COVID-19 lessons help to strengthen the disease surveillance system – Akufo-Addo

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Ghana is emerging strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic with an improved disease surveillance system, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has noted.

“There are other ways in which this nightmare has brought some good dividends that must be acknowledged.

“It has led to the strengthening of our disease surveillance system, and this has been manifested in recent months by our ability to deal, in a very rapid and aggressive way, with outbreaks of frightening diseases like Marburg, Lassa fever, Monkey Pox, before they could turn into serious public health catastrophes,” he said.

In an address to the nation on Sunday night, the President referred to the country’s commencement of the processes for the manufacturing of its own vaccines with the establishment of the National Vaccine Institute.

“The painful lesson from the pandemic about access to vaccines certainly concentrated our minds, and we must be proud that we did not bow our heads in defeat but used the crisis to achieve such a positive outcome.

“We now have in place a Vaccine Institute and two Vaccine Manufacturing plants,” he emphasised.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a comparative analysis, said there was no doubt that Ghana came out of the global catastrophe much better than many other countries.

He juxtaposed this with the context of the rate of infection, hospitalisation and deaths.
“We must recognise that this happened because we worked at it in a focused and competent manner,” he stated.
Ghana had recorded a total of 1,462 deaths attributable to COVID-19 as of May 15, 2023, after the country recorded its first positive case on March 12, 2023.

President Nana Akufo-Addo said the pandemic also exposed some of the painful health infrastructure deficiencies the nation had to grapple with.

This forced the Government to take some brave and necessary decisions, like the expansion of the network of health facilities under Agenda 111, he stressed.

“I doubt that very much, but for the pandemic, the network of health laboratories with the capacity to do PCR testing in our country would have expanded exponentially from the initial two to 67 laboratories nationwide,” he noted.

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