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COVID-19: Hospitals in Ashanti region hard-pressed for PPEs; some use toilet tissue as face masks

Some health facilities in the Ashanti region, where the second highest cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Ghana continue to work without the necessary precautionary equipment for clinical staff.

The situation is pushing management of some of the facilities to employ weird improvisation measures to keep nurses “protected” from contracting the deadly disease.

One of such facilities is the Kumasi South Hospital (Ashanti Regional Hospital), where one of two COVID 19 isolation centres have been set up in the Ashanti region; management of the hospital in a distress call through Kumasi-based Angel FM last week appealed for help from corporate institutions and individuals to volunteer help since government’s own intervention was inadequate.

At the Ejisu and Onwe Government Hospitals, nurses are being forced to use toilet tissues clipped with strands of rubber bands as nose masks; a nurse who spoke with 3 days ago on condition of anonymity said, “our in-charge went to the regional office and came back with only four pieces of nose masks; my dear, if you get a company that can be of help kindly show them my pic and let them come to our aid”.

On Sunday morning when mynewsgh called on the nurse to find out the current situation, she said, “It’s still the same; they brought some cloth masks but not all of the staff have it”.

Another nurse at the Ejisu government hospital told in an interview that, “we are working and our lives are at risk; we need PPEs for our work. Even hand sanitizers are a problem here and we don’t have nose masks”.

Donations of PPEs and other clinical equipment to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) from corporate institutions and individuals however continue to be announced since the disease broke out in the country.

Government has also announced the arrival of the first tranche of some testing equipment and PPEs, in addition to a similar intervention donated to the country by the Jack Ma foundation.

Individuals and institutions including but not limited to Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, H.E John Dramani Mahama, Dr Kwaku Oteng, the Church of Pentecost, the UBA and a host of others have made donations in cash and in kind to augment government’s efforts at stemming the contagion, but health facilities across the country continue to complain over the lack of essential equipment to protect frontline workers.

As at the time of filing this story, Ghana’s case count for COVID 19 stood at 214 as at April 4, according to the GHS; an addition of nine more over 24 hours from the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.

“Among the cases from Greater Accra, one is a 37-year-old woman with no history of travel nor contact with a confirmed case. One is a repeat test of a travellers under quarantine who was initially negative but converted to positive on repeat test. Four are contacts of confirmed cases with no symptoms and were detected during the enhanced contact tracing and testing.

Of the three (3) cases from Ashanti region, two (2) are Ghanaians who travelled to Ghana from France within the past 14 days and the third one is a Ghanaian who has no history of travel out of the country nor contact with any confirmed case”, the GHS’s latest daily situational update said.

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