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14.04.2020 Feature Article

Door To Door Screening Is A Necessity At This Point In Our Fight Against Covid 19

Door To Door Screening Is A Necessity At This Point In Our Fight Against Covid 19
LISTEN APR 14, 2020

We are yet again facing a deadly monster. The world faces arguably the greatest challenge to human health in the 21st century. Our survival highly depends on us and our neighbours having to take precautionary measures as directed by our government. In this critical and unusual time, I remind fellow Ghanaians of our common goal of survival. The state at this time needs the discipline and unity of its citizens to survive. We must therefore put all our differences aside and work together to contain the spread of COVID 19.

There is a concern that COVID 19 has been in Ghana and other parts of Africa since last year. This concern seems legitimate. Come to think of it, if China had not detected COVID 19 would we not be living with COVID 19 patients without knowing? Did people not suffer from similar COVID 19 symptoms last year and early this year, and if these were COVID 19 cases how were we to know, considering our weak health system? Now the fear is that, probably, a lot of people in our communities are COVID 19 patients.

It is important to note that a lot of Ghanaians do not visit health centres for regular check-ups and some prefer self-medication to visiting health centres. Thus, if some people in our communities have corona virus we would be living and interacting with them without any clue. Health experts have made it clear that some COVID 19 patients are asymptomatic and it takes a few days for others to show symptoms. This implies that before some COVID 19 patients begin to show symptoms they might have already interacted with and affected a lot of people with it. The question that therefore begs for answer is, why are the authorities not organising door to door screening in this lockdown period? The lockdown will lose its essence if it is not coupled with door to door screening.

At this point in our fight against COVID 19, the state must assume that everyone is a COVID 19 patient. Now, the challenge that lies ahead is to organise a mass screening exercise where suspected COVID 19 cases will be isolated and treated. Door to door screening is a necessity at this point in our fight against COVID 19. It is only through mass screening that we will detect and isolate COVID 19 cases in our communities. If we must win the fight against COVID 19 then we must begin mass screening. Until we do this we will continue to unknowingly live and interact with COVID 19 patients in our communities and the spread will be fast and dangerous like a bush fire in the dry season. The earlier we start door to door screening the better. Any delay will only increase the number of COVID 19 cases as people interact with others.

It is a good thing to wash our hands with soap under running water and also sanitise our hands in order to contain the spread. However, it is important to note that the recent increase in prices of hand sanitizers coupled with high rate of poverty in the country hinders majority of Ghanaians who are poor from using hand sanitizers. The best thing therefore to do now is for the President to address the issue of sanitizer prices in his subsequent state address. We must fight COVID 19 with all that we have because our survival as a state is at stake. We failed when we did not immediately close our borders when our neighbouring countries as well as other countries recorded COVID 19 cases. We have failed once and we must not fail again. Failure at this point will be deadly.

Yagah Nakoja
Yagah Nakoja, © 2020

The author has 2 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: YagahNakoja

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