Members of the Rapid Response Team for COVID-19 in the Upper East Region say they have not been paid their daily allowances for contact tracing recorded Coronavirus cases in the region.
Government through the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service constituted Rapid Response teams at the District, Municipal and Regional levels to attend to COVID-19 tracing cases.
But the rapid response teams bemoaned that since the region recorded its first COVID-19 case on April 3, 2020, they have not been paid their allowances for all contact tracing done.
Some members of the rapid response teams who spoke on condition of anonymity said they could not understand why their colleagues in other regions are paid while they are left out.
“Our colleagues in other regions are paid GHC150.00 each per each COVID-19 contact traced but in our case, since we recorded our first COVID-19 case, we have not been paid for the entire contact tracing done for over 300 persons and this is worrying. The situation is affecting us as we feel somebody is denying us our due and something urgent must be done about it considering the risk associated with it,” a member stated.
But Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Winfred Ofosu said, even though the directorate has not received funds for the payment of rapid response teams, efforts will be made to address their concerns in due course.
“This issue of non-payment of COVID-19 rapid response teams’ has not come to my attention but we haven’t really received any funds for payment of allowances to these teams but as and when those funds are available we will give it to them because there is no reason why we will withhold such funds. I am also not really aware that they are making some of those payments in other regions but I will follow up with the national health to see whether the rapid response teams are being paid and if they are paid then we will see how our teams can also be paid.”
He commended the rapid response teams at the regional, municipal and district levels for their hard work in doing contact tracing and surveillance to contain the spread of the virus.
The region has 8 recorded cases of COVID-19 including a medical doctor and a nurse. The region has also recorded one death.
The doctor was flown out of the region for quarantine while the remaining six are quarantined at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.
Dr. Ofosu added that the first COVID-19 case tested negative in her first repeat test and should she test negative in her second repeat test expected this weekend, she would have fully recovered and be discharged.
However, samples of four other patients have been sent to Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research for their first repeat test after their two-week quarantine.