Despite thousands of people killed so far by the deadly Ebola virus since its outbreak in March this year, government through the leadership of the inter-ministerial team in charge of the Ebola disease, seems to be taking the reality of the disease hitting Ghana for granted.
Credible information available to the DAILY HERITAGE indicates that aside the fact that the Government of Ghana has not placed a travel ban on Ebola infected countries as South Africa and others have done, no real Ebola screening is being conducted at any of the entry points to the country.
A number of people have currently entered Ghana through the Kotoka International Airport without being taken through any screening to detect the Ebola disease before being allowed entry into Ghana.
Reliable information from one of the people who entered the country through the Kotoka International Airport on Wednesday, August 27,2014 from Sierra Leone, one of the seriously struck Ebola countries, name withheld, revealed that they were only provided with a hand sanitizer for them to clean their hands by officials at the airport.
According to him, the only country he was screened throughout the trip was in Sierra Leoneand this was just to check his temperature to determine if it was similar to the temperatures of infected persons, but no lab test was conducted.
The source disclosed to the paper that, after that partial screening he underwent in Sierra Leone, he travelled to Ghana through several transit points such as Morocco and Portugal due to the ban on direct flight to and from Sierra Leone by some airlinesfollowing the outbreak and in both transit countries, but they were not screened.
This reveals the likelihood of an Ebola infected person travelling to Ghana without his/her Ebola status being detected.
This calls for a serious intervention since a student from Guinea just entered Senegal without being detected and went to seek medical attention only to place the nurse and doctors who attended to him at risk.
His action has added Senegal to the list of Ebola infected countries like the Nigerian scenario.
Should the deadly disease which currently has no cure hit Ghana; lots of lives will perish since the country is still struggling in its efforts to deal drastically with the cholera outbreak which even has a cure.
It would be recalled that officials of the Ghana Immigration Service recently complained about protective gloves and other equipment to screen foreigners entering the country through the borders.
The government has held deliberations on preventing the spread of the disease at tertiary institutions and would today hold another meeting at the Education Village to block it from spreading to the pre-tertiary sector in the country.
These meetings only reveal the regime’s preparedness to control the spread of the disease on paper but the measures to safeguard the various entry points to Ghana are left unattended to.
When Michael Agyabeng, Coordinator of Port Health was contacted by DAILY HERITAGE, he disclosed that before August 22 2014, passengers from Ebola infected countries were screened at the airport before being allowed into the country.
He added that that protocol has been reviewed and extended to passengers from all West African countries and any other country suspected of recording the disease.
According to Mr. Agyabeng, the screening does not prove 100% of security. He revealed that the screening entails filling of a form at the airport which compels passengers to disclose where they have been, who they came in contact with and whether they had any contact with a sick person or animal in the past 21 days and also a check is done for temperatures above 37.5 Degrees Celsius.
Mr Agyabeng further revealed that not all passengers from the specified regions are subjected to the screening, but it is limited to passengers showing signs of ill health. “If there is no reason to screen a person why subject the person to screening,” he added.
Source: Daily Heritage
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|