Health News of Sunday, 2 February 2020
Dr Sebastian Issa Ngmenenso Sandaare, Member of Parliament (MP) for Daffiama Bussie Issa, says it is time Ghana had a National Infectious Diseases Management Centre.
He said medically it was not safe for people with infectious diseases to mix with other patients in the same health facility.
Recalling the threat of Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in the early 2000s and the current Coronavirus, the MP, who is also a medical doctor, said the nation should spare no further time in having infectious diseases centres, with one major one to effectively manage such ailments.
“There already are some infectious diseases in Ghana, and you remember the risks associated with SARS, which was traced to China in 2002, and now this coronavirus, which is also coming from China. Strangely, medical scientists are not abreast with this coronavirus, and that is what makes it more dangerous,” he said.
Dr Sandaare said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after contributing to a statement on the disease by Dr Kurt Nawaane, MP for Nabdam, in Parliament.
He suggested the strengthening of health systems in the country, including the handling of existing infectious diseases and emerging ones.
An infection happens when a foreign organism enters a person’s body and causes harm. The organism uses the body to sustain itself, reproduce, and colonize. The most common and deadly types of infection are bacterial, viral, fungal, and prions. These infectious organisms are known as pathogens.
Some infections are mild and barely noticeable, but others are severe and life-threatening, and some are resistant to treatment, which can be transmitted in a variety of ways.
In May 2016 the first of five multi-purpose infectious disease isolation centres for the Greater Accra Region was inaugurated at the La General Hospital in Accra, with four others expected later at Maamobi, Korle-Bu and Adabraka polyclinics and the Ga South Hospital.
Dr Sandaare said with the threat of coronavirus the National Infectious Diseases Management Centre was even more needed to deal with unforeseeable emergencies.
The coronavirus, which is a respiratory disease, is not understood by medical scientists but the World Health Organization is working with experts to ascertain its possible cure.
Some of the symptoms are fever, flu, cough and general malaise.
Dr Sandaare suggested that people should eat balanced meals, take enough water, and have adequate rest in order to boost their immune system.
He, however, observed that Ghana had the capacity in handling such infectious diseases and would not be out of place if Ghanaian medical doctors were made part of the medical investigation team to China by the WHO.
He called for an established and dedicated fund for such emergencies, which could be sourced from the National Health Insurance Fund and the oil money.
The WHO has declared the coronavirus a global health emergency. The virus has reportedly spread to at least 22 countries, claimed more than 200 lives in China and hospitalised more than 9,000.