Prayers must back efforts against Ebola in Ghana

Dr Joseph Nuertey, the Volta Regional Director of Health, has appealed to Ghanaians to continue to pray fervently to offset the international community’s prediction of a December 2014 deadline for Ebola to hit Ghana.

“It will task our ailing economy to handle”, he said, citing the case of Nigeria, which he said spent $126 to contain the disease.

He said the international community is baffled that Ghana has up till now been free of the disease despite the free movement of people in and out of the country.

Dr Nuertey was giving an overview of the Cholera and Ebola situation in the Volta Region and its Ebola preparedness at a stakeholders’ meeting.

The meeting was organised by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a non-governmental organisation, to discuss strategies and solicit support for its six months’ Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) campaign against the two diseases in the region.

The campaign is being funded by the British Department for International Development (DFID).

Dr Nuertey said plans are in place to deal with any Ebola case in the country but so far all the 121 suspected cases have tested negative.

He said any positive Ebola case in Ghana would be announced by President John Mahama within 12 hours to put everybody on high alert.

Dr Nuertey said the Region has been divided into southern, middle and northern zones as part of strategies against Ebola.

He said any suspected signs and symptoms of Ebola in anybody should be communicated through 0200162211.

Participants were given leaflets which spelt out the signs and symptoms of Ebola as fever, joint and muscle aches, headache, abdominal pain vomiting, diarrhea.

The rest are body rash, blood spots in the eyes, blood in the vomit, sputum or stool and bleeding from the nose and other body openings.

The Leaflets prepared by the World Health Organisation, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and the Japan International Cooperation Agency talked about how Ebola virus disease present itself, how it is spread, how it can be prevented and assurance that Ebola can be prevented.

Dr Nuertey advised the public to stay about one metre away from anybody who exhibits any of the signs and symptoms and call the emergency line and outlined a number of measures to deal with any onset of the disease in the region and the country.

Mrs Cecilia Senoo, Executive Director of HFFG, said all platforms must be used to talk about Ebola and each person must be committed to dealing with the danger it poses to the country.

She urged border communities to be vigilant, alert and cooperate with the authorities to deal with any danger signals that might emerge in those communities.

Mrs Senoo said her organization would count on the solid support and involvement of the Media to ensure the success of the campaign.

Ms Mary Akorli, Programme Manager of HFFG, said the focus of the project was to have at least 70 percent of “at risk” in Ghana on the modes of transmission, signs and symptoms of Ebola and Cholera and ways of preventing their transmission.

She said trained community volunteers and other stakeholders and strategies would be involved in carrying the messages to the target groups. GNA

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