The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) the umbrella organisation for doctors in the country, has called on the government to take immediate steps to improve on the nations stock and equitable distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential logistics to all frontline health workers at all levels of service delivery.

The GMA also asked managers of health care facilities across the country to ensure judicious use of PPEs in line with existing protocols in view of the global shortages.

The call by the GMA comes in the wake of ongoing concerted efforts by state agencies to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ghana.

“In anticipation of potential increased demand for intensive care units (ICUs) and high dependency unit (HDU) services to care for severe and critical cases of COVID-19, we call on all doctors and managers of the health care systems to take immediate steps towards decongestion of these units in all health care facilities across the country.

“In this regard, the GMA calls for the suspension of non-urgent elective surgical procedures that have the potential to populate the ICUs and HDUs. Government should take immediate steps to improve the capacity of all teaching hospitals, regional and district hospitals through the expansion of ICUs/HDUs including the provision of ventilators at the various centres,” the Association said in a press release.

Already, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has announced the suspension of elective surgical cases and says it will only take care of emergency surgical cases.

The Ghana Medical Association said the fact that the first point of call of all the six confirmed cases in the country were private facilities underscores the role of the private health facilities in this pandemic.

“Government should, therefore, ensure that the private health sector is involved in all training and allocation of resources as part of the nations’ response to this pandemic,” the Association said.

Government has banned all public gatherings and closed universities and school to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

Speaking further on Ghana’s stock of PPEs on current affairs programme, PM Express, General Secretary of the Association, Dr Justice Yankson, said because health facilities are already grappling with other medical cases, PPEs have started running low in the wake of the coronavirus scare.

“We need to do our best to make sure we have them at facility level because healthcare personnel, the first point of call, the online people if they don’t feel protected [there will be chaos]. Nobody will want to walk into danger,” he said.

Read the full statement from the GMA below.