The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said Ghana has not recorded any case of the Ebola viral disease (EVD) yet so there is no cause for alarm.
The Head of the Disease Surveillance Department of the GHS, Dr Badu Sarkodie, gave the assurance during a media training on EVD in Accra on Thursday.
Dr Badu Sarkodie said the GHS had put in place a number of measures to deal with the issue from the detection stage to the management stage in any unlikely circumstance.
The measures include the institution of a national surveillance system towards the early detection of the Ebola virus disease locally.
“The capacities of all health workers are being built on how to detect and manage any Ebola case at its earliest stage,” he added.
Dr Badu Sarkodie said all district and regional health facilities had been directed to be on the alert and pick out suspected cases for the necessary measures to be applied.
He said Regional Health Directorates had also been tasked to identify isolation facilities to be used in any unforeseen circumstances.
He explained that EVD had no cure, vaccine or anti-retroviral and, therefore, intensive public education aimed at emphasising its preventive measures was very crucial.
He said surveillance was also a critical component of the preventive measures and, therefore, the national surveillance system was keeping vigil for early detection in unforeseen circumstances.
Addressing the concern of people eating bats in Ghana, he said the local bats had been tested and found to have developed antibodies against EVD.
He also explained that they were not the fruit-eating bats that had been found to be host of the Ebola Virus, but cautioned the public to handle wildlife, including bats, with care.
Adhere to preventive measures
The Deputy Director General of the GHS, Dr Gloria Quansah-Asare, in her opening address at the training reminded the public to continue to be mindful of the deadly EVD and to adhere to strict preventive measures.
According to her, reports had indicated that the virus was crossing various borders in the West African sub-region through the movement by humans and animals believed to be hosts, a situation which was an indication that Ghana was not perpetually safe.
“For this reason there has to be continuous public awareness-raising and strict surveillance measures by stakeholders,” she added.
Ebola disease – also called Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola fever – is a rare and often fatal illness that humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys and gorillas) can contract.
The disease is transmitted through direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, sweat, saliva, stool, vomitus and urine of infected persons.
It could also be spread through contact with the corpse of infected persons, eating or manhandling dead or infected animals particularly monkeys, bats, antelopes and porcupines that carry the Ebola virus, and using skin piercing devices that had been used on infected persons.
The symptoms of Ebola include lasser fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, measles-like rush, red eyes and profuse bleeding from the body openings such as the eyes, ears, nose, gum and the rectum.
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana
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