Health workers in Ghana warn of potential COVID-19 calamity

A health worker checks the temperature of a traveller as part of the coronavirus screening procedure at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. /Reuters

Health workers in Ghana have warned that the country may run into a COVID-19 calamity if the government does not equip them better in the fight against the disease.

Medical groups said on Thursday the West African country’s health sector risks being overwhelmed if health workers fall victim to the disease in their line of duty.

“The current state of affairs has the potential to over-stretch the already fragile health system,” Reuters quotes the groups to have said.

By the end of June, 77 health workers in Ghana had contracted COVID-19 while many others were in isolation as they await test results.

This means that they are not able to provide critical front-line care to patients.

The warning was issued by the national doctors, nurses and pharmacists associations and the health service workers union after an emergency meeting on July 1.

“We entreat the government to take swift and practicable measures to avert the imminent calamitous ramifications,” they said.

Ghana is one of Africa’s worst affected countries by the COVID-19 pandemic, having reported 22,822 infections and 129 deaths, according to data from the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The country is scheduled to hold its general elections in December, and the government has expressed confidence that the polls will go on as planned.

Voter registration is currently underway across the country.