Accra, Feb. 3, GNA – The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives’ Association (GRNMA) has expressed worry about the recent surge in Covid-19 cases and accompanying deaths across the country.
The GRNMA in a statement jointly signed by its President, Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo and David Tenkorang-Twum, General Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, observed that majority of Ghanaians were not adhering to the Covid-19 protocols especially with regards to the wearing of face mask in public places, as that exposes others to potentially picking up the virus from infected asymptomatic persons.
It said, with the new variant of the virus already imported into the country, the non-adherence to the protocols would in no time result in an escalation of new cases that could overwhelm the country’s already fragile health system.
It indicated that there had been the break-down of protocols at health facilities in the country, saying “measures that worked for us in the first and second quarter of the year 2020 such as the Pre-triaging, triaging, enhanced testing and contact tracing have been virtually abandoned in most health facilities.”
Infection among nurses and midwives, the statement informed, was disturbing as some 840 nurses and midwives, at the peak of the first wave in July 2020, had been infected with two deaths recorded.
“The death toll stands at four with the recent demise of Mr Solomon Nsor, a Senior Staff Nurse who worked at War Memorial Hospital in the Kasena Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region” it said, calling for proper measures to be put in place to quarantine and treat those infected.
In enhancing the safety of health professionals, it said, there was a need for the government to, as a matter of urgency, boost the stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for distribution to facilities for all front line professionals.
Touching on the payment of Covid-19 Insurance and other incentives to health workers, the Association called on government to fast-track the payment of insurance premium for those who were infected with the virus, those who fell critically ill and those who died during the first wave of the pandemic to serve as motivation for others in the fight.
“We are grateful to the President of the Republic for the income tax waiver enjoyed during the year 2020, and we call on him to reinstate it as motivation for health workers as long as the pandemic remains with us”, the Association added.
The association concluded that with the procurement of vaccines, attention ought to be paid to the origin, safety and efficacy of the vaccines as reservation raised could not be overlooked and called on state agencies responsible for the certification of all imported drugs including vaccines to adopt a vigorous system to certify the vaccines once produced before its administration to health professionals and the general public.
Meanwhile, following the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, President Akufo-Addo, Sunday announced the reintroduction of a ban on social gatherings; such as funerals, weddings and concerts until further notice.
As of Monday, February 1, 2020, data from the Ghana Health Service put the death toll of Covid-19 across the country at 416, with 758 new cases and 5,358 active cases.