The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwifery Association have rejected directives given by the management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to doctors and midwives at the hospital to use locally made nose masks.
The management of the hospital, in a letter dated May 22, directed doctors and nurses who were not deployed at the critical area to consider wearing home-made nose masks to help the hospital deal with shortage of the basic personal protective equipment.
However, the health personnel have rejected the suggestion, insisting there could not be segregation between those working directly in the frontline of managing the coronavirus situation and others managing other patients at the other units.
Checks by the Daily Graphic at the KATH revealed that surgical masks were currently in short supply and might not be able to serve all health workers in the region, hence the move by the hospital management.
It was observed that aside from the doctors and nurses, some allied staff workers wore locally made nose masks.
The President of the regional association of the GMA, Dr Paa Kwasi Baidoo, confirmed their protest to the KATH management.
“Ideally, all health staff should be provided with full personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks, goggles and the overall once they show up for work. So if we are not getting those, we should be given the surgical masks.
“We all know the risk of being at the hospital where every patient who comes for medical attention could be a potential COVID-19 positive person and the rate of infection from a home-made or cloth mask.
“For us to be told to use the cloth mask or the home-made mask is putting our lives at risk and that is unacceptable,” Dr Baidoo said.
A source at the KATH told the Daily Graphic that the management had received a joint communique from both associations rejecting the current arrangement.
The source further confirmed that the joint communique was demanding an immediate reversal to the use of the N95 nose masks to minimise the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Consequently, the management of KATH has scheduled a meeting with the two groups next week to thrash out the agitation.
"All we did was to comply with the Food and Drugs Authority’s advice. However, if that suggestion does not sit well with our doctors and nurses, this can easily be resolved without a media war," the source said.
Source: Daily Graphic
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