributed significantly to large numbers of health professionals getting infected in the line of duty.
The GMA calls on the government to, as a matter of priority and urgency, provide the needed PPE (both in quality and quantity) at all times to address the recurrent inadequacy of PPE at health facilities. Any supply chain challenges should also be addressed with immediate effect.
The periodic shortages of the needed drugs for case management should be addressed with immediate effect.
i. There are still huge delays in getting test results for patients (sometimes up to 7 to 10 days after sample taking). This situation, undoubtedly, is not the best for case management, especially with its attendant high risk of viral exposure to health professionals and patients at various facilities. The GMA urges the government to do all it can to ensure that test results are available within 24 hours.
ii. There should also be an expansion of the current testing sites and their capacities. All 16 regions must be equipped with testing sites immediately by the government (Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service).
iii. The Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service should address the recurring issues of shortages of test kits. The government’s promise to re-engineer the then Gen-Xpcert machines dotted around the country to do COVID-19 testing is yet to materialise, months later same was communicated to the people of Ghana.
iv. The GMA also condemns the refusal of some health facilities and their managers to test exposed health professionals and other staff in the line of duty. The GMA entreats Government (Ministry of Health) to quickly address this unfortunate development and bring all such facility managers or administrators to task.
HUMAN RESOURCE (SPECIALIST CARE)
Most regions (aside from Greater Accra, to an extent, have very limited capacity (BOTH Human Resource and Intensive Care Units) to manage severe to critical cases of COVID-19 requiring intensive or high dependency care. The government
should ensure that all regions have the needed capacity to manage such patients.
INCREASlNG CASE COUNTS
The GMA is deeply worried about the continuous high daily case count (New Cases). This clearly represent significant community spread of COVlD-19. The GMA recommends that the government should strictly enforce all COVlD-19 preventive measures of the security and other law enforcement agencies including the courts.
COVlD-19 education (especially that against stigma) should be stopped at all levels.
REOPENING OF SCHOOLS AND COVID-19
The GMA urges all school heads, teachers, and students returning to school to observe all COVlD-19 protocols. Management at schools should ensure that the requisite preventive logistics are available for use at all times. Enforcement of rules is paramount at this point in time. This is very essential if we are to avoid outbreaks at the various schools.
THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY’S (NPP) PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES
The Ghana Medical Association strongly condemns the lack of observation of safety protocols during the recently-held primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The GMA believes that such an attitude as exhibited does not help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Indeed, identifiable individuals, who took part in throwing all the precautionary measures prescribed by the Ghana Health Service and for that matter Government to the dogs, should be apprehended and prosecuted by the Police according to the dictates of the law.
NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY (NIA)
The Ghana Medical Association bemoans the lack of safety protocols at the National Identification Authority’s ongoing exercise to distribute National Identification Cards at various parts of the country. The GMA would like to remind the NIA of their responsibility to keep Ghanaians safe and protect them from contracting the COVID-19 disease through this exercise. The Chief Executive Officer of the NIA should be held accountable for any breaches of safety protocols at the various centres.