Ghana Health Service to train staff on infection prevention against COVID-19

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Dr Winfred Ofosu, Upper East Regional Director of GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS), in the Upper East Region, is to roll out refresher training programmes for health staff as part of continuous preparations to handle and prevent the spread of reported case of the novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19.

“First, we will be training the rapid response teams, they were trained recently, but we want to give them refresher training, and that training will be given to all the health staff,” Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Regional Director of GHS, disclosed at the opening of a two-day regional health performance review meeting in Bolgatanga.

The meeting was on the theme “The role of quality data in achieving Universal Health Coverage in Upper East Region”. It brought together some Municipal and District Chief Executives, health professionals from national, regional and district levels as well as civil society organisations in health.

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Purpose of training

Dr Ofosu said the training would “improve screening at points of entry, strengthen triaging in our health facilities and work with everyone for early detection and containment of the disease should it enter our territory.”

He said the GHS would focus on sorting out patients based on their needs for immediate medical treatment.

“This is to make sure that anyone with the infection does not mix with the general patients and spread the virus,” he explained.

He said the initiative would make it easier for the health personnel to screen clients who visit health facilities in the region with cough and other respiratory symptoms, and further quiz them about their travel history to rule out the possibility of visits to any country with recorded cases of coronavirus.

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“That would help us to be able to narrow down quickly and identify high risk people and advise them to self-isolate based on their risk level or follow them up to make sure they don’t have the infection that would lead to the disease,” he said.

Additional staff

He said GHS will increase the number of staff at entry points, and further add some more critical technical staff such as disease control officers and some nurses who will be able to screen for the symptoms of the disease.

The Director said the additional staff would ensure that services at the entry points would not only entail recording of temperatures, but also include verbal screening of clients, “This we believe would be helpful, so that no one who has visited an area, where there is COVID-19 infection can easily slip through.”

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In a speech read on his behalf, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General of the GHS said the GHS would continue to monitor the situation at the various ports of entry, to provide responses through health promotion, surveillance and intelligence, and thanked all staff of the GHS, especially, those working under extremely trying circumstances for their hard work and dedication to duty.

“I am optimistic that together we can improve our lots as health workers as we work together to improve the health of our population,” he added.

Credit: GNA

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