General News of Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Members of Parliament have expressed displeasure over the strange deaths of at least eight students of Kumasi Academy and criticised the Health Minister, Kweku Agyemang-Manu over his failure to effectively handle the outbreak of the unknown disease.
According to the MPs, a lack of reactiveness on the part of health authorities has aggravated the situation.
The MPs made these comments on the back of a statement by the Health Minister on preliminary findings by a team of health experts into the causes surrounding the mystery deaths.
Addressing Parliament on Tuesday, December 6, Mr Agyemang-Manu warned parents against forcefully taking their children home since it poses serious health risks and announced a series of measures aimed at containing the situation.
But speaking to Class news on this development, the legislators questioned what appears to be a lack of action by health authorities since the disease broke out in March, 2017.
Meanwhile students are being administered antibiotics as part of measures to stop the spread of the mysterious bacterial infection.
About 1,500 students have so far been given the medication. The Ministry of Education has, therefore urged parents to return their students to school so they can be administered the medication.
Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, told the media on Wednesday, 6 December that: “We are giving the dose to the students and the staff. For the meantime, we have 19 on admission, 16 at the KNUST hospital and three at the Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital.
“There have not been any reported deaths. We have a total of 44 cases. All of them are alive and responding to treatment. We started with the antibiotics, and they are all responding to treatment. When we gave them the antibiotics, we realised that their temperature began to settle and they started doing well.
That is the same reason why we decided to do the mass drug administration so that in terms of those who are having the infection, we cut the transmission immediately,” he added.
Dr Adutwum also said blood samples have been sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of the University of Ghana, as well as the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, to ascertain the nature of the bacteria.
“The next thing we will do is to continue with investigations. The lab investigations are ongoing. On Tuesday night we took some blood samples to Noguchi, and we have also taken some to Korle Bu.
We believe that all the results when put together, we can lay our hands on the specific organism that is causing the problem, and from there we could have a very clear way forward,” Dr. Adutwum added.