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.