The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has disclosed that Ghana’s preparedness to identify persons with the deadly Ebola virus at the various entry points in the country is ‘on the low side’.
Speaking to Kwami Sefa Kayi on Tuesday’s edition of ‘Kokrokoo’, Head of Public Affairs at the GIS, Francis Palmdetti indicated that out of the 42 entry points we have in the country, it is only four that are having the necessary basic tools needed to identify persons with the virus.
“I cannot say we are fully prepared…in terms of the basic tools that are needed at our borders in the form of gloves, sanitizers, and other protective gears; it is just a few entry points: Paga, Elubo, Aflao and KIA (Kotoka International Airport) that have them. The rest of the 38 entry points don’t have those protective gears. Apart from that the necessary education materials for references are also not available and so I will say that our preparedness is a bit on the low side” he mentioned.
Mr Palmdetti also urged the Ministry of Health to help them prevent any infected person from entering by providing them with the necessary tools because according to him, if an infected person is not stopped from the border and the person enters, they cannot do anything about it again.
“We have told our staff to be extra careful. We have given them a lot of gloves, sanitizers; however that will not be enough…as I speak, I think we will need more help from other quarters. If we don’t check from the border, and an infected person enters, we cannot do anything and so we need to up our preparedness level to prevent it” he added.
Meanwhile Dr Justice Yankson, Deputy General Secretary, Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has also indicated that the country's level of preparedness is inadequate.
He said “if we don’t put in the right measures in terms of our preparedness, it will be a bit disturbing. We have done something but we need to do more. At the level of the entry points, they are not fully prepared…it is not enough and there is more work to be done. At the level of we the doctors, I can say on authority that every doctor is well informed but what about the rest of the staff? Everybody is exposed”
He asked the public not to panic but “we should get ourselves prepared so that when it gets to our shores we will be able to deal with it. If we want to put our house in order, we should have done it by now”.
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