The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives’ Association in the Upper West Region are demanding a forensic investigation into the tenure of its Regional Director of Ghana Health Services, Dr Osei Kuffour Afreh who has subsequently been reassigned.
This call comes after the association “intercepted a letter dated, 20th April 2020 signed by the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Parick Kuma-Aboagye re-assigning Dr. O.K Afreh to the headquarters of the GHS.”
While applauding the Director-General for the action, the association called for an expedite handing over or they will resort to wearing of “red bands to work as a first step if their concerns are not addressed by Monday 27th April 2020.”
The association further called for an audit of “all financial handlings within his [Dr Osei Kuffour Afreh] reign as Regional Director, especially in his last one week in office. The recent quota/financial clearance for the recruitment of staff into the service in the region. The over 40 CSM deaths in the region and all donations received through the Health Directorate in respect of the fight against COVID19 and CSM in the Upper West Region”.
Combating CSM in the Upper West Region
The Ghana Health Service planned to undertake a mass sample collection exercise to test over 2,000 persons suspected of COVID-19 in the Upper West Region.
Earlier on April 16, 2020, the Ghana Health Service dispatched a team of experts to the Upper West Region to help fight the increasing number of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) cases in the area.
With these interventions, health authorities on April 17, 2020, disclosed that the current outbreak of Meningitis in the region is caused by a new strain of bacteria that has no vaccine .
The region has a record of 40 deaths of about 258 confirmed cases in the region.
Upper East region’s fight against CSM
Out of the 71 suspected cases reported between January and April 2020 in the region, it recorded 21 confirmed cases with seven deaths .
Below is the full press release
The Upper West Regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives' Association (GRNMA) has intercepted a letter dated, 20th April, 2020 signed by the Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Parick Kuma-Aboagye re-assigning Dr. O.K Afreh to the headquarters of the GHS. We wish to thank the DG for this intervention but to also call on the Regional Director to consider the situation in the region and expedite the handing over process so as to save the ailing health system in the region. This call is important because his further dragging of the process would worsen the situation as he may not be able to focus on giving instructions to his subordinates as we are beginning to see in some places. It is extremely dangerous to leave gaps at this time given the delicate nature of the health system in the region. Members of the GRNMA constitute up to 70% of the total workforce in the health sector, therefore, when the sector gets bad, our members bear the brunt the most.
As a consequence, therefore, if by Monday, 27th April, 2020 he still fails to initiate steps to handover, all Nurses and Midwives in the region shall wear red bands to work as a FIRST STEP to drum home this crucial call.
The GRNMA also wishes to call on the GHS and government for that matter to take keen interest in conducting urgent forensic investigations into the following:
1. all financial handlings within his reign as Regional Director, especially in his last one week
2. the recent quota/financial clearance for recruitment of staff into the service in the region,
3. all the over 40 CSM deaths in the region and
4. all donations received through the Health Directorate in respect of the fight against COVID19 and CSM in the Upper West Region.
The GRNMA and its members are committed to working tirelessly with the service to safeguard the lives of Ghanaians even in these trying times.
Members of the general public are entreated to continue to stay safe by following all the safety protocols as we preach out there. COVID-19 shall pass, CSM shall pass.