COVID 19: WR Health Directorate hit with challenges transporting samples for testing
In this very COVID 19 crisis, our health system requires a more robust transportation system in getting samples from suspected infected persons to designated medical laboratories in Accra or Kumasi.
However the situation in the Western Region is challenging, as the Health Directorate has been reliant on the service of the State Transport Corporation in delivering samples to the Nugochi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
Unfortunately, the effect of the partial ‘Lock down’ in Accra has had an impact on the delivery of these samples. News samples which were taken two days ago, were not delivered to the lab, Deputy Director for Health, Western Region, Dr. Atsu Dodor told host of Skyy Power FM’s Jolly Breakfast Show, Samuel Kojo Brace in an interview this morning.
“We were using STC in transporting our samples for the test. But because of the lock down, STC didn’t move” he noted.
Learning of the consequences of this delay, the directorate, according to Dr. Dodor, have taken the initiative to transport the samples by themselves. This he emphasized would be the consideration going forward.
“We have made some arrangements. We will send it ourselves. It has some health implications but its our duty so we will take responsibility of sending the samples ourselves. That is what we did yesterday. Once we take samples, we will make sure that we send it” Dr Dodor assured.
Cry to Corporate Entities and Philanthropists
The Western Region, as many had feared, may not be able to withstand or efficiently manage an instance of the disease; generally, because most health facilities are without the needed resource and logistics to respond to the pandemic.
The main referral center, Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital is without a ventilator, and sufficient Personal Protective Equipment for frontline health workers.
Dr. Dodor appealed to corporate bodies and philanthropists in the Western Region to support the Health Directorate in this crisis.
“We use this opportunity to appeal to other organisations within this region. We have very rich organisations-oil companies, they should come and help us. This situation of insufficient PPEs is creating a lot of panic among our health officials. So they should support us. Philanthropist they should support us…. either in cash or donation of items to support us” he appealed.
Suspected cases in the region
Five new cases were recorded yesterday bringing to total 38 suspected COVID 19 cases in the Western Region. So far, results of 29 samples have been produced with 9 pending. All 29 tested samples came out negative.
The demographics [from the Ghana Health Service, WR], reveals that most suspected cases are in Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality, followed by Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitis.