Gov’t squeezes cash from Ebola fund to fight Cholera

Health Minister Kweku Agyemang-Mensah says government has had to squeeze money from the Ebola fund to fight the cholera endemic.

President John Mahama only last week ordered the release of six million cedis to augment the fight against Ebola.

The president instructed that part of the money be used to purchase 10,000 additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to ensure the safety of frontline workers who may come into contact with the disease should an incident be recorded in Ghana.

The president in announcing the release of the money also called for immediate steps to be taken to secure an insurance policy for health workers who may be infected with the virus whilst providing service(s) to affected patients.

In spite of the release, health workers are complaining about the in adequate protective equipment at the various hospitals.

Members of the Ghana Medical Association have also protested Ghana’s seeming lack of preparedness to fight the Ebola scourge if it breaks out in Ghana.

In spite of these challenges, the Health Minister told Joy News government has had to take monies from the Ebola fund to fight the cholera endemic which has now killed 45 people in the country.

Ashanti Region recorded its first cholera death, Monday, Joy News has learnt.

Health Minister Dr Kweku Agyemang-Mensah expressed his disappointment over the number of cholera deaths which he described as “preventable deaths”.

He called for the implementation of the sanitation bye-laws and suggested that “area boys” should be used to arrest persons who defecate indiscriminately.

When Joy News’ Seth Kwame Boateng asked if there is a fund set aside to fight the cholera, as has been done to the fight against Ebola, the minister said no.

 “We can take some out of this [Ebola Fund] for cholera.

“We don’t have [a cholera fund]. The point is that Cholera, Ebola, they are [all] life threatening. So we have to squeeze something from Ebola to fight Cholera,” he admitted.

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