General News of Thursday, 21 August 2014
Work is underway on a holding bay at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in readiness for potential outbreak of Ebola and other epidemics.
Authorities have designated a temporary ward at the Polyclinic which is undergoing structural changes.
Head of Public Health Unit, Dr. Dennis Odai Laryea, says the hospital is adequately prepared for any Ebola threat.
The Holding Bay, when completed, will be divided into cubicles each of which will serve as treatment centre for diseases like Ebola and cholera. Work is progressing as Chinese contractors create additional entrances to the facility which is currently housing some cholera patients.
Authorities are deploying the hospital’s internally generated funds to put and equip the facility.
A stand-by team, comprising doctors, laboratory technicians, nurses, ambulance service personnel, mortuary attendants, among others, has already undergone training in care-giving.
Dr. Dennis Laryea told Nhyira FM the hospital is battle-ready to attend to the first ever Ebola case, in the event it breaks out.
According to him, a core team has been trained to handle and manage Ebola.
“We have trained the core team and cut across all the professionals; from doctors all the way to mortuary man. There is issue of Personal Protective Equipment –we have some available as well so yes, if we should get a case, we will try within the circumstances we found ourselves to be able to make sure that there is no contamination”, said Dr Laryea.
Such conditions are best managed in special Infectious Disease Center which is not available at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
Doctors under the current circumstance have no option than to manage with the improvised facility as additional entry points are constructed as part of efforts to reduce spread of infection.
Acting Chief Executive of Komfo Anokye Hospital, Isaiah Offeh Gyimah, says an Epidemic Preparedness Committee is in place to monitor Ebola and other infectious diseases.
Under the leadership of the Medical Director, the CEO wants the committee to fully observe infection prevention and control protocols to protect themselves and patients.
Dr. Laryea wants management to look beyond the current cholera outbreak and Ebola scare in establishing the Infectious Disease Center.
While conceding there are challenges, he said health workers are poised for action, in preparation to work under the current condition.
“There are challenges. But I think that we should not throw our hands in despair because the truth is that if a patient comes today and the patient has Ebola and we don’t put in the protective measures, staff can also get infected. We are doing the best we can with the little that we have on our hands.”
“Any support like getting infra-red thermometer, more Personal Protective Equipment and even building a purpose-built Infection Disease Unit would probably be what we would wish for,” Dr. Laryea appealed.