We will run from Ebola patients coming to Korle Bu – Doctor
A doctor at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Dodi Abdallah has confessed that he and his colleagues will run away if Ebola patients report at the infirmary.
‘Monitoring comments from my colleagues on social media; I think that many doctors will run away at the emergency if a patient or with suspected Ebola comes in. I mean we really, really don’t feel safe. I am not saying Korle Bu is not doing anything but I think that our system itself is not ready for Ebola.’
Contributing to Joy FM’s Ghana Connect Friday, he maintained that ‘Honestly speaking, I don’t feel safe and most of my colleagues don’t feel safe.’
According to him, the hospital is just not ready for the management of the deadly virus. ‘We are not ready,’ he said.
Dr. Abdallah emphasized: ‘I will really be surprised if somebody can stick the neck out and say that we are really ready. I think that if you do a survey and ask many doctors about what they know about Ebola; where they’re supposed to report patients to; I mean it is just not there. The rhetorics are there alright but I tell you we are not ready.’
‘We are really scared especially knowing that somebody we knew very well; we were with the person and the person died. That has really sent shivers down our spines. Maybe people will not tell you but from what I know; we are really scared to our bones,’ he explained further.
Dr. Abdallah said his fear and that of his colleagues have been intensified in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in the West African sub-region because infection prevention, generally, at hospitals in the country was bad.
‘I mean you see patients and there is no water to wash our hands and I don’t think that has changed at Korle Bu or any hospital in Ghana’, he butted in.
He said the system at hospitals in Ghana gives more room for Ebola to spread, should there be a reported case in the country.
Not so gloomy
However, Dr Vincent Ahovi, who is an official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) allayed the fears of Dr. Abdallah and his colleagues.
He explained that ‘immediately this Ebola started in Guinea even before it spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, we [WHO] activated the National Technical Coordinating Committee specifically on Ebola.’
He revealed the WHO was at the forefront supporting Ghana’s Ministry of Health.
Dr. Ahovi continued that apart from the provision of protective clothes for doctors who would be handling Ebola cases, the National Technical Coordinating Committee has been well structured to manage Ebola cases at every stage of its development.
He mentioned the Committee comprised of six sub-committees: Coordination, the Epidemiology Surveillance and Lab , Social Mobilization, Clinical Care and Clinical Case Management, Logistics all of which were part of an extensive plan to tackle the virus.
‘Part of this plans involves the training of clinical care workers, called Teams. Like in Korle Bu, for example, not all the doctors will be trained but there will be core teams responsible should there be a suspected case. That is how things are,’ he said further.
He said the resources that were needed for the training of doctors had already been provided by the WHO.
Sierra Leone’s top Ebola doctor, Sheikh Umar Khan died from the disease at a ward run by medical charity Doctors Without Borders in the far north of the country.
He was infected earlier this month and died Tuesday. He was the second after Samuel Brisbane, a senior doctor at Liberia’s largest hospital who died last Saturday at an Ebola treatment centre.
The late Dr. Khan trained at Ghana’s Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
The Ebola virus has an incubation period of between 2 to 21 days after which the symptoms begin to manifest and disperse to other parts of the human anatomy.
The Ghana government has been advised to treat the situation with all seriousness.
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital denied rumors Wednesday that there was no Ebola virus case recorded at the infirmary.
A police officer visited the hospital coughing, with blood in his stool Tuesday, creating suspicion that he might be carrying the deadly virus.
His blood samples were taken for medical tests. Hospital officials were optimistic it was not an Ebola case.
The medical staff on duty that day, reports said, fled the Surgery, Medical and Emergency Unit of the hospital upon seeing the patient.
But the Public Relations Officer of the infirmary, Mustapha Salifu told Joy News they were confident it could not be the Ebola virus and therefore, the general public should not be alarmed.
He said the hospital was fully equipped to handle cases on Ebola. ‘We have been provided with some protective gears.
We apply that as and when it’s necessary.’
An American, who visited Ghana from Guinea early July, was suspected of having contracted the disease. But sampled blood tests from the Noguchi proved otherwise. He later died.
Championing the fight against the Ebola virus
Ghana’s Multimedia Group in collaboration with the International SOS is championing a campaign to create public awareness on the deadly virus with pictorials.
Facts about the Ebola virus
The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases.
The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.
Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care.
During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.
Ebola virus disease outbreaks can devastate families and communities, but the infection can be controlled through the use of recommended protective measures in clinics and hospitals, at community gatherings, or at home.
Disease update from the World Health Organization
New cases and deaths attributable to EVD continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in the three West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Between 21 and 23 July 2014, 108 new cases of EVD, including 12 deaths were reported from the three countries as follows: Guinea, 12 new cases and 5 deaths; Liberia, 25 new cases with 2 deaths; and Sierra Leone, 71 new cases and 5 deaths.
These numbers include laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths of EVD.
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