More than 150 medical doctors and dentists have so far tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak of the disease in Ghana in March 2020.
This was disclosed by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in a statement. The association says four of these doctors have died after contracting the virus.
GMA in a statement noted that the alarming rate of infection among its members could have an adverse impact on the country’s health system given their frontline role in the fight against the pandemic.
With Ghana’s case count now 20,085 [As of Sunday, July 5, 2020] the group is asking their members to strictly obverse the infection prevention and control protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“The GMA further wishes to bring to the notice of all members that over 150 medical doctors and dentist have been infected with SARS-COV 2 since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. In view of the unfortunate increasing trend of infections among health workers, all members should consciously ensure their safety at all times in the care of all patients regardless of the point of care.”
While assuring members of the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it also advised its members to abide by the necessary protocols in order to minimise spread among health personnel.
“The National Association Committee of GMA wishes to assure all members that it is working assiduously to tenure the concerns about inadequate PPE delays in testing and other member welfare issues related to COVID-19 are addressed by the government and will not relent.”
Deceased members remembered
Meanwhile, GMA has expressed deep condolences over the death of four of its members who succumbed to the virus.
The first is a consultant physician and former Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, who died in April at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).
Dr. Harry Boateng, a Specialist Paediatrician and Medical Superintendent at the Kwadaso SDA Hospital was also mentioned.
A retired Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Emmanuel Twagirayesu as well as Dr. Richard Kisser, a Consultant Surgeon with the Trust Hospital were both remembered.
Paying tribute to the members, the Association described the loss as immense given the medical officers’ contribution and heroism to the medical practice.
“The National Executive Committee of the Ghana Medical Association informs all members with deep sorrow the unfortunate demise of four members of the association who have sadly succumbed to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the diseases in the country. These fallen heroes have contributed immensely to the medical profession and their untimely demise constitutes a big loss to the fraternity. May their souls rest in perfect peace”, the GMA noted.
All members of the Association have also been urged to on Monday, July 6, 2020, to observe a minute silence in honour of these gallant soldiers of the medical fraternity, during their clinical meetings.