POLITICS

COVID-19: Failure to ensure 24-hour test results worrying


Executives of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have warned that the country’s Coronavirus case management may hit a snag if steps are not immediately taken to ensure the release of test results in 24 hours.

They argue that the delays in releasing samples taken have become a source of worry given the adverse impact the situation is having on their operations.

A statement from the group said: “There are still huge delays in getting test results for patients (sometimes up to 7-10 days after sample taking). This situation undoubtedly is not the best for case management, especially with its attendant high risk of viral exposure to health professionals and patients at various facilities. The GMA urges the government to do all it can to ensure that test results are available within 24 hours.”

Furthermore, the Association is demanding the “expansion of the current testing sites and their capacities with all16 regions equipped with testing sites.

Other testing related issues 

1.  The Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service should address the recurring issues of shortages of test kits.

2. The government’s promise to re-engineer the then Gen- Xpcert machines dotted around the country to do COVID-19 testing is yet to materialize, months later same was communicated to the people of Ghana.

3. The GMA also condemns the refusal of some health facilities and their managers to test exposed health professionals and other staff in the line of duty.

4. The GMA entreats the Government  (Ministry of Health) to quickly address this unfortunate development and bring all such facility managers or administrators to task.

Lack of PPE

Meanwhile, the Association has lamented the inadequacy of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health personnel leading the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association, wants the government to expeditiously find solutions towards supplying the PPE to health facilities across the country to reduce the rate of infections among health personnel.

“Health professionals continue to face huge challenges accessing the appropriate PPE for their work. This has contributed significantly to large numbers of health professionals getting infected in the line of duty. The GMA calls on the government to as a matter of priority and urgency, provide the needed PPE’s (both in quality and quantity) at all times to address the recurrent inadequacy of PPE at health facilities. Any supply chain challenges should also be addressed with immediate effect”, a statement from the GMA noted.

This is not the first time the Association has decried the lack of PPE for health facilities, although the government has assured of significant domestic production and supply of protective equipment to health workers.

The group says, it is faced with an all-time high challenge of inadequate PPE and wants a proper mode of distribution so its members do not endanger their lives.

Some medical doctors and other health practitioners have tested positive for COVID-19 in line with duty.

 

 

 

 



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