Ghana and Korea sign MOU to construct Ebola centre

The Government of Korea is supporting Ghana with USD 423, 000 to construct an Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Tamale, the second to be established in Ghana.

The Centre, expected to be completed in 12 weeks, is to improve the Ebola emergency referral system and people’s access to the isolation centre in the five regions of the north, which shares borders with Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Togo.

Ghana’s first Ebola Centre is in Tema, in the Greater Accra Region.

Mr Woon-Ki Lyeo, Korean Ambassador to Ghana, has therefore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government for the establishment of the Centre.

Dr Kwaku Agyemang Mensah, Ghana’s Health Minister, signed on behalf of the Government at a ceremony in Accra on Monday.

Mr Lyeo said the Ebola outbreak in the sub-region was unpredictable and hence the fight against the disease should be through the concerted efforts of people in West Africa.

“Korea as a donor country acknowledges our obligation to also contribute to this international fight. Through the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Government has donated four million US dollars to the affected countries as well as other West African countries”.

Mr Lyeo said by the establishment of the second Ebola centre in the country, Ghana could now adequately address earlier concerns of the lack of functional ETCs, the absence of which could lead to the escalation of the epidemic that would be hard to contain.

He commended Ghana for the swift effort at ensuring adequate preparedness in the fight against Ebola by the formation of Inter-Ministerial Chairing Committee and the Ghana Ebola Response Plan.

After the completion of the centre, it would be handed over to the Tamale Teaching Hospital. In the long run, it would serve as a treatment centre for infectious diseases such as meningitis or cholera, Mr Lyeo said.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah said as part of the national response towards Ebola, Ghana was embarking on major activities such as public education, screening and effective case management, and as such, training of frontline managers and the provision of treatment centres at strategic location had become government’s priority.

He said with Ghana taking a centre-stage in the fight of Ebola, the country was at a higher risk and, therefore, the need for adequate preparation to fight it.

He said the 48 Engineer Regiment of Ghana Armed Forces is constructing the 16-bed Tamale Ebola Centre with double-layer fences as prescribed by the WHO and separate wards for patients who were in critical conditions and those recovering. GNA

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