Bats test positive to Ebola antigen in Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana

imagesThe Brong Ahafo Region has been identified as one of the high risk regions in the country of the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) due to the presence of the bats at Buoyam Caves which have tested positive with ebola antigens.

Mr Eric Opoku, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister who announced this said “It is necessary to re-orient ourselves and take the needed precautions to safeguard our Region.”

He was addressing the third quarterly meeting of the Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council in Sunyani on Monday.

The meeting attended by Municipal and District Chief Executives, Heads of decentralized departments and traditional rulers was to review activities for the year on government programmes, policies and decisions on emerging issues and the way forward.

Mr Opoku who is also the Member of Parliament for Asunafo South urged the people to observe personal hygiene such as washing of hands regularly, the use of hand sanitizers and reporting suspected cases immediately to any health facility.

He said no case of the disease has been recorded in the country yet, even though there have been some suspected cases which laboratory examinations have proven negative in all the instances.

Mr Opoku called on health professional and the EVD Response Team in the region to intensify its education campaign to alert the citizenry to enable them protect themselves from the deadly disease.

He asked the Municipal and District Chief Executives to activate and strengthen the Municipal and District Response Teams to be alert and prepared to deal with any outbreak of the disease.

Mr Opoku urged the general public to avoid close contact with people suspected to have symptoms of the disease and report them to health facilities.

He said the doctor- population ratio in the region is 1:14,000 which is alarming and has to be addressed without delay.

Mr Opoku said to address the situation a fund has been established to be launched in December this year, to support the training of medical doctors and other medical personnel.

He denied that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was collapsing and said the scheme in the Region has achieved remarkable results with increase in membership from 1,094,214 in 2012 which was 45 per cent of the regional population to 1,458,216 in 2013, representing 64 per cent of the population of 2,310,983.

Mr Opoku expressed appreciation to the NHIS team in the Region for their hard work to be adjudged the best in the national performance report on the scheme for 2013.

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