Mahama donates PPEs to fight COVID-19
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Mahama donates PPEs to fight COVID-19

Story by Carlos Afanou

Former President John Mahama has presented 650 sets of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to support health workers at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with a call for immediate steps to be taken to develop a national infectious disease response plan to proactively handle such diseases.
The sets of PPE, which were valued at GH¢390,000, included gowns, goggles, gloves, face masks, hand sanitisers and 500 gumboots.


The National Democratic Congress (NDC) COVID-19 Team is to distribute the PPE to health facilities, especially the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) and the Tamale Regional Hospital.

Some members of the NDC COVID-19 Committee who were at the office of the former President last Saturday to receive the items included a former Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Bani; a former Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, and the Member of Parliament for Korle-Klottey, Dr Zanetor Rawlings.


Mr Mahama presented 500 packs of the PPE together with 500 gumboots to the team with an assurance that an additional 150 would be made available for distribution to other health facilities across the regions.

Action

In a speech before handing over the PPE, the NDC flag bearer stressed that the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for the development of a national infectious disease control plan to proactively manage such diseases.

"Even as we count the cost, it is imperative that we learn the lessons of today and act now to ensure that we are much better prepared, when, not if, the next pandemic rears its head," he stressed.

He emphasised that the infectious diseases response plan would not only help prevent the entry of such diseases, but would also put the country in a better position to "quickly arrest them even if they do enter our shores at a very early stage and reduce their impact to the barest minimum."

Mr Mahama also said it was important to establish another medical research centre with a capacity such as the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in the northern part of the country.

"We must expand the 37 Military Hospital, doubling the current bed size, and also build an Infectious Diseases Centre there to cater for the southern sector to help with the management of cases such as Ebola and COVID-19. Additionally, a second and fully equipped National Infectious Diseases Centre should be built in the middle and northern sectors of the country," he said.

He said the way forward for a robust health sector that could deal with diseases of all kinds was to prioritise investment in the sector.

Assurance

Dr Zanetor Rawlings assured the former President that the items would be distributed to the health workers as urgently as possible.

She noted that the NDC COVID-19 Team had been busy working to augment the government's efforts to deal with the pandemic.
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