The Ghana Medical Association has given the President the assurance that despite the risk of death, they will continue to fight the Coronavirus outbreak until the end.
The President of GMA, Dr Frank Ankobea, made the comment when he addressed the President at the Jubilee House, together with the leadership of the association.
“When you are working and the President of the nation recognises the work that you are doing, it is very, very encouraging, and I must tell you we have resolved that we’ll carry on this fight no matter what it takes. We know some of us may be taken away by COVID, but that is not going to let us down, and we will continue to mobilise all the health workers and fight to the end of this COVID-19”, the GMA President said.
He also applauded the President for the bold measures that he has taken to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Association, Dr Ankobea stated: “We would like to say a big thank you for all the bold decisions that you’ve taken throughout this COVID-19 era, i.e. the lockdown, closure of our borders and some other things, particularly the incentive package that you’ve given to health workers, and the recognition of our work.”
Dr Ankobea and his team were at the Presidency on Tuesday, 7 April 2020, at the invitation of President Akufo-Addo, to share ideas on how to forge forward with the fight against the virus which has, so far, killed five out of the two hundred eighty-seven confirmed cases in Ghana with three full recoveries.
The GMA President told President Akufo-Addo that members of the Association continue to join the mass media education which is ongoing across the country to sensitise Ghanaians on the need to practise good hygiene and maintain social distancing as the basic measures needed to defeat the virus.
“We are also raising funds in our own small ways, and you see that we’ve actually donated to Ridge Hospital, Tamale Teaching Hospital, we’ve also donated to Koeln-Bu Teaching Hospital, the Internal Medicine Department. We are still, together with our residents, that is the doctors in training, residency training, and we are soliciting for funds to get some PPE, and are on the ground, we know where the PPE must go,” he added.
He appealed to President Akufo-Addo direct the Ghana Health Service to help ensure the distribution of all parts of the country.
Nonetheless, he expressed his appreciation for the announcement made by President Akufo-Addo to the effect that “we are going to go into local production, and I was surprised that media men and all that never took it up. For me, that is the day that I would be so much happy. It would gladden my heart if we produce our PPE.”
With literature and evidence, according to Dr Ankobea, indicating that “almost every five years a similar pandemic will come”, he appealed for adequate preparation to this end and urged the government to “link us with the plastic industries, so that we get our own aprons, we get our own overalls, we get our own goggles, the shield and all that. We would be very, very grateful, and that would mean that we have started the preparations for the next pandemic.”
While also appealing for the construction of more intensive care units across the country, he added: “We should resource some laboratories so that they could come on to the test results, because you’ll have to wait between 48 and 72 hours before the results come, and it has become a problem for us because the person is in a holding area”.
Touching on the incentive package announced by the President, he stated that “it is in the right direction, and for that matter, it is also going to motivate us… I must say, before I sit down that Mr President, we are so grateful, we are so grateful for the bold decisions that you’ve taken.”
Even though the association, initially advocated a total lockdown, the GMA President stated that “you did it in a way that we turned round to support you. Now I must say that this is not the time for us to be talking about things that were not done. Now we are confronted with COVID-19, how to contain it moving forward is why we are here.”