Ghana’s Government has warned citizens against travelling to Ebola affected countries “unless it is absolutely necessary”.
“Even then we would encourage you not to travel. Especially given the accelerated presence of the Ebola disease…on international media”, Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh said Thursday.
Hannah Tetteh gave the advice at a media briefing on President John Mahama’s recent visit to the United States for the US-Africa Leadership Summit, Thursday, August 14, 2014.
She said the caution against visiting hardest hit countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea has become necessary “because ultimately it is movement between various states and coming into contact with people who have been affected by the virus which create greater opportunities for transmission of the virus”.
The Ebola virus disease that struck in March this year has so far claimed more than 1,069 lives, with over a 1,975 case reported.
The worst hit countries are in West Africa, with Nigeria being the latest state to confirm a case.
Ghana is yet to record its first case, but government has insisted it is putting in place measures to contain the disease should it spread to the country.
“Now that we have given this travel advisory, in the event that you [citizens] do travel to those countries and you are caught up in some difficulty, please know that if the government of Ghana is not immediately in a position to respond we have given you fair warning that this is something that we believe you should desist from doing”, Ms Tetteh said.
Ghana has set up an inter-ministerial committee comprising of the Health, Interior, Communication, Defence and Local Government ministries in a bid to firm up strategies to fight the deadly disease.
At a meeting last Monday, the committee resolved to put up 3 isolation centres in each of the three zonal demarcations of the country – northern, central and southern – to contain spread in the event that a case is confirmed in the country.
The Foreign Minister also said Ghanaians should pay attention to the press notifications that will come up from time to time from the committee, as well as advice on how Ghana is dealing with the issue.
Ebola causes fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea.
A highly contagious disease, it kills up to 90 percent of those it infects and is transmitted through contact with blood or other fluids of infected persons.
There are fears Ghana’s health system is not equipped to handle a possible outbreak. Some doctors have confessed they will run away from Ebola patients due to the non-availability of protective equipment.
Click attached to listen to the Foreign Minster: Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | [email protected]
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