Ministry of Health doubts Immigration Service’s claim that only 4 entry points equipped to handle Ebola

The Ministry of Health has cast doubt over claims by the Ghana Immigration Service that only four out of the country’s 42 legitimate entry points are equipped to handle the Ebola disease.

Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Immigration Service, Francis Palmdeti, speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Monday said

‘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.’

According to him, only Aflao, Elubo, Paga, and KIA are secured to some extent to screen travellers. 

But Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health, Tony Goodman speaking on Newsnite on Joy FM was skeptical about the statistics put out by the Ghana Immigration Service.

He said, ‘We’ve done a lot. We’ve gone out there to see some of those guys there to work so if Immigration is telling us that we have four, I am not sure about that.’

Tony Goodman stressed that the Ministry has done a lot concerning Ghana’s preparedness to deal with the feared disease. The Minister of Health, he said, will on Tuesday brief the press on some of the measures being put in place to prevent the disease from entering the country.

‘When you go to our boarders you will see our Port Health Officers there doing some work now. We’ve step up screening exercises at the various entry points. If you go to Kotoka those coming from Sierra Leone or affected countries now use a different route because they may have to be screened properly,’ he said.

The Ministry of Health PRO noted that the ministry is creating ‘awareness for state institutions to also at least do their best because if Immigration is saying we’ve not  done enough they are supposed to assist our Port Health Officers to put in place measures to at least prevent,’ the Ebola from entering the country.

According to him, when it comes to measures the Ministry is putting in place, ‘I can tell you that we have done enough,’ he stressed.

Responding to the Ghana Medication Association’s concern that quarantine and isolation wards at the various hospitals should be created to handle any outbreak, Tony Goodman explained that the Ministry has given directives to all hospitals across the country to make provisions for that.

He said due to inadequate facilities, plans have been put in place to turn some wards in the various hospitals into isolation wards when the need arises.

Accra, he noted, has a national centre to handle Ebola cases and ‘every hospital across the country is doing something,’ in preparedness for any eventuality. Story by Ghana | | Ernest Dela Aglanu (Twitter: @delaXdela / Instagram: citizendela)

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