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May 27, 2020

The Head of Clinical Services of the International Maritime Hospital, Dr. Helen Tettey, has called on the general public who are interested in both specialist and general health care to take advantage of IMaH as their services are of the international standard and yet affordable.

“We have the full complement of services; from lab, to radiology which includes CT Scan, MRI, fluoroscopy, mammography, ENT, dental and eye services, a dialysis centre all fully running,” she listed.

Speaking on Eye on Port’s panel discussion on the Role of International Maritime Health Facilities in Fighting Public Health Threats like COVID-19, she said the International Maritime Hospital has resumed all its expert surgical procedures that hitherto was on a break due to the coronavirus, and entreated the public to engage IMaH for all their health concerns.

She recounted a neurosurgery that was recently done by a team of medical professionals at IMaH which resonated in the Tema Community.

“This client was supposed to go to another facility but they had cancelled elective surgery yet he was getting more and more complicated.

He couldn’t have the surgery in that facility, so he quickly came to IMaH and we did a craniotomy for him, and thankfully he has recovered amazingly. The patient was so grateful,” she revealed.

Dr. Tettey, who is also the Consultant Anaesthesiologist at the International Maritime Hospital entreated women in particular to take advantage of the improved gynaecological services available at the hospital facilities, citing success stories that from laparoscopic procedures in the removal of fibroids.

“What everybody knows is for an open surgery, to get the fibroid out, but what we are doing in IMaH is new. What we are doing is through a key hole. We won’t have to cut you open. And within the same day or next day you are ready to go home. The success stories are so many. We had to do one for a woman who had so many complications and the fibroid was making her situation even more complex, yet we did the surgery efficiently to her amazement,” she added.

The Head of Clinical Services at IMaH continued to urge the general public to adopt a prevention-oriented attitude towards their health rather than ad hoc solutions to health conditions during complications.

She said to encourage regular check-ups within the Ghanaian populace, IMaH introduces several initiatives periodically across the span of the year that cater to specific aspects of human health.

“What we do in IMaH is that we offer service to our clients in any way or form. Your health is important so whichever way we can get you to come we have introduced different packages. One which we were offering until the pandemic, is Hearty IMaH which allows a full heart screen at a subsidized fee,” she said.

The CEO of IMaH, Dr. Yaw Oppong, on the same program, emphasized that IMaH is not only available for members of the maritime industry but the entire Ghanaian populace as well as the International community.

“Ours is a fully-fledged medical facility that looks after everybody not just the maritime,” he stated.

Dr. Oppong added that although the patient attendance has generally reduced over the period of the coronavirus pandemic, its conducive mortuary facility remained attractive to clients.

“There was even a point where we had a nightmare where it got to full capacity. We even had to transform a cold room to add to it.”

He said after the partial lockdown experienced in the country which allowed clients to retrieve their corpses, allowed for some decongesting only for the mortuary facility to get to full capacity again.

This according to Dr. Oppong allowed for some expansion of the mortuary facility which has a hall that could be used for private burial services in consistency with the current convention.

“The hall can take about 50 people, but we have reduced to 25 in consistency with the president’s directive for social distancing,” he explained. 

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  • May 27,2020

    The Chief Executive Officer of the International Maritime Hospital, Dr. Yaw Oppong has advised the general public to accept the possibilities of living with the coronavirus, hence, the need for modifying lifestyles.

    “COVID-19, whether we like it or not for some foreseeable future is here to stay. It is up to us to modify our lifestyles to live with it until a cure is found,” he recommended.

    Speaking on Eye on Port’s panel discussion on the Role of International Maritime Health Facilities in Fighting Public Health Threats like COVID-19, the Head of IMaH, stated that the search for a suitable vaccine for the new coronavirus might take longer than some anticipate.

    “We shouldn’t be too hopeful that by next year a vaccine would be found. At least now about 13 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials, but there are no guarantees,” he cautioned.

    He continued to say that due to the uncertainty associated with anticipating an end to this public health crisis, socio economic life would have to resume but with caution.

    “Look at HIV, it has been around for some time now. Ebola goes and comes. If we get a vaccine that is a win for us, but we may not get one. We can also not be in lockdown forever. We would have to live our lives, but redefine the level of lives we live,” he opined.

    Dr. Oppong also opined that the slower rate of transmission in Africa compared to that of the temperate zones, could be attributed to the African weather condition, saying that research has proven that the virus does not survive long in hotter temperatures.

    He, however, cautioned Ghanaians not to be complacent with the coronavirus as it continues to take lives but rather encouraged the continued commitment to precautionary measures instituted by health authorities.

    “Continue to wash hands regularly, use the hand sanitizers, wear the recommended face masks, and keep our social distancing. We should also take care of ourselves by eating well, exercising, and avoiding stress to boost our immune” he urged.

    The Head of Clinical Services at the International Maritime Hospital, Dr. Helen Tettey urged the public to stay updated with education on coronavirus in order not to miss out on vital information that may emerge.

    “In the midst of all this, there are important discoveries that are being made and so when you stop following, you can miss out especially for clinicians. There could be something in there that could be useful,” she said.

    Dr. Helen Tettey, who is also the Consultant Anaesthesiologist dismissed the claim by some sections of the public that the wearing of face masks can cause hypoxia.

    “In theatre we wear face masks, and that is the norm and sometimes we wear it conducting surgeries for 10-14 hours, it doesn’t affect you. If what they are saying is true, then we should have been affected. Yet, we are here, unaffected,” she expressed.

    She, therefore, called for continued wearing of the face masks in public spaces to reduce the spread of the virus, even though she could sympathize with the discomfort associated with it.

    “The benefits far outweigh the risks so I would ask everyone to wear their face masks,” she implored.

    Dr. Tettey also called for improve social distancing among the citizenry as she lamented that, it is the main precautionary measure that has been neglected within the country.

    Yet, the Head of IMaH, Dr. Sylvester Yaw Oppong, said despite the several socio-economic challenges that have emerged due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the positive takeaways from the current circumstances is the inculcation of sobriety in human activity and hoped that value carries on, even after the pandemic.

    “It is letting us become sober and return to human values, and eliminating the unnecessary things. And I’m even hoping that after COVID-19, funerals for example would be scaled down,” he expressed.


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  • May 27,2020

    The Head of Clinical Services of the International Maritime Hospital, Dr. Helen Tettey, has called on the general public who are interested in both specialist and general health care to take advantage of IMaH as their services are of the international standard and yet affordable.

    “We have the full complement of services; from lab, to radiology which includes CT Scan, MRI, fluoroscopy, mammography, ENT, dental and eye services, a dialysis centre all fully running,” she listed.

    Speaking on Eye on Port’s panel discussion on the Role of International Maritime Health Facilities in Fighting Public Health Threats like COVID-19, she said the International Maritime Hospital has resumed all its expert surgical procedures that hitherto was on a break due to the coronavirus, and entreated the public to engage IMaH for all their health concerns.

    She recounted a neurosurgery that was recently done by a team of medical professionals at IMaH which resonated in the Tema Community.

    “This client was supposed to go to another facility but they had cancelled elective surgery yet he was getting more and more complicated.

    He couldn’t have the surgery in that facility, so he quickly came to IMaH and we did a craniotomy for him, and thankfully he has recovered amazingly. The patient was so grateful,” she revealed.

    Dr. Tettey, who is also the Consultant Anaesthesiologist at the International Maritime Hospital entreated women in particular to take advantage of the improved gynaecological services available at the hospital facilities, citing success stories that from laparoscopic procedures in the removal of fibroids.

    “What everybody knows is for an open surgery, to get the fibroid out, but what we are doing in IMaH is new. What we are doing is through a key hole. We won’t have to cut you open. And within the same day or next day you are ready to go home. The success stories are so many. We had to do one for a woman who had so many complications and the fibroid was making her situation even more complex, yet we did the surgery efficiently to her amazement,” she added.

    The Head of Clinical Services at IMaH continued to urge the general public to adopt a prevention-oriented attitude towards their health rather than ad hoc solutions to health conditions during complications.

    She said to encourage regular check-ups within the Ghanaian populace, IMaH introduces several initiatives periodically across the span of the year that cater to specific aspects of human health.

    “What we do in IMaH is that we offer service to our clients in any way or form. Your health is important so whichever way we can get you to come we have introduced different packages. One which we were offering until the pandemic, is Hearty IMaH which allows a full heart screen at a subsidized fee,” she said.

    The CEO of IMaH, Dr. Yaw Oppong, on the same program, emphasized that IMaH is not only available for members of the maritime industry but the entire Ghanaian populace as well as the International community.

    “Ours is a fully-fledged medical facility that looks after everybody not just the maritime,” he stated.

    Dr. Oppong added that although the patient attendance has generally reduced over the period of the coronavirus pandemic, its conducive mortuary facility remained attractive to clients.

    “There was even a point where we had a nightmare where it got to full capacity. We even had to transform a cold room to add to it.”

    He said after the partial lockdown experienced in the country which allowed clients to retrieve their corpses, allowed for some decongesting only for the mortuary facility to get to full capacity again.

    This according to Dr. Oppong allowed for some expansion of the mortuary facility which has a hall that could be used for private burial services in consistency with the current convention.

    “The hall can take about 50 people, but we have reduced to 25 in consistency with the president’s directive for social distancing,” he explained. 


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  • May 27,2020

    The Chief Executive Officer of the International Maritime Hospital, Dr. Sylvester Yaw Oppong has stated that the International Maritime Hospital, is well-positioned to help solve some of the health concerns of members of the international trade community who find themselves in Ghana to do business.

    “When people are doing business in the port space, they are more comfortable when there is a facility that would see to their healthcare needs, especially in times of emergency. And in that respect IMaH is particularly well-placed,” he said.

    Speaking on Eye on Port’s panel discussion on the Role of International Maritime Health Facilities in Fighting Public Health Threats like COVID-19, the Head of IMaH revealed that one of the principal motives for establishing such a world class hospital to complement operations of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is to strategically position Ghana as the gateway to West Africa.

    “When people are entering the country, one of the things that make them very uncomfortable, is the health services available in that country.

    Some of them when they are coming they are very apprehensive that should I come and get a heart attack, do they have facility to take care of me?” he continued.

    Dr. Oppong asserted that currently, many within Ghana’s ports and maritime industry, including foreign nationals seek healthcare from the International Maritime Hospital, with the expectation of increasing the numbers considerably due the variety of specialist healthcare services offered.

    “These agencies, even without enrolling all their staff, they make sure that the expatriate staff have access to IMaH, because of the standard of healthcare here. Going forward the development of the Tema Port, and the presence of the International Maritime Hospital, will make foreigners coming in, to feel comfortable and be confident in getting the level of healthcare they are used to.”

    Dr. Helen Tettey, the Head of Clinical Services of the International Maritime Hospital also said IMaH has been readily positioned to help keep the gates of the country away from the importation and spread of public health threats, and has since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic collaborated with the GPHA Clinic and the Port Health Unit of the Ghana Health Service in that regard.

    “We have several interactions with them. And so, if there is anything of the sort, the first point of call is the Port Health, but if there is any client they need to move for treatment, because of the connection with us, we are available to take care of the patient,” she said.

    Dr. Tettey, who is also the Consultant Anaesthesiologist at IMaH, revealed that even though IMaH had to remodel a lot of its healthcare services since the advent of COVID-19, it has been able to effectively collaborate to handle first hand situations associated with the COVID-19 before transfer is made to the designated national treatment centres.

    “Once they are doing that, we also test our in-patients, so if somebody comes with any condition and we suspect that it is COVID-19 or associated with it, we have an isolation bay, where we hold the person, take samples, and continue to treat him or her before the results come."

    We have done several of those since the pandemic,” she disclosed.


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  • May 21,2020

    The General Manager of the Health Services Department of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi, has expressed his disapproval for mass testing of the general public due to the financial implications it would have on an economy like Ghana.

    “To do the mass testing with no justification, I do not advise it. There must be prudent use of resources. It is not sustainable,” he opined.

    Speaking as a panellist live on Eye on Port, the Head of GPHA’s Health Services, also explained that mass testing especially in institutions may not prove to be useful in stemming the spread of coronavirus.

    “The virus is such that it can be transmitted anytime, any day. So one person can be tested today, be negative, and still contract the virus tomorrow,” he elaborated.

    The respected medical doctor, however, encouraged stricter adherence to health etiquettes as well as effective contact tracing as a more reliable strategy in containing the COVID-19.

    “You can make sure that if someone tests positive, you would do the proper contact tracing and have all contacts tested even if they are one thousand, and that’s what we have been doing so far,” he said.

    Dr. Anaab also said, regular fumigation in enclosed areas, is also a reliable and cost-efficient method of reducing the spread of the coronavirus especially at the organisational level.

    “Regular, periodic fumigation would help, with the appropriate chemicals that would last for long. Here, when someone who is infected sneezes or coughs in that environment, the chemical will supress it and people will be at less risk. We advise that for enclosed facilities,” he said.

    A Nursing Officer at the GPHA Clinic, Regina Tedeku, also called for corporate organisations and benevolent business enterprises to support government with the provision of the needed logistics and equipment, especially adequate Personal Protective Equipment, for nurses and other frontline health workers as she shared some experiences.

    “We are pleading with our authorities, employers, and companies to help provide with enough PPEs so that no nurse would refuse to attend to a patient because she doesn’t have the necessary protection,” she appealed.

    Regina, who is also a Fellow of the West African College of Nurses bemoaned that, many frontline health workers especially those in less privileged health institutions are woefully exposed to the virus, during their service and their protection should be treated as an immediate priority.

    Gideon Lamptey, the Consultant Medical Laboratory Scientist, on his part, called for more infrastructural support in terms of labs and equipment at the national level, to enable increased efficiency in carrying out their duties as the virus continues to spread in the country.

    “Looking at the scenario of testing, its only Noguchi and KCCI, and a few other peripheral laboratories that are doing the test. In the Western world, there are a lot of laboratories. There is a lab policy, that needs to be followed. We want to urge government to put in place to ensure we have more than what we have now.”

    Dr. Anaab-Bisi, also stated that moving forward, on the global level, countries, would have to expand and invest in sufficient state of the art facilities that can contain such public health emergencies.


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  • May 21,2020

    A Senior Medical Laboratory Officer at the GPHA Clinic, Gideon Lamptey has called on the general public to desist from the stigmatization of health workers in particular in order not to demotivate them to stop serving the public against the spread of the COVID-19.

    “I want to take this opportunity to appeal to the general public that it doesn’t help. Because we are fighting for God and Country. We want them to appreciate us when we come home and sit with them. They shouldn’t stigmatize. But rather encourage us to do more. If we don’t continue to do our work, the case rate would continue to increase without any help,” he beseeched.

    Speaking live on Eye on Port’s panel discussion on Fighting COVID-19 at Ghana’s Ports: Celebrating Frontline Health Workers, the Consultant Laboratory Scientist, recounted some of the undesirable behaviours sections of the public demonstrate during the taking of samples for onward testing.

    “There was one situation that we went to Ashaiman to take a sample, and by the time we had finished taking the sample, someone had the nerve to be videoing us. And I had to be stern on him,” he narrated.

    Gideon, however, emphasized on the need for regular testing on the part of the frontline health workers, due to the delicate nature of their work.

    A Nursing Officer at the GPHA Clinic, Regina Afua Tedeku, also lamented the psycho-social impact stigmatization would have on the Ghanaian society, and added her voice for its eradication.

    “If you shun the person and you isolate them, this can push them into depression, and we all know the dire consequences of depression.”

    She said, instead of flagrant labelling and shunning of patients of the coronavirus, it is in the society’s interest to cautiously ingratiate recovered patients warmly into the society.

    The General Manager, Health Services Department of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi, also urged recovered patients of the coronavirus to come out boldly, in order to serve as torch bearers for the fight against stigmatization.

    “Indeed those who have had the disease, and have gone through treatment and have been cured, should make sure to come out, as champions and speak to it,” he encouraged.

    Dr. Anaab-Bisi indicated that stigmatization is emerging as a social bane in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, and can gradually create a society where people, especially asymptomatic patients are unwilling to get tested.

    According to him, this would worsen Ghana’s coronavirus situation and take a lot away from all the efforts that have been made to encourage collaboration from the general citizenry regarding testing and quarantining.

    The panellists nonetheless, urged their colleagues serving as frontline health officials, to embrace the call to service in these challenging times to fulfill their very purpose in life.


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  • May 21,2020

    The General Manager of Health Services Department of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Dr. Vitus Victor Anaab-Bisi, has revealed that no case of COVID-19 has been imported through ship or sea transportation and for that matter Ghana’s sea ports.

    He attributed this success to rigorous efforts that have been instituted at the sea ports of Ghana by the Port Authority in collaboration with other partner stakeholders including the Port Health Unit of the Ghana Health Service.

    “When we had this pandemic, we didn’t even wait for the day WHO announced that it is a pandemic. We started our awareness program way back in January, together with port health to sensitize all stakeholders in the port community,” he said.

    Dr. Anaab-Bisi’s revelation has become more essential considering the fact that ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the latter part of 2019, many have compared its devastating effect to the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic which is reported to have been introduced into the then Gold Coast by shipping and sea trade along the Southern Coast and overland across the Northern Frontier.

    Speaking on Eye on Port’s live panel discussion on Fighting COVID-19 at Ghana’s Ports and Celebrating the Frontline Health Workers, Dr. Anaab-Bisi revealed the various strategies that his outfit has undertaken, to ensure Ghana’s ports are safe from the importation and spread of the coronavirus to protect the port’s role as a major economic asset for the state.

    “We had to spend to support Government and keep our staff, clients, and our business going. If we do not keep the ports safe, and the ports close down, Ghana will come to a halt,” he expressed.

    He said the Port Authority put in place new strategies such as the mandatory health declaration forms that were introduced to ensure that seafarers who use Ghana’s ports were remotely monitored.

    “What we did was that we designed a quick COVID-19 declaration form for all vessels. We distributed them to all shipping lines, and all clearing agents, so before a vessel will call our ports, they have to fill by answering critical questions concerning COVID-19 and provide feedback by email,” he disclosed.

    Dr. Anaab said, the Management of the Port Authority, despite financial constraints, recognized the desperate times the country faced and played a key role in procuring all the needed equipment needed to augment the health services’ capacity to ensure the port’s clients, and operators within the port community are protected from the importation and spread of the coronavirus.

    A Senior Medical Laboratory Officer at the GPHA Clinic, Gideon Lamptey on the same program, revealed that some frontline health workers at the port like himself, had to quickly adapt to the new situation in order to mediate between the crew of cargo vessels and the port community to ensure both parties are protected from the importation and spread of the coronavirus.

    “We have instituted an emergency response team that includes doctors, nurses, pharmacist, laboratory scientists and we move to the various berths were the crew come to assist there. We had training from the harbour master and the professionals as to what to do and we have been applying since,” he said.

    He revealed that his prior experience working in an Ebola treatment centre in Liberia, which posed a much bigger risk to his life, had contributed to grooming and disciplining him for the job at hand, and has been pleased to answer the call to help fight the coronavirus.

    “Ebola is worse than COVID-19 in terms of the fatality rate. So, the experience killed the fear in me. I believe this training I had earlier especially also at Tema General Hospital where we had a case centre for Lassa fever. All these things put me in good stead to serve,” he recounted.

    A Nursing Officer at the GPHA Clinic, Regina Afua Tedeku, also detailed the crucial role nurses have been playing in the fight against COVID-19 especially within Ghana’s port community.

    “As nurses, we have been involved in intensive education of the public, the port community which is still ongoing. Also we let those who come to the clinic understand the reality of the virus so they take informed decision on how to protect themselves,” she said.

    She advised that, considering the fact that priority in health service delivery currently is targeted towards COVID 19, and the high rate of transmission of the virus, it is important for clients to visit the clinic facility when it is absolutely necessary so that they don’t contract the disease.

    “We are educating the general public that if you are not very sick, there is no need to come to the hospital, for example a slight headache that you might need rest or basic medication. If you just jump in and come to the clinic, you might come and pick the infection.”

    Dr. Anaab said that this same advice should apply with patients with underlying chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, and added that such patients should make use of phone calls in order to access medical advice for medication.

    “Indeed, we don’t advise people to walk in and out of the hospital like they used to do without urgent need. If they have any concern, they should rather call us and we are ready to fill the prescription forms for them to pick up.”

    The various representatives of Ghana’s port health services department affirmed their commitment to continue to play their roles to help safeguard Ghana’s port community from the importation and spread of the coronavirus.


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  • May 21,2020

    Can you imagine having to be in close contact with the dreaded coronavirus on a daily basis?

    Imagine the anxiety that could be associated with whether or not you have been infected with COVID-19, due the nature of your work? Imagine having to continually observe the strictest level of precautions against COVID-19 in your everyday life?

    Unlike most people, the slightest mistake on your part does not only endanger yourself and immediate contacts but can severely jeopardize the outcomes of someone’s health diagnosis?

    That is the life of Gideon Lantei Lamptey, a Senior Medical Laboratory Scientist at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority’s Clinic.

    Gideon is 38 years, and married with three children, and a native of Jamestown British Accra and an alumnus of the School of Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, and the University of Liverpool, where he gained higher learning.

    Gideon is a fellow of the West African Post-Graduate College of Medical Laboratory Scientists.

    He has been at the very front of coronavirus related interactions since the outbreak of the pandemic.

    On the average day, he plays a key role in the diagnosis of medical conditions at the clinic.

    But now, he plays a much more crucial role in case management of COVID-19 at the GPHA Clinic.

    Gideon has been pivotal in the screening of crew members during the arrival of vessels at the Tema Port in these times of preventing the importation and spread of the coronavirus.

    “Desperate times calls for desperate measures. We know the port is also an entry point so we quickly have to do what had to be done, to ensure that our clients and staff who access the ports here are protected,” he said.

    The medical laboratory scientist described the difficulty of participating in port activities but emphasized how he needed to adapt to enable him contribute efficiently to the fight against COVID-19 at the ports of Ghana, which is considered a major avenue to the importation of the disease.

    “I had a short training from the harbour master. I was given basic tutoring on what to do in order to climb the monkey ladder. I had no swimming experience, so it was just sheer bravery.”

    Gideon also been crucial in the sensitization campaign the Medical Services Department of GPHA embarked on, prior to and after the confirmation of positive COVID-19 cases in Ghana.

    He revealed the challenges associated in terms of convincing patients to collaborate by offering the right information and assistance.

    “There’s been the issue of stigma about the COVID-19. There are many times that we would even go to a contact house to go and take the sample, and immediately you leave there, the whole area would tag the one tested as having the virus,” he cited.

    Gideon Lamptey has worked in his medical field for more than a decade, and has previously served in the Liberia treatment centre, during the Ebola pandemic.

    Being a family man, Gideon is so keen on his personal protection and in addition to strictly following the health protocols, has already tested on 3 occasions to ensure he is not infected with the coronavirus.


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  • May 21,2020

    On shore, the health and medical team of Ghana’s Ports and Harbours Authority are still leaving no stone unturned in the fight against the COVID-19.

    The team has been playing a key role in the dispensation of health services during this period of the COVID-19.

    Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has 4 main health facilities; the GPHA hospital in Takoradi, the main GPHA Clinic located in Tema community 2 and Clinic B located within the Port’s operational areas that handle first hand emergencies.

    Additionally, GPHA recently completed its fully state of the art International Maritime Hospital with modern and top class medical equipment, wards and facilities and a helipad for emergency helicopter ambulance services.

    All the medical and health facilities operate a 24 hour, 7 days a week services providing top class health care delivery to the port community, people of Tema, Greater Accra Region and Ghana as a whole.

    The GPHA Clinic is not currently a designated treatment center for COVID-19, but continues to interface between generally sick patients, and their families, who could be potential carriers of the coronavirus.

    Eye on Port gained exclusive coverage of the dealings within the GPHA Clinic associated with COVID-19.

    The Clinic ensures that all clients, staff or visitors upon entrance of its facilities, observe hygiene protocols including, washing of hands thoroughly under running water with soap and the usage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers through automatic dispensers.

    Special screening of all Patients on COVID-19 parameters is done to ascertain their status for effective isolation if the need be.

    Isolated patients who either show symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19 infected patients, are taken to a holding area, which is restricted, where patients are detained and their samples taken.

    According to Dr. Roland Dakpala, a Senior Medical Doctor at GPHA, supportive treatment is given to patients who demonstrate symptoms that require attention in order to stabilize them until test results are confirmed.

    “If we support a case and we have moved the case to our holding area, we take a set of these medication and use it for management of the symptoms till the results come,” he said.

    Gideon Lamptey, a Medical Laboratory Scientist took the team through the procedure for sample taking.

    He hinted a high probability of expanding the holding area should the number of reported cases and other infectious diseases increase.

    “We are planning towards the future, while COVID-19 is there. Diseases of public health concern always come in, so when you plan for that it is easier and it also helps us the health personnel,” he mentioned.

    Dr. Roland Dakpala said all these procedures by health officials are done with strict adherence to the proper use of the Personal Protective Equipment.

    He added that regular fumigation of the holding areas and other areas of contact in the clinic facility is done due to the contagious nature of COVID-19.

    He emphasized that COVID-19 is not a myth so the general public should comply with all safety protocols announced by health authorities.

    “We will continue to advise strongly that every citizen, still continues to take their infection prevention measures,” he encouraged.

    The Matron Nurse of the GPHA Clinic, said even though they could not celebrate the Week-Long World Nursing Celebration, they will continue to play their key role in taking care of the general public against the COVID-19.

    She also expressed worry over stigmatization against nurses and frontline officers during the period of the coronavirus pandemic and urged those who do so to desist from that.


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  • May 21,2020

    Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the latter part of 2019, many have related the global public health adversity to the Spanish flu also known as the 1918 pandemic.

    History reports that the 1918 pandemic viral disease had strikingly similar symptoms to COVID-19 and nearly wiped the entire planet, killing over 50 million people, far more than people who died during the First World War and claimed an estimated 100,000 lives in present day Ghana.

    Reports indicate that, the disease was introduced into the then Gold Coast by shipping along the Southern Coast and over land across the Northern Frontier.

    Therefore, it was not surprising that many countries closed their border frontiers to human and vehicular traffic when COVID-19 broke.

    “All our borders, by land, sea and air will be closed to human traffic for the next two weeks,” the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo stated in one of his addresses earlier in the year.

    However, cargo traffic still remained opened.

    “This closure will not apply to goods, supplies and cargo,” he continued.

    International cargo trade is predominantly by sea, with the Ports of Ghana been responsible for over 80% international cargo trading.

    With the history of the devastating record of the 1918 pandemic on hindsight, the Ports of Ghana have been extremely cautious ever since in its protective measures against being used as conduit to importing and spreading viral diseases of significant magnitude like Ebola and COVID-19.

    In 2014, significant efforts were made by Ghana’s Ports and Harbours Authority to implement all the best strategies in order for Ghana not to record any cases of the Ebola.

    The Port Authority equally undertook measures including training and sensitization as early as January and February, 2020 with both onshore and offshore restrictive measures to avoid any importation of COVID-19 cases although cargoes were being received through the Ports.

    The Port authority also banned the receipt of cruise or passenger vessels among others.

    It appears all these measures have paid off as no case has so far been transported through ships and the Ports to Ghana as of date.


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  • May 15,2020

    The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Eddy Akrong, has called for implementers of the new Integrated Customs Management System to go back to the drawing board to resolve the challenges that have emerged out of the use of the ICUMS at the ports of Ghana, before fully implementing it.

    “All we are saying is do not let us do this with all these problems inherent. Let us resolve them before we bring it to this end, where you have a greater number of throughput and bigger number of users,” he said.

    Speaking on the Eye on Port panel on the Implementation of ICUMS and the Future of Ghana’s Single Window, the Head of GIFF, emphasized on the need for implementers to address the inefficiencies of the system which he termed as fundamental rather than teething.

    “Mind you, Takoradi has started since April 1 and they are in the sixth week now. How much of this has been resolved? Because some of the problems that I have reported keep coming up. What are the assurances we can get that these are going to be resolved before it comes to Tema?” he complained.

    He asserted that implementers should have applied the experience gained from the rush introduction of previous customs management reforms, and ensure they did not repeat themselves.

    “You have seen what has happened before. You have the advantage of hindsight. So you have a shorter learning curve. We shouldn’t be seeing some of these problems. You should have an improved system.”

    Eddy Akrong, lamented the sufferings of port users including freight forwarders who represent the trading public due to the unjustifiable delays associated with the new ICUMS.

    “Are we going to take 21days, 14 days to do a declaration, which is not one particular instance?” he bemoaned.

    “The trouble my people go through to call to find out what we are doing…is this how it is going to work over and over again? I will push all the complaints to the AC, Mr. Ohene,” he added.

    He contended the argument that the challenges experienced during the implementation were operational rather than systemic.

    According to him, the reluctance of stakeholders to exit the old systems is a demonstration of clear systemic issues with the ICUMS.

    “My sister from Adonai Shipping started a declaration on the 14th of April but only able to pay duty on 8th May,” he cited.

    “Are these just from us or someone trying to sabotage the system or these are systemic issues?” he asked.

    The GIFF President criticized the inadequate level of training given to users of the system, and attributed that as a major cause of the difficulties faced by members of his outfit over the course of the implementation of ICUMS.

    “All you see happening in Takoradi is as a result of only two hours of training in February and then they had to kick off from 1st April.

    If this thing has started on April 28 in Tema…Even myself, if I put the laptop in front of me I wouldn’t even know where to start although I had attended the two-hour training on just 1 regime,” he expressed.

    He also said the call centre allocated for addressing technical concerns of users of the ICUMS system is not an efficient one. “We have been asking to have a top notch call centre.

    When you go to Takoradi, every single agent has visited the hotel where the technicians work. Why because of frustrations…you call, you don’t get through, you have to walk in there,” he reported.

    The seasoned freight forwarder also disputed the one vendor narrative used to back the implementation of the UNIPASS Single Window system.

    He said the previous system demonstrated an effective single window system as opposed to the information being peddled by Government officials.

    Eddy Akrong, however, maintained that he is not interested in challenging policy directives but the outcomes of those policies are what his outfit has always been concerned about.

    “We are not against government policy. We are not going to fight it. We just need the assurance that it would be done and done well.”

    He said they will show commitment in using the new system once it promises efficient clearance of goods and services across the country’s ports.


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