A total of 3,656 healthcare providers have so far been infected with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with 14 of them succumbing to the disease, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said.
Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, Deputy Director General of the GHS who said this assured that the Service would continue to use its available resources and expertise to ensure better protection and safety of all healthcare providers.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day Central Regional health sector 2020 annual performance review in Cape Coast on Wednesday, Dr Ofosu recounted how the pandemic disrupted health service delivery especially during the first and second quarters of 2020.
The performance review was on the theme “Achieving universal health coverage, containing the COVID-19 pandemic, improving good governance and services; the role of stakeholders”.
For instance, Dr Ofosu indicated that OPD attendance decreased by 11 percent with the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions recording higher declines in OPD services.
He said there was a reduction in total hospital admissions, while bed occupancy rate also reduced by 19.3 percent compared to the previous year.
“We witnessed a decline in the completeness for most essential service indicators after May 2020, and a sharper decline in August and September 2020”, he stated.
The reductions, according to Dr Ofosu compounded the prevailing stagnating service indicators such as Anaemia in women and children, and slowed the pace in the reduction of neonatal mortality rate, which undermined the progress towards the achievement of the health-related SDG targets.
He said the GHS would continue to work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to implement comprehensive public health measures to avert the spread of the pandemic.
Commenting on the ongoing vaccination, Dr Ofosu said the vaccination was an additional preventive measure in the fight against the pandemic and urged health workers with the experience and requisite knowledge in vaccination to help educate communities on the importance and the need to take the vaccines when they are available.
‘Irrespective of the introduction of the vaccines, we should all endeavour to adhere to all preventive protocols to protect others and remember we must win the fight against COVID-19’, he indicated.
Dr Sofonias Asrat, a Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) underscored the need to build a resilient healthcare system capable of providing quality health services during times of shock.
He said the WHO had worked and would continue to work with the GHS and stakeholders to deal with the challenge of providing continuous services and Personal Protective Equipment [PPE].
Rev. Professor Herald Amonoo Kuofie who chaired the event encouraged the GHS to put in place structures to promote and support health research to provide scientific bases for health service delivery in the country.
He admitted that the geographical and environmental challenges made achieving universal healthcare difficult.