As Ghana’s COVID-19 related deaths reach 112, the Ghana Medical Association has raised eight concerns relating to the fight against the pandemic.
Among them, are concerns about the flouting of the COVID-19 safety protocols, the biggest example being the recent NPP parliamentary primaries.
The GMA has demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution party members who flouted the COVID-19 safety protocols during the party’s primaries.
“Indeed identifiable individuals, who took part in throwing all the precautionary measures prescribed by the Ghana Health Service and for that matter Government to the dogs, should be apprehended and prosecuted by the Police according to the dictates of the law.”
The NPP was heavily criticized after videos from its event showed some members of the incumbent party blatantly disregard the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Party leadership said there was little the party could have done to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines.
Speaking at his acclamation over the weekend, President Akufo-Addo criticized his party members warning what happened should never repeat itself.
But the GMA “believes that such an attitude as exhibited does not help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease”.
The GMA also wants the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Prof. Ken Attafuah to be held accountable for the breach in safety guidelines in the ongoing distribution of the Ghana card.
According to medical professionals, the actions of these persons have the ability to increase the number of COVID-19 infections in the country. It said immediate action must be taken to avert the situation.
GMA has expressed worry over what it believes is the inadequacy of essential medication needed to manage the country’s Coronavirus cases.
Another major concern by the group is the rise in the number of infections recorded on a daily basis in the country.
The eight-point concerns among other things highlighted major setbacks including, shortage of drugs, the low supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and delays in the release of results for samples that have been taken for testing.
GMA is, therefore, demanding “the periodic shortages of the needed drugs for case management be addressed with immediate effect”.
Ghana’s COVID-19 case count jumped to 17,741 as of June 30, 2020.
Recoveries and deaths also stand at 13,268 and 112 respectively.
Read the eight-point concern raised by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA):
1. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Health Professionals continue to face huge challenges accessing the appropriate PPE’s for their work. This has contributed significantly to large numbers of health professionals getting infected in the line of duty.
The GMA calls on the Government to as a matter of priority and urgency, provide the needed PPE’s (both in quality and quantity) at all times to address the recurrent inadequacy of PPE’s at health facilities. Any supply chain challenges should also be addressed with immediate effect.
2. DRUGS (MEDICATIONS)
The periodic shortages of the needed drugs for case management should be addressed with immediate effect.
i. There are still huge delays in getting test results for patients (sometimes up to 7-10 days after sample taking). This situation undoubtedly is not the best for case management, especially with its attendant high risk of viral exposure to health professionals and patients at various facilities. The GMA urges the government to do all it can to ensure that test results are available within 24 hours.
ii. There should also be an expansion of the current testing sites and their capacities. All 16 regions must be equipped with testing sites with immediate by Government (Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service).
iii. The Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service should address the recurring issues of shortages of test kits. The government’s promise to re-engineer the then Gen- Xpcert machines dotted around the country to do COVID-19 testing is yet to materialize, months later same was communicated to the people of Ghana.
iv. The GMA also condemns the refusal of some health facilities and their managers to test exposed health professionals and other staff in the line of duty. The GMA entreats the Government (Ministry of Health) to quickly address this unfortunate development and bring all such facility managers or administrators to the task.
4. HUMAN RESOURCE (SPECIALIST CARE)
Most regions (aside Greater Accra to an extent have very limited capacity (BOTH Human Resource and Intensive Care Units) to manage severe to critical cases of COV I D- l9 requiring intensive or high dependency care. Govcrniaicnt should ensure that all regions have the needed capacity to manage such patients.
5. increasing CASE COUNTS
The GMA is deeply worried about the continuous high daily case ct›unt (New Cases). 1 lais clearly represent si significant community spread of COVlD- 19.
The GMA recommends that the Government should strictly enforce all COVlD- 19 preventive measures tlar‹iuph the Security and other Law enforcement agencies including the Courts.
COVlD- 19 education (especially that against stigma) should be stopped at all levels.
6. REOPENING OF SCHOOLS AND COVID-19
The GMA urges all school heads, teachers, and students to return to school to observe all COVlD- 19 protocols.
Management at schools should ensure that the requisite preventive logistics are available tor use at all times. Enforcement of rules is paramount at this point in time. This is very essential if we are to avoid outbreaks at various schools.
7. THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY’S (NPP) PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES
The Ghana Medical Association strongly condemns the lack of observation of safety protocols during the recently held primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The GMA believes that such an attitude as exhibited does not help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Indeed identifiable individuals, who took part in throwing all the precautionary measures prescribed by the Ghana Health Service and for that matter Government to the dogs, should be apprehended and prosecuted by the Police according to the dictates of the law.
8. NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY (NIA)
The Ghana Medical Association bemoans the lack of safety protocols at the National Identification Authority’s ongoing exercise to distribute National Identification Cards at various parts of the country.
The GMA would like to remind the NIA of their responsibility to keep Ghanaians safe and protect them from contracting the COVID-19 disease through this exercise.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NIA should be held accountable for any breaches of safety protocols at the various centers.
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