Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has called on members of the public to alert health care professionals if anybody from countries with recorded cases of the coronavirus disease enters Ghana.
He emphasized that it was critical for the public, especially people who lived near the Region’s borders to provide health care professionals at various health facilities, with information about both Ghanaian and foreign nationals who travelled into the country.
“If you get a visitor, who has travelled to any of the countries that have recorded the disease or any foreign national, alert us to follow up to make sure it is contained.”
Dr Ofosu who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the Regional Health performance review meeting in Bolgatanga, noted that the country’s borders, especially in the Region were poorly guarded.
This, he said allowed free movement of people through unapproved routes, “Apart from the official approved routes, there are also a number of unapproved routes where people can slip through.”
He said as part of the Region’s emergency preparedness against any case of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the GHS had trained Community Surveillance Volunteers and would rely on them to identify and report persons who entered communities along the borders for appropriate action.
“Indeed some are beginning to give that information, just two days ago, we had information of some visitors in some of the communities and we are following up, that kind of information is important,” he noted.
The Director said even though they relied on the Community Volunteers, any person in the various communities could report to health professionals if they received visitors, especially from countries with reported cases of COVID-19.
He said the Region had only one ‘Holding Room’ at the Paga border, where they detained visitors for investigations. “Apart from Paga, the other borders do not have holding places, so what we have done is that in every District, the District Directors look for a holding place.”
“So once they detect a case, they move them there while we conduct investigation to confirm whether or not it is COVID-19 infection.”
Dr Ofosu indicated that the Paga ‘Holding Room’ was put up by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental organization, and called on other organisations to help the Region put up holding rooms at the various entry points.