Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman
The Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Mr. Prosper Bani, has urged vice chancellors, presidents, rectors and principals of all tertiary institutions to join forces with the government to ensure that the Ebola outbreak, which has affected four West African nations, does not spread to Ghana.
According to Mr. Bani, there is the need for effective cooperation and coordination of strategy between the inter-ministerial committee constituted by the government and the heads of all tertiary institutions in the country.
He made the call during a meeting with the heads of tertiary institutions, including private ones, at the Flagstaff House on Monday.
The meeting was called to coordinate efforts and strengthen preparatory planning and other measures that were relevant to prevent the Ebola disease from entering Ghana, particularly the various campuses.
It was stressed at the meeting that government had procured 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be given to frontline health workers.
The Chief of Staff gave the assurance that health professionals working in both public and private tertiary institutions would also receive the PPE when the consignment arrives in Ghana later this week.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Kweku Agyeman Mensah, announced that Ghana had not recorded any cases of the disease so far. He stated that the 57 suspected cases reported from nine regions, with the exception of the Volta Region, had been tested and proved negative.
The Health Minister reiterated that the government had established emergency response units across the country and already trained selected health personnel to man these emergency health facilities. Emergency expertise was also being provided at all entry points in Ghana, especially at the airports.
Several heads of institutions gave updates on steps they had been taking to prevent the Ebola virus from getting to the various campuses. They include setting up of isolation units on campuses, public education of staff and students, procurement of PPE, distribution of free sanitizers and improvements in personal hygiene.
The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, indicated that information would be sent out by Wednesday, 20 August, 2014, on when it would be considered appropriate to commence the 2014/15 academic year.
Samples of the 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment, procured by Government, were displayed at the meeting.
Ghanaian tertiary education institutions have 10,399 international students with 10,020 of this figure coming from African nations.
Others who addressed the meeting were the Ministers for the Interior and Communications, Mr. Mark Woyongo and Dr. Edward Omane Boamah respectively.
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