Following claims by health officials that the outbreak of swine flu at Kumasi Academy in the Ashanti Region has been contained, a Clinical Pharmacist, Dr. Marc Dzradosi, has asked public health officials not to rest on their oars.
Health officials have assured that the swine flu, also known as the H1N1 2009, had been contained after four student deaths.
But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, he said guidelines on how to manage diseases, especially the contagious ones, are urgently needed.
“From my point of view, I don’t think we should relax because for such conditions. They are contagious so once somebody is exposed, the likelihood of it spreading is high,” Dr. Dzradosi said.
“As a nation, right from the beginning, we need to push this out to the whole country and activate protocols that will ensure that if anybody shows up anywhere with symptoms, they can be managed no matter where you are in the country.”
Aside from the Kumasi Academy, a student of Koforidua Secondary Technical School died from a meningitis infection over the weekend.
This is the latest of several meningitis-related deaths in the region, where about 87 cases have been recorded in 2017 with nine deaths.
A student of Damongo Senior High School in the Northern Region has also died from meningitis, whilst 12 others are currently on admission at the Damongo District Hospital.
Elaborating further on what he called national protocols, Dr. Dzradosi said they are essentially concerned guidelines for managing the spread of major diseases at varying levels that are developed by public health physicians and adopted nationwide.
“National protocols basically mean something that comes from the top which will be developed by our public health physicians or pharmacists on how these conditions will be contained nationwide. I heard about somebody going to three facilities and there was nobody there to take care of them. This shouldn’t happen because the more they move around, if they truly have it, they are spreading it,” he explained.
Role of sensitization
He further recounted how the United States of America’s Centre for Disease Control responded to the H1N1 threat in 2009 with public education.
“They put out a lot of health education programmes for the people that took care of them, and depending on the kind of strain you have, the CDC will develop a vaccine to contain it… They also prepared focused education materials. For example, the clinics had something, the hospitals had something, the pharmacies had something and that is the way I think Ghana should go.”