Health workers have squarely blamed the Akufo Addo administration for the cause of more than 800 of them getting infected with COVID-19 with nine (9) of them dead so far.
The blame the alarming infection rate among frontline health professionals on factors such as the lack of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); non-availability of disinfectants, breakdown of protective protocols caused by mass gathering of people; delayed relay of COVID-19 test results, non-disclosure of these results by facility managers, etc.
Data shows that some six (6) health sector workers are getting infected each day since March 12, 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Ghana.
A joint statement issued by four health sector Unions and professional associations said they are horrified by the fact that the Akufo Addo administration has segmented some health professionals as frontline health workers and thus giving them incentives. Yet, many of those contracting COVID-19 in the health sector are those the government do not consider as frontline workers.
“It is also important to state that all health facilities are highly infectious zones and for that matter, anybody working there is in danger. In view of this, we call on the government to consider redefining the term “Frontline Health Workers”. The reason is that information reaching the Unions indicates that majority of the health workers contracting COVID-19 are rather those who are not classified as Frontline Workers,” read the statement issued today July 9, 2020.
According to data from the health sector, some 190 doctors belonging to the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have contracted the virus with 4 deaths. Nurses and Midwives are the most affected with some 410 infections officially recorded so far among them.
The remaining as members of the health sector workers and other auxiliary workers in the sector.
The health sector unions were unequivocal in laying the blame for these infections on the doorsteps of the government, whom they believe had displayed gross lapses in the management of COVID-19 in Ghana.
They expressed worry that the rising number of positive cases among health workers place serious pressure on the few workers still on duty.
Already, the ration of health workers to the general public is vastly disproportionate with COVID-19 dealing a further blow to an already hopeless situation.
The government through the Ghana Health Services (GHS) recently, ordered a slow down on testing for COVID-19, but these health professionals think it is an incredibly unbelievable decision.
They are therefore urging the Akufo Addo government to expand its testing program throughout the country and make available test kits to prevent delays in obtaining test results.
They also want specially designated “holding bays” for suspected COVID-19 before test results are released. “…all health facilities must mandatorily create holding bays to detain all patients who are suspected to have contracted COVID-19.”
These health workers had earlier issued a statement saying the Electoral Commission’s controversial new voters’ register is a conduit for spreading the disease, however, the EC and the government have remained adamant, pushing through the nationwide registration exercise that keeps massing up prospective voters.
“There is no vaccine for COVID-19, the only way prevent its spread us through adherence to the safety protocols at all times,” the health unions stated.