Cargo disinfection exercise at all entries and exits of the country’s seaports will commence end of February to prevent and protect Ghana from risks and threats of dangerous infections from abroad.

Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health, announced this on Friday after inspecting disinfecting tunnels installed at the seven entries and exists at the Tema Port for the cargo disinfection exercise.    

He indicated that the exercise was in compliance with the International Health Regulations published by the World Health Organization (WHO) of which Ghana was a signatory.

The Minister added that if Ghana did not implement the disinfection exercise obligation, it would reach a time when cargoes from the country would be allowed to enter other ports in the world.

Mr Agyeman-Manu noted that the project had received parliamentary approval and stakeholders’ engagement was still ongoing to ensure its smooth implementation.

He called for active collaboration between the Port Health and LCB Worldwide, the company in charge of the installation of the disinfection tunnels and their operations to ensure efficiency.

The Health Minister also urged them to frequently take samples from the tunnels to test to ensure the right disinfectants are used for the fumigation of cargos, trucks, and other vehicles entering and exiting the ports.

A service charge which includes Value Added Tax (VAT) ranging between $7 and $20 is expected to be paid by cars, other vehicles and cargo trucks when the project commences.

Mr Kareem Abu, Public Relations officer and Local Partners of the LCB Worldwide, said the disinfecting tunnels were built with steel and aluminium frame panels with the latest technology which allowed vapourised disinfectants to be sprayed from installed nozzles when the inbuilt vehicle detection radial system identifies the presence of a vehicle at the entry or exit.

Mr Abu said the tunnels installed at a cost of $15 million were more modernized and therefore had a broader scope compared to what was been used in some ports in other parts of the world.

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General, Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Mr Raphael John Marfo, Director of Port Health, expressed satisfaction at the installations stating that even though they carry out fumigations at the ports periodically, the exercise would give full protection against any form of infections.

Stakeholders including the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and the Food and Beverage Association expressed satisfaction at the level of engagement made on the implementation and were in agreement of the approved charges.

As part of the project, LCB would conduct mandatory disinfection services at the country's national traders markets every two months, and Senior High Schools to prevent the spread of diseases as well as secure the safety of consumers, and the general public.