General News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Blood samples of three first-year male students of the Kumasi Academy, who died under mysterious circumstances within 48 hours have been sent to the Noguchi Memorial Research Institute to ascertain the cause of death.
The deaths, which bring to 10 the number of students, all males, who have died since May this year, have caused fear and panic among parents, as well as students and staff of the school.
The school authorities are tight-lipped over the matter but the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs Cassandra Twum-Ampofo, confirmed the deaths to the Daily Graphic.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo said the first student felt feverish and was taken to the sickbay for first aid and later rushed to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Hospital around 10 p.m. last Wednesday but died at 4 a.m. the following day.
The second death, she said, occurred around 8 p.m. the same Thursday. The student also complained of fever and when he was taken to the bay, the nurse directed that they rush him to the KNUST Hospital, but after an hour at the hospital, he was also pronounced dead.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo indicated that the third death happened on Friday after the student had gone home on exeat as a result of ill health.
While at home, he was taken to the Tafo Hospital, from where he was referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital but died later in the day.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo said blood samples of the students had been taken to the Noguchi Memorial Research Institute for investigations, while autopsy was yet to be conducted on them.
She said the Asokore Mampong Municipal Health Directorate was moving to the school to continue with personal hygiene and health education.
A medical team from Accra was on its way to conduct investigations in the school, she said, and urged the teaching and non-teaching staff and students to cooperate and provide information that would help unravel the cause of the deaths.
In April this year, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, announced at a press conference that a post-mortem conducted on the bodies of four students of the school who died within a spate of two weeks showed that the death was as a result of meningitis.
This was contrary to earlier suspicions that they might have died out of food poisoning or killed for ritual purposes. In all, the school has recorded 26 cases of meningitis, out of which four have died.