The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) wants persons who failed to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols during the parliamentary primaries organized by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) arrested.
GMA also wants the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Identification Authority (NIA) to be held accountable for the breach in safety guidelines in the ongoing distribution of the Ghana card.
According to the group, these actions have the potential of increasing the number of COVID-19 infections in the country and that the necessary action must be taken against those responsible.
In a press statement, the association said these issues came to light after its National Executive Council (NEC) extensively reviewed and deliberated on the country’s response to the COVID-pandemic.
“Indeed identifiable individuals, who took part in throwing all the precautionary measures prescribed by the Ghana Health Service and for that matter Government to the dogs, should be apprehended and prosecuted by the Police according to the dictates of the law.”
GMA has expressed worry over what it believes is the inadequacy of essential medication needed to manage the country’s Coronavirus cases.
Another major concern by the group is the rise in the number of infections recorded on a daily basis in the country.
The eight-point concerns among other things highlighted major setbacks including, shortage of drugs, the low supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and delays in the release of results for samples that have been taken for testing.
GMA is, therefore, demanding “the periodic shortages of the needed drugs for case management be addressed with immediate effect”.
It also asked for the institution of stringent measures to curtail the increase in cases due to the high communal spread.
Currently, Ghana has recorded 17,741 Coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
The total number of recoveries and deaths is pegged at 13,268 and 112 respectively.
Here are the full concerns of the GMA:
1. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Health Professionals continue to face huge challenges accessing the appropriate PPE’s for their work. This has contributed significantly to large numbers of health professionals getting infected in the line of duty.
The GMA calls on the Government to as a matter of priority and urgency, provide the needed PPE’s (both in quality and quantity) at all times to address the recurrent inadequacy of PPE’s at health facilities. Any supply chain challenges should also be addressed with immediate effect.
2. DRUGS (MEDICATIONS)
The periodic shortages of the needed drugs for case management should be addressed with immediate effect.
i. There are still huge delays in getting test results for patients (sometimes up to 7-10 days after sample taking). This situation undoubtedly is not the best for case management, especially with its attendant high risk of viral exposure to health professionals and patients at various facilities. The GMA urges the government to do all it can to ensure that test results are available within 24 hours.
ii. There should also be an expansion of the current testing sites and their capacities. All 16 regions must be equipped with testing sites with immediate by Government (Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service).
iii. The Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service should address the recurring issues of shortages of test kits. The government’s promise to re-engineer the then Gen- Xpcert machines dotted around the country to do COVID-19 testing is yet to materialize, months later same was communicated to the people of Ghana.
iv. The GMA also condemns the refusal of some health facilities and their managers to test exposed health professionals and other staff in the line of duty. The GMA entreats Government (Ministry of Health) to quickly address this unfortunate development and bring all such facility managers or administrators to task.
4. HUMAN RESOURCE (SPECIALIST CARE)
Most regions (aside Greater Accra to an extent have very limited capacity (BOTH Human Resource and Intensive Care Units) to manage severe to critical cases of COV I D- l9 requiring intensive or high dependency care. Govcrniaicnt should ensure that all regions have the needed capacity to manage such patients.
5. INCREASlNG CASE COUNTS
The GMA is deeply worried about the continuous high daily case ct›unt (New Cases). 1 lais clearly represent si significant community spread of COVlD- 19.
The GMA recommends that Government should strictly enforce all COVlD- 19 preventive measures tlar‹iuph the Security and other Law enforcement agencies including the Courts.
COVlD- 19 education (especially that against stigma) should be stopped at all levels.
6. REOPENING OF SCHOOLS AND COVID-19
The GMA urges all school heads, teachers, and students returning to school to observe all COVlD- 19 protocols.
Management at schools should ensure that the requisite preventive logistics are available tor use at all times. Enforcement of rules is paramount at this point in time. This is very essential if we are to avoid outbreaks at the various schools.
7. THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY’S (NPP) PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES
The Ghana Medical Association strongly condemns the lack of observation of safety protocols during the recently held primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The GMA believes that such an attitude as exhibited does not help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Indeed identifiable individuals, who took part in throwing all the precautionary measures prescribed by the Ghana Health Service and for that matter Government to the dogs, should be apprehended and prosecuted by the Police according to the dictates of the law.
8. NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY (NIA)
The Ghana Medical Association bemoans the lack of safety protocols at the National Identification Authority’s ongoing exercise to distribute National Identification Cards at various parts of the country.
The GMA would like to remind the NIA of their responsibility to keep Ghanaians safe and protect them from contracting the COVID-19 disease through this exercise.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NIA should be held accountable for any breaches of safety protocols at the various centers.