A government delegation, led by the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, has begun a two-day tour of the Upper West Region on a fact-finding mission to assess steps being taken to combat Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) and COVID-19.
CSM has claimed 43 lives so far out of 273 cases recorded in the region while there have been eight recorded cases of COVID-19 also in the region. The patients are all responding to treatment.
The two diseases, unfortunately, have no cure.
In his eighth address to the nation on the novel coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo went ahead to describe the outbreak of CSM as a worrying phenomenon which was being addressed alongside COVID-19.
At the start of its tour yesterday, the government team paid courtesy calls on the Paramount Chief of Wa Traditional Area, Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV, and the Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih.
Dr Okoe Boye said the government sympathised with the families who had lost their loved ones, saying, ”it was unfortunate that there are no vaccines to cure the two diseases.
He, however, gave an assurance that the government was doing everything possible to mitigate the effects of the diseases in the region.
The Deputy Minister of Health said it was important for people showing symptoms of the diseases to report early to hospital.
He said the team was in the region to assess the situation and write a report for study with the hope of finding a solution to the conditions.
From Wa, the team went to Jirapa, an epicentre of the CSM disease where 12 deaths had been recorded.
The Municipal Director of Health, Ms Florence Angsomwine, expressed her concern over the porous nature of the country’s borders, and complained of the high influx of illegal travellers into the region who were making control of the disease very difficult.
She said such undocumented travellers did not adhere to the protocols on combating COVID-19.
That notwithstanding, she said, the municipal health directorate was doing its best to ensure that the lives of the people were protected from the diseases.
Ms Angsomwine said also that delays in receiving results from samples on COVID-19 sent to Tamale in the Northern Region for testing was forcing them to discharge patients without knowing their status with regard to the disease.
The Regional Minister commended the health staff in the region for making the best out of a bad situation.
He said the lack of critical health staff in the region, especially at this time when it was facing the brunt of CSM and COVID-19, was a major concern.
He was hopeful, nonetheless, that something positive would come out of the visit of the Deputy Health Minister and his team.
Source: Daily Graphic
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