Doctors at UGMC say they are ready to deliver babies safely during the coronavirus pandemic

A research conducted by NORSSAC shows that most health centers in the northern regions of Ghana do not have the basic equipment to be able to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The research found out that most of the health facilities did not have the basic such as disinfectants, thermometer guns, medical mask and gloves.

According to the research, 51 percent of CHPS Compounds had no disinfectants, while 70 percent did not have a thermometer guns and 16 percent had no hand sanitizers.

The research also found out that the health personal working in these facilities did not have confidence in their preparedness to handle an outbreak.

The survey had sampled 108 frontline health staff from 90 community and district level health facilities in 18 districts across the five regions of Northern Ghana.

The key findings showed that only 47 percent of health staff in these facilities have been trained on the Covid-19 while 53 percent representing majority of health staff said they had no training.

The rapid survey also showed the doctor patient ratio in these regions are far below the national average. 

The survey also showed National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has been conspicuously left out of the trainings and equipment support to fight covid-19.

The survey showed there is general intimidation of health workers at all levels (regional, district and community) to openly talk about Covid-19, particularly the logistical challenges they face in handling the issue.

The general objective of the rapid survey was to access the level of readiness of the teaching, regional, district and community health centers in handling suspected or real cases of Covid-19 in these facilities. 

It was also to assess the professional readiness of the health staff in handling suspected Covid-19 cases at the community, district and regional health facilities.

In the light of the findings, NORSAAC made some recommendations.

It said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and District Assemblies must train all medical and non-medical staff on Covid-19 issues.

It also recommended that the role of NADMO must be recognized and the institution well-resourced to join the fight effectively.

It further recommended that the intimidation of health officers who openly speak about Covid-19 coping challenges must stop.

It also said the media should join the fight against intimidation and victimization of officials trying to expose issues of national importance among others.