Coronavirus: We’re On High Alert – U/E Health Director
The Upper East Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Services says it has put in place a strategic surveillance mechanism in the region to detect suspected cases the novel coronavirus.
The recent spread of the coronavirus in Egypt has killed thousands of Chinese nationals and foreigners with some Ghanaians in China calling for urgent evacuation to save lives.
Speaking to Citi News, Upper East Regional Health Director, Dr. Winfred Ofosu said all health facilities and community volunteers are on high alert to identify suspected persons with symptoms of the disease.
“All health facilities in the region have been alerted about the coronavirus’ signs and symptoms so as to detect any case of the virus. We have also alerted community base surveillance volunteers so that they can detect anyone who has returned from China with the infection and symptoms like fever, cough and other respiratory conditions can easily be suspected and the specimen is taken for investigation.”
“The good thing is that once we detect the case, we have designated a room at every health facility to quarantine the person to prevent further spread of the virus and send the specimen to Noguchi for investigations and within 24 hours the results will be ready for the necessary action,” he said.
He indicated that the region's porous borders possess a challenge to their surveillance. However, his outfit is on a watch-out to avert any eventuality.
“Our challenge is how to police the porous borders within the region, Even though we have approved borders to Burkina Faso and Togo, there are many unapproved routes that immigrants pass and we cannot police all of these,” he stated.
“Apart from the approved borders at Paga, Widanna and Kulungugu where port heath officials screen all immigrants coming into the region, we are relying a lot more on community health surveillance volunteers to pick up cases that are suspicious of coronavirus to link them to the health system so that we can quickly carry out investigation to confirm whether or not it is the virus.”
He appealed to community members within the region to urgently report persons exhibiting signs and symptoms of coronavirus to the health centres for management.
“Even though we do not have a specific treatment for coronavirus infected persons, we have other treatment we can give to make sure that infected persons survive.”