Accra, July 31, GNA - Health Minster Dr Kwaku Agyeman Mensah on Thursday said government would not renege on its efforts to protect the citizens, especially health workers at the forefront of the battle against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
He said government had secured enough funding to address the situation should any eventuality happens.
Briefing the media in Accra to update the public on measures taken so far and steps to ensure that Ghanaians are protected from the disease, the Minister, who is the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial team, said a preparedness and response plan is being implemented.
Dr Agyeman Mensah said the country is implementing its preparedness and response plan, with risk communication-social mobilisation and health education, which is a major tool in public health, as well as Epidemiology and laboratory surveillance and coordination of an inter-ministerial team comprising Health, Communication, Defense, Interior and Local Government and Rural Development.
The inter-ministerial team would be responsible for the intensification of the fight against the spread of the deadly disease to Ghana. They will also supervise the work of an existing technical team made up of representatives from multiple state agencies.
He noted that educational posters and brochures have been developed, printed and distributed alongside media interaction aimed at educating the public on EVD.
According to him efforts are underway to establish Ebola Centres in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale to cater for Southern, middle and northern zones of the country.
The centres would be ready by next week.
“Preparedness is not an event but a process. Government will work towards the best case scenario, which is prevention of EVD. In so doing let’s be mindful of the early symptoms of the diseases - fever, intense bodily weakness.”
The minister entreated all institutions to minimise mass gathering that would necessitate the convergence of individuals from different places in the sub region and also remain in high alert phase.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the deadly Ebola virus is not an airborne disease as many Ghanaians perceive it to be.
According to Dr Magda Robalo, the WHO Country Representative, Ebola does not spread through coughing and sneezing but only by coming into contact with body fluids of persons suffering from the viral disease.
“The Ebola disease is not an airborne disease…it is a disease that takes direct contact from people to people with body fluids before you can pass it on to another person,” Dr Robalo stated.
He said the one sure way people could avoid contracting the disease is constantly practicing good personal hygiene.
“We need to practise personal hygiene [regular hand washing] after visiting the washroom…so that you can avoid not only Ebola disease but any other disease that can be contracted through these means”.
On the issue of funding, Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah said government has enough funding to control the spread of the virus should it be confirmed in the country.
According to him, government is determined to scale up ongoing activities to ensure that Ghanaians are protected from the virus.
“We will continue to do more to ensure that we take the message to every nook and cranny of the country…WHO has provided some assistance [technical, logistics and cash],” Dr Omane Boamah said.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease caused by the ebola virus.
Symptoms typically start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, throat and muscle pains, and headaches.