It has emerged that as the Ebola epidemic spreads quickly across the sub-region, only four of Ghana’s 42 legitimate entry points are equipped to handle the deadly disease.
Worst still, there are lot of other unapproved routes into the country, Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Immigration Service, Francis Palmdeti has said.
Only Aflao, Elubo, Paga, and KIA are secured to some extent to screen travelers, he said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Monday.
Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, more than 600 people have died from the illness as at July 22, according to the World Health Organisation, placing great strain on the health systems of some of Africa’s poorest countries.
But Ghana Immigration Service, the Director of Public Affairs indicated, is worried little has been done by government in providing the needed protective gear and logistics to handle suspected Ebola cases at the country’s points of entry.
‘We have 42 legitimate borders, but we have a lot of unapproved routes, and those are the routes our border officers patrol, quite a number of them do not even have a facility at the border to take care of these matters.’
However, Francis Palmdeti said Immigration officers have been given directives to be on alert, noting that only few of them have been provided with gloves and sanitizers.
‘But it is unfortunate that we don’t have the needed support in terms of education, in terms of logistics and the guidance we need to be effective, our officers are also vulnerable,’ he stressed.
He advocated for a national call centre dedicated to possible suspicion of Ebola outbreak.
Meanwhile, The Director of Public Health at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has cautioned the Health Ministry and the Ghana Health Service to put in place preventive measures as the Ebola threat looms.
Dr Philip Amoo said the Health Ministry must move beyond the rhetoric and put in place measures to avert an outbreak.
‘People in authority talk sanctimoniously but when you get to the ground and it is not as they are saying,’ he remarked.
He also complained that ‘even basic universal precautions are inadequate in our offices let alone this extensive protection that is required’ as he cautioned against misconception that health workers have knowledge about every disease. They also need ‘thorough refresher’ in cases such as Ebola, he said.
Dr Philip Amoo said the Health Ministry has approved a plan developed by experts from all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to set an isolation centre should the disease break in Ghana.
However the plan has been hit by lack of funding, he said.
Listen to Dr. Amoo and Palmdeti
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