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10.06.2008 Health

Set up epidemic management committee – Dr Ahadzie

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Dr. Lawson Ahadzie, Deputy Director and Head, Disease Surveillance Department, Ghana Health Service, has proposed the setting up of a multi-sectoral Epidemic Management Committee at the national level to coordinate the management and control of epidemic.
He said the committee could periodically meet to ascertain and review the epidemic situation regardless of an outbreak, investigate rumours on outbreaks and other public health problems, propose appropriate strategies and measures to restrain epidemics.
Dr. Ahadzie, speaking at the monthly health talk initiative by the GHS on the topic: “Preparedness and Response to Epidemics” called for the development of a preparedness and response plan which would facilitate prompt and adequate response to epidemic.
He said key elements of the plan should also include functional surveillance system, early warning systems, human resources development, availability of emergency stock of drug and structures to manage cases.
Dr. Ahadzie noted that poor urban planning, environmental degradation, climate change and evolution of pathogen were some factors contributing to the occurrence of epidemics.
He said cholera, yellow fever, measles, dysentery and food poisoning were some of the predictable epidemics in Ghana while Ebola, Avian and Pandemic Influenza, SARS were not often predictable.
Dr. Ahadzie said the management and control of epidemic was not the responsibility of one individual but called on all agencies and stakeholders concerned - NADMO, Ministry of Interior, Transport, Town and Country Planning - to come on board to properly manage such occurrence.

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