The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Thursday, presented about 21,080 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Ghana’s Ministry of Health (MOH), to complement Government’s efforts to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The items were made up of 10,000 hand gloves, 9,000 medical masks, 350 respiratory masks, 180 goggles, 800 face shields, and 750 gowns, for use by frontline health workers to ensure their safety and that of their patients, to prevent the spread of infections both within and outside of the facilities.
Dr Neema Kimambo, the WHO Country Representative, who presented the items, said the Organisation has already donated 300 Swabs and 500 RNA extraction, to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and that this was its second donation of PPEs.
She said the WHO is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases on the African continent, with over 40 countries reporting cases, warning that while Africa is still the continent with the lowest number of confirmed cases, the rapid evolution of the pandemic must be a wake-up call for all countries including Ghana.
Dr Kimambo said the WHO is working with the MOH and Ghana Health Service (GHS), in areas such as the provision of technical support for preparedness and response to COVID-19 including for coordination and case management.
She said WHO supported training for Rapid Response Teams and Port Health staff of five high risk points of entries, and was supporting the MOH and GHS to put in place measures to identify and trace contacts, and further providing support in the use of electronic tools for recording data on confirmed cases.
Dr Kimambo said Ghana could still change the course of this pandemic “if we continue to detect, test, treat isolate, trace and mobilise our people in the response”, and commended the Government of Ghana for mobilizing every arm under it to work at scaling-up critical measures.
She said although the task ahead was daunting, but there was still great hope if people would strictly adhere to the safety and mandatory protocols, and urged the government to mobilise the people towards these responses, ensuring that every person played their roles in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 infections.
She pledged the WHO’s continuous support to ensure that Ghana overcomes this outbreak.
Mr Alexander K. K. Abban, who received the items, thanked the WHO for its generosity and sustained support to Ghana’s health sector, and called on other institutions and individuals to do the same.
He asked that all donations towards COVID-19 response, be made to the MOH for effective coordination and proper accountability, and to subsequently ensure equitable distribution to all health facilities nationwide according to their peculiar needs.
This, he said, was because there is the tendency that some donors may base their support to some facilities on existing relationships and this could lead to the overconcentration of PPEs and other items in these centres.