General News of Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Member of Parliament for Asawase is angry at what he says is the snail’s pace strategy adopted by the Health Ministry and the Ghana Health Service in vaccinating students of Senior High Schools contaminated either by meningitis or swine flu.
Muntaka Mubarak cannot understand what is preventing the two institutions from providing the necessary vaccinations to the schools especially the affected ones.
It is exactly a week since the health ministry diagnosed swine flu as the cause of death of some four students of Kumasi Academy. A dozen others were treated with the same symptoms and discharged.
Since then there have been reported cases of deaths in Koforidua Secondary Technical, Bawku Senior Technical and Damongo Secondary all of which are confirmed cases of meningitis.
The Head of Disease and Surveillance Unit at the Ghana Health Service Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe told Joy News they are working with the WHO to import the necessary vaccines to stop the spread of the diseases.
He said the initiative to import the vaccines is being championed by the ministry and WHO. According to him, once the virus has been detected a process has to be followed to ensure the virus is compatible with the vaccines. But that process has been concluded and it will take some days to import at least 10,000 doses of the vaccines into Ghana, he stated.
But the Asawase MP believes the process is too slow adding Ghana’s emergency health system appears to be broken down.
Muntaka Mubarak is afraid the situation will worsen if the contaminated students go on vacation.
“We all know how the spread of virus is and how devastating it can be. You tell me which part of the world that you cannot get to Ghana in 72 hours?” he asked.
“The Health Minister should sit up. They should concentrate on prevention,” he said adding, “we are losing the next generation of this country.”
“They were able to know the cause of death on Wednesday. It’s now one full week,” he said, adding it shouldn’t take more than 72 hours to get vaccination imported into the country.
The Vice President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) Angel Karbonu told Joy News they are worried about the situation.
When he was asked if the deaths and the outbreak of meningitis have something to do with the introduction of the Free SHS, Mr Angel Karbonu said the issue of congestion has always been part of the Senior High School System and cannot say whether or not the situation has been aggravated by the free SHS policy.