June 26, 2019

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‘We’ll not shield any official in ‘contaminated’ blood saga’ – Health Ministry

‘We’ll not shield any official in ‘contaminated’ blood saga’ – Health Ministry Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health

The Ministry of Health has indicated that health officials who breached professional ethics in the distribution of the alleged contaminated blood to a patient at the Komfo Anokye teaching hospital are sanctioned.

This comes after reports that the blood had tested negative for HIV and Syphilis after a preliminary test.

In December 2018, it emerged that some blood from the hospital’s blood bank was contaminated with social media rumors suggesting that the blood was issued to a patient of a private clinic.

A five-member committee was subsequently set up to investigate the allegation by a family that visited the hospital with their relative.

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu,  has confirmed to Citi News the Committee has presented its report to him, adding that officials found culpable of any breaches would not be shielded.

“Those involved in the matter will be referred to their appropriate regulatory body. So, if it is a doctor, w will refer the matter to the Medical and Dental Council for the necessary disciplinary action. If it is a nurse, the nurses and midwives council will probe her. If it someone in allied health, we will refer the matter to the allied health council to work on it.

“There are rules and professional ethics in there. They shouldn’t have given the blood to the patients’ relative. Blood should be handled only by professional health workers and those who have been assigned to work on the blood. There are protocols which needed to be followed. All these things will come out when we issue the statement”, he added.

KATH contaminated blood probe not transparent – Family rejects findings

The family that first raised the alarm of possible blood contamination at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) blood bank, has said the probe that cleared the hospital of claims that it gave out blood with HIV and Syphilis was not transparent.

In a statement following the pronouncement by the five-member Independent Committee set up by the Ministry of Health on the matter, Evans Addo Kwabla, the son of the woman who was almost given the blood feared to be contaminated, said “there was no transparency in the handling of the blood.”

He also said they were “not part of the team who took the blood to Accra and were not involved in any investigation.”

“The only instance was a time when he was invited by police with no agenda even upon several requests of what exactly the meeting was about on Thursday (6th December) and only to find out at police quarters that he was to meet a committee from Accra,” the statement noted.

Mr. Kwabla thus said “we do not associate with the results brought out by the committee.”

He said there would be a further press conference on the matter.

Background

Reports first emerged on social media suggesting that the blood had been issued to a patient of a private clinic.

Two different blood bags from the hospital were said to have tested positive for HIV and Syphilis, according to Adolf Addo Kwabla.

He told Citi News that his mother had been sick for some months, and the family had sought treatment at a private facility in Kumasi called the Kean Health Center.

Without going into details, Adolf Addo said ahead of one of his mother’s appointments at the health centre, she was asked to bring along some blood.

When the blood was brought along on the day of the appointment, “they took the blood and said they were doing tests. We sat waiting and later a lady came and told us the blood we had was contaminated; both of them. One had HIV and other had Syphilis,” Adolf Addo recounted.

KATH, in a statement following the claims, said it has “a track record of stringent blood testing protocols and maintains the highest standards for blood safety.”

By: Nii Larte Lartey & Rita Mensah| citinewsroom.com |Ghana | [email protected]


 

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