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Ghana: Has the Ministry of Health Failed in Swine Flu Management?

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  • Ghana: Has the Ministry of Health Failed in Swine Flu Management?

    Accra My heart bleeds any time I think about how the ministry of Health (MoH), and the policy implementing agencies the Ghana Health Service (GES) respectively, have handled the dissemination on H1N1 influenza (swine flu) following the outbreak of the disease in Ghana, in April, 2009. In fact I am in a state of melancholy, because the GHS has failed to recognize the urgent need of reaching out to rural dwellers in particular, and this is simply unacceptable.

    It would be recalled that swine flu was first reported in Mexico in March 2009. In the same year, the virus spread to countries such as the United States of America, France, Australia, Egypt, La Cote D?voire, Burkina Faso and Benin. And as a result of the outbreak of swine flu, thousands of pigs were culled in countries like Mexico and Egypt; with the later witnessing violent street protest over the culling of he pigs.

    At the time, the reason given for the culling of the pigs was, that the virus that causes the flu is transmitted by the swine. But alas in not time it was discovered, that the virus has undergone mutation in man and this subsequently led to human to human transmission; thus it became almost unnecessary to cull pigs for the purpose of curbing the H1N1 pandemic.

    It therefore came with no surprise, when governments across the globe put in place measures aimed at controlling the spread of the influenza among their people. In France, for instance, the people were asked to wear face mask and infected persons were adviced to stand six metre(6m) away when communicating in public. The developed world committed resources for the mass production of vaccines; all these were done in an attempt to halt the forward march of swine flu.

    The picture was however different in Ghana, where even information on swine flu was scanty, and as such one has to monitor the foreign media o access information on the pandemic influenza. What I found most unfortunate was when the GHS stated inter alia that swine flu was not in Ghana, this was in March, 2009, though our neighbouring countries has reported cases of the disease. We were just living in a state of self denial and playing the ostrich, to say the least.

    Is it not worrying, dear reader, that by the second week of April, 2010 there were five hundred ad thirteen (513) positive cases of swine flu in Ghana, and out of the total number of recorded cases eighty percent (80%) were school children. The hardest it schools included Oxford Preparatory School and Achimota basic school, all in Accra, and Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast.

    ...


    http://allafrica.com/stories/201005171550.html
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