Ebola: Absence of PPEs strike fear among health workers

Health workers in Ghana are expressing disquiet about the absence of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at their hospitals.

 They fear the absence of the equipment could derail efforts to prevent an outbreak of Ebola.

The Ghana Health Service recently directed all public hospitals to buy their own PPEs, despite some 10,000 protective gears government says it has procured for hospitals across the country.

In a letter intercepted by Joy News, the Ghana Health Service explained government’s consignment may not be enough to go round.

After an Ebola scare hit a hospital in Dominase in the Ashanti Region, doctors had to wait many hours before they got hold of PPEs to attend to the patient who was showing signs of the deadly disease.

The suspected Ebola patient was left unattended to by frightened hospital staff who had been waiting for the protective equipment to handle the patient.

Although the patient died, tests from Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research said the patient did not have the virus.

Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira told Joy News’ Beatrice Adu there is nothing wrong with a call on hospitals to buy PPES.

“Even if the Ministry [of Health] is going to supply [the PPEs] it will not be enough”, said Dr Appiah-Denkyira.

He said the 10,000 PPEs will not be enough when an outbreak hits the country, justifying his directive to the hospitals to purchase some PPEs on their own.

He further explained that at a meeting with other West African countries, it was agreed that health institutions must augment government efforts – debunking speculations that he gave the directive because there were no PPEs in the country.

“It is a protective mechanism”, he reiterated.
Meanwhile, a UN mission for Ebola emergency response will touch down in Ghana later Monday.

The mission is expected to assist West African governemnts in a bid fight the deadly Ebola outbreak, especially preventing countries in the sub-region that have not recorded a case.

The mission will be led by UN Secretary-General Special Representative and Head of Mission, Anthony Banbury.

The mission will base its headquarter in Accra with offices in Guinea, Liberia and Senegal. 

Deputy Communications Minister, Ato Sarpong, said the team will be coordinating efforts by West African countries to fight the disease.

Latest Ebola figures
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed 3,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

The latest figures indicate that more than 6,500 people are believed to have been infected in the region.

Liberia is the worst affected country, having recorded around 1,830 deaths linked to the latest outbreak.

The outbreak is the world’s most deadly – US President Barack Obama has called it a “threat to global security”.

Some studies have warned that the numbers of infected could rise to more than 20,000 by early November. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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