Medical Director for Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Dr. Joseph Tambil has confirmed that some of their health professionals been infected with the novel coronavirus. He explained that these cases are contacts of the record staff at the Antenatal Clinic, that tested positive for the virus last week.
Dr. Tambil was however hesitant in confirming the number of health workers that have contracted the disease.
He told Skyy News’ Abraham Mensah in an exclusive interview that, management was highly expectant of having a communal spread of the virus, given the nature of work the first patient does at the facility.
“The fact that, we had one person initially getting infected, when tested a few more others we realised they have gotten the virus. And all those who tested positive have been asked to self isolate in their homes, and I can tell you confidently that everybody is fine. Some are asymptomatic and a few symptomatic” he stressed.
He disclosed that, the necessary preventive protocols have been effected to curtail the spread of the disease. Dr. Tambil urged the public to allay fears around this incident, adding the have adopted an enhanced risk management and surveillance system to contain any infection that hit their facility.
“We have a program where all staff will be tested and we are picking out those who have been infected. We are enhancing measures to ensure that people do not pass on the virus to others. So we are on top of the situation and I want to assure everyone that they should not panic. That happens. When there are issues in any department would let the public know like we’ve always done” he said.
He added that; “I don’t think any health institution is spared in this very crisis. Most facilities have one, two or three cases. So we are no exception but we are on top of the situation”
Three units; the Antenal Clinic, Children Welfare Clinic, and the Ear Nose and Throat Units, were shut and disinfected last week owing to the first reported case of infection at the facility. As at today, all these units have been reopened and services running as usual but with strict adherence to all preventive protocols.
Asked if the lingering inadequacies in terms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the facility predisposes health workers to the virus, Dr. Tambil admitted it remains an unending need that have to be prioritized and resolved. He however suggested to donors and other benevolent groups to at least consult management anytime they wish to make a donation in terms of PPEs to support their operations.
“They are not in large quantities anywhere on this planet and the Effia Nkwanta is not an exception. However, we are making do with what we have up here, and we have been using them very judiciously.
“At this point in time, we welcome all those kind of support from the public, especially in the areas of PPEs and chemicals for disinfection and all that. But then, we want to urged everybody who want to support to first of all see us, so that we tell the exactly what we need” he emphasized.
Dr. Tambil entreated the media not to over-sensationalise matters regarding COVID-19. He advised the media resort to clarifying information with the respective authorities before going to press.
“In these times it is important that we don’t over sensationalize things just to get listenership or readership. It’s important that we stick to the facts that the hospital or institutional management will come up with, and not to be speculating about numbers and making it look like things are out of control. That is not the picture at all. Things are under control”
So far the Western Region has recorded a total of 233 cases of COVID-19, with one death and one patient fully recovering from the disease.