In the wake of the Coronavirus disease that has bedeviled the world and brought economies and most activities to a halt of which Ghana is no exception, a lot has been said and done in our part of the country but there is no doubt that a lot more needs to be done to protect the citizenry.
The Ghanaian government led by H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo deserves the commendation of all in terms of measures that have been put in place to prevent and contain the COVID 19 outbreak. It is appropriate to say that, as a nation and as individuals, our health is in our own hands now as even the most powerful countries in the world whom we would otherwise have turned to, are struggling to manage the magnitude of the outbreak which has overwhelmed their health facilities, causing high rates of morbidities and recording hundreds to thousands of deaths each day.
Fellow Ghanaians, there is the need that we attach some more urgency to the way we perceive the seriousness and severity of the disease and avoid trivializing it by strictly complying with all the precautionary measures outlined by the government and health authorities, that is, washing hands with soap under running water, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, practicing safe coughing ethics and more importantly, observing social distancing protocols; one metre or six feet away from the next person and reporting symptoms of fever, weakness, difficulty in breathing and coughs early to health care providers while making good use of the emergency numbers provided by the health authorities like 112, 0558439868 or 0509497700.
The severity of the COVID 19 pandemic is not mainly based on its case fatality rate (percentage of infected people who die), but the rapid rate of spread which overwhelms health facilities leading to the situation getting out of hand. The following suggestions are hereby made for consideration by government;
- Motivation of front-line health staff by payment of allowances and not only assurance of insurance cover for these staff
- Proper involvement and engagement of Environmental Health Officers who are the main implementers of preventive health policies and programs at the MMDAs
- Intensify education on the Coronavirus disease and matters relating to lockdown at some parts in the country
- The use of Health Promotion Officers who are professionally trained for risk communication in the health sector
- Provision of adequate Personal Protective Equipment to all health staffs
- Regular evaluation of all measures put in place to assess their effectiveness.
Experience has shown that, most interventions for disease prevention fail due to lack of evaluation for necessary corrections to be made. Ghana needs to learn from what is happening in other advanced countries, and the government owes the citizenry the responsibility to protect and safeguard their health. All Ghanaians need to take responsibility of their own health and comply with health directives.
May God bless our homeland Ghana and make our Nation Great and strong.
Mathias Mawuli Ametefe
Environmental Health Officer/BPH-Health Promotion
Email: [email protected]