The President of the Ghana Medical Association has applauded President Nana Akufo-Addo for the “bold” measures he has taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Association, Dr Frank Ankobea stated that “we would like to say a big thank you for all the bold decisions that you’ve taken throughout this Covid-19 era, i.e. the lockdown, closure of our borders and some other things, particularly the incentive package that you’ve given to health workers, and the recognition of our work.”
According to the GMA President, “When you are working and the President of the nation recognizes the work that you are doing, it is very, very encouraging.
“I must tell you we have resolved that we’ll carry on this fight no matter what it takes. We know some of us may be taken away by Covid-19, but that is not going to let us down, and we will continue to mobilise all the health workers and fight to the end of this Covid-19.”
Dr Frank Ankobea was speaking on Tuesday, when, at the invitation of President Akufo-Addo, the Executive Committee of the Ghana Medical Association engaged with the President on measures being taken to combat the spread of the virus.
The GMA President told President Akufo-Addo that members of the Association continue to join the mass media education which is ongoing across the country to sensitise Ghanaians on the need to practice good hygiene and maintain social distancing as the basic measures needed to defeat the virus.
“Again, we are also raising funds in our own small ways, and you see that we’ve actually donated to Ridge Hospital [and] Tamale Teaching Hospital. We’ve also donated to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, the Internal Medicine Department.
“We are still, together with our residents, that is the doctors in training, residency training, and we are soliciting for funds to get some PPEs, and are on the ground, we know where the PPEs must go,” he added.
He appealed to President Akufo-Addo to direct the Ghana Health Service to help ensure the distribution of the equipment to all parts of the country.
Nonetheless, he expressed his appreciation for the announcement made by President Akufo-Addo to the effect that “we are going to go into local production, and I was surprised that the media never took it up. For me, that is the day that I would be so much happy. It would gladden my heart if we produce our PPEs.”
With literature and evidence, according to Dr Ankobea, indicating that “almost every five years a similar pandemic will come,” he appealed for adequate preparation to face future crisis and urged government to “link us with the plastic industries so that we get our own aprons, we get our own overalls, we get our own goggles, the shield and all that. We would be very, very grateful, and that would mean that we have started the preparations for the next pandemic.”
Whilst also appealing for the construction of more intensive care units across the country, he added that “we should resource some laboratories so that they could come out on time with the test results, because you’ll have to wait between 48 and 72 hours before the results come, and it has become a problem for us because the person is in a holding area”.
Touching on the incentive package announced by the President, he stated that “it is in the right direction, and for that matter, it is also going to motivate us… I must say, before I sit down that Mr President, we are so grateful, we are so grateful for the bold decisions that you’ve taken.”
Even though the Association initially advocated a total lockdown, the GMA President stated that “you did it in a way that we turned round to support you. I must say that this is not the time for us to be talking about things that were not done. We are confronted with Covid-19, how to contain it and move forward as a nation is why we are here.”