Director of the World Health Organization Collaborative Centre for Advocacy Training, Prof. Alex Duodu says Ghana has not taken the Ebola issue as a crisis given the lukewarm attitude government has adopted.
According to him, the public ought to be receiving detailed information about the dreaded disease from technical persons by now, but observed, that has not been happening.
In rating the level of education on the virus, Prof. Duodu said “the level of education; the level of awareness by the average Ghanaian including most health workers – on the scale of 1 to 10, I will not put it beyond 2.”
Prof. Duodu told Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey: “That is how bad it is. People don’t just know what to do and so they are panicking.”
He further pointed out that “by now, anybody who is technically involved in the Ebola case should be meeting at least once a day; the population should be receiving information on a daily basis; that is what we call crisis preparedness. So people are with you and so when crisis comes nobody is going to scramble because they know what to do already.”
He said the absence of in-depth knowledge about the disease among the public is “a typical made in Ghana approach.”
Adding that, though a lot of very good work is being done on the technical level, the awareness creation is poor.
Efforts by the Health Ministry and the other stakeholders have not been visible to the public and not clear to the health experts, he said.
He said “a lot of things [are] being done in a very bureaucratic way, which unfortunately makes it practically redundant.” because the media and other major players in the health sector are unaware of the measures being put in place by the government.
Moreover, he stated it would be more suicidal if the country continued to drag its feet in this direction, considering the rate at which Ebola is killing people in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
He mentioned that the three isolated units being built in Tamale, Tema and Kumasi were delaying and should there be a suspected case of Ebola, managing it would be very difficult.
“And we are taking our time as if the virus will wait for us to finish our preparation before it joins us. We pray that it never comes to Ghana; we really pray. But one important aspect of praying and everything is also preparing; praying for the worst but praying for the best,” he said.
Therefore, he called on the leadership of the country from the president through to the Cabinet, to own the process of dealing with the disease.
Ghana is expecting a team of experts from Geneva to train health professionals in the country on how to effectively manage the disease.
Foreign experts have advised that a man cured of Ebola should not have unprotected sex for seven weeks because within that time, he could still transmit the virus.
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