Shama authorities finger activities of fishermen as potential cause of Ebola outbreak
Authorities in Shama in the Western Region have expressed worry over the activities of fishermen in their community,to which they say,could open up the town to a potential Ebola outbreak.
These fishermen, according to Shama Disctric Assembly, are engaged in the transportation of sick Ghanaians who are unable to afford medical healthcare in countries like Ivory Coast and Nigeria back to Ghana.
The fishermen in the community also tend to travel to shores of countries where there has been an outbreak of the epidemic, namely, Liberia and Sierra Leone, in search of a bountiful catch.
Speaking to Joy News’ Francis Abban, Assemblyman of the area, Timothy Ayensu, said these fishermen are also engaged in the transportation of Ghanaians who commute to these neighbouring countries to transact businesses.
“They leave with various people who people are anxious in engaging in various business of theirs and then when they are coming, they come back with people who are wanting to come back after transacting their business there,” the Assemblyman noted
In spite of these lapses, District Chief Executive (DCE) of Shama,Enoch Kojo Appiah, has outlined measures to tackle this challenge by calling for immediate quarantine for those returning to the country by sea and advising those with the intention of leaving to these neighbouring countries by sea to wait.
“Those who would be leaving, we have advised them to wait ,those who are coming the moment they get to the shore we have to immediately get them to the health centre for medical check- ups, the DCE explained.
This he maintains could help prevent the epidemic from reaching the shores of the country despite the sensitization message being preached in the district.
The scare comes in the wake of panic amongst several Ghanaians when possible cases of the Ebola epidemic was feared to have emerged in the country.
However, samples of blood from these cases which were collected from suspected cases of patients from the Ashanti, Eastern and Upper East Regions for testing at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research all proved negative, government said.
As of August. 4 this year WHO says there have been 1,711 reported cases of the disease, over 1,000 of which have been confirmed, and 932 deaths due to the virus.
An Inter-Ministerial task force made up of members from the Ministry of Health(MOH),Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Communications which is mandated by government to help prevent possible outbreak of the epidemic in the country concluded its sesssion Monday.
The committee among other things resolved to build three Ebola Isolation Centres within the two weeks to cater for three zones of the country — namely the northern, central and southern zone.
Meanwhile the Shama health centre is yet to receive its share of the protective gears which is being distributed by the Ghana Health Service(GHS) to regional and district health centres across the country, to tackle any cases of the epidemic should it emerge in the country.
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