US$100 Million Funding Will Enhance COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness – GHS

Dr. Badu Sarkodie, the Director for Public Health, Ghana Health Service (GHS), has given the assurance that the US$100 million funding from the government is going to help prevent the spread and effectively manage cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

He said following confirmation of the country’s first two cases of flu-like virus, there was an urgent need to do more laboratory testing on the various contacts of the infected persons.

“There would be the need for contact management to test all the people they have come in contact with and find out whether they have the infection or not.”

Dr. Sarkodie was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in Accra, on Friday.
He said they had initially planned to use mostly the response teams at strategic areas, but now it had become absolutely necessary for all health staff to be trained to pick up cases and to properly manage them.

With the funding, there would be more preventive activities in the regions, one-on-one meetings, engagement with the various heads of health information and enhancement of public health education structures at the community, districts, regions and the national levels.

“So there will be quite a number of promotion and preventive activities and all these require resources,” he added.
A lot more jingles, leaflets and pull-ups, and other public education messages would also be sent out to aid everybody to have a better understanding of the disease, to remain safe.

Dr Sarkodie said in the wake of the confirmation of the virus, the country required more treatment centres, isolation rooms and quarantine places for people who were not necessarily sick but had to be quarantined for the incubation period of 14 days and also in case of a surge.

He added that going forward, they would conduct research to determine the cause of the virus in order for Ghana to also contribute to science.

Ghana on March 12, confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 after tests by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

The patients are currently being handled in one of the existing treatment centers.
The infected persons arrived in the country from Norway and Turkey.

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