Parliamentarians in Ghana have raised concern about Ghana’s preparedness to prevent or control the deadly Ebola virus that has broken out in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Hon. Joseph Yieleh Chireh reading an urgent statement on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday said the outbreak of the virus is very close to Ghana because neighboring Liberia has reported six suspected cases, of which five have already died.
“The outbreak, Mr. Speaker is very close to home because neighboring Liberia has already reporter a number six suspected cases of which five have already died”.
“UNICEF issued a statement on the outbreak saying [at least 59 out of 80 who contracted Ebola in Guinea have died so far]. According to UNICEF, the outbreak is particularly devastating because of the weak medical infrastructure and the fact that personnel are among the first victims; thus hindering the response and threatening normal care in a country already lacking medical personnel” he said.
Ebola is one of the world’s most virulent diseases and is transmitted to humans from wild animals and between humans direct contact with blood, faecal matter, sweat or by sexual contact and the unprotected handling of contaminated corpse.
Fruit bats are natural hosts for Ebola. Symptoms of Ebola include severe fever, muscle pain vomiting, diarrhea and weakness. In some cases, Ebola can cause key human organs to shutdown, leading to unstoppable bleeding.
The disease was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 but has since never been detected in people in West Africa.
The Member of Parliament for Wa West called for an urgent meeting between the ministries of health, interior, foreign affairs and the National Security Coordinator to discuss the way forward in safeguarding Ghana’s borders against the deadly Ebola virus and also drawing measures to contain it in the event of its outbreak in the country.
He further called for much public education to create awareness and sensitize Ghanaians about the virus and other diseases.