The unending fight against COVID-19 has been a very arduous one, and as soldiers go to war, the ones at the front of this battle are our health workers.
Some of these frontline health workers sadly become casualties leaving their other colleagues to continue with the fight; very disturbing.
About seven hundred and seventy-nine (779) health workers in Ghana have contracted the deadly Coronavirus diseases.
Nine of them have however, succumbed to the disease, while a large number are in isolation awaiting their test results after being exposed to the virus in the line of duty.
A joint press statement by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Health Services Workers’ Union of TUC Ghana (HSWU) and Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) on Thursday, July 9, said the rate of infection among health workers was a matter of grave concern since it was negatively affecting health care delivery at the various health facilities in the country.
The recent death was a renowned Surgeon at the Trust Hospital in Accra, Dr. Richard Kisser.
Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule and Medical Superintendent of the Kwadaso SDA Hospital in Kumasi, Dr. Harry Boateng have also passed on.
Dr Darius Kofi Osei, CEO Of The University Of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) Hospital has painted a picture of what some of these frontline health workers go through watching their colleagues pass on.
“It’s very traumatic watching other colleagues pass on . . . these things break us down every day but we still have to go on to work. You see love ones coming and unfortunately, family members can’t even vist them . . . So far, they have done extremely very well (very well),” he told Kwami Sefa Kayi in an interview on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’.
“We have a lot of our staffs also getting COVID but we manage them . . . we have to find a way to live with it, because we are getting infected all the time in the Hospital, if we are to close it how will we work,” he said.
The UGMC which is a specialist hospital he said, have so far treated about 223 patients, 34 in ICU and recorded 16 deaths.
He said apart from that there are over 1,000 patients who are asymptomatic and are being managed at home by Doctors.
Dr Darius Kofi Osei has also indicated that the cost of treatment for COVID patients is free.
“No one comes with COVID and pays something; government takes care of the cost . . . the cost of being on a ventilator averagely is not less than Ghc 80,000 and so far about 34 people have been there,” he said, adding that some patients spend about 3 weeks in the ICU all at the expense of government.
According to him people have to report to Health facilities on time immediately they start showings signs or unusual feelings and not stay home and try to manage themselves from all sources because of the fear of stigmatisation.
“By the time they come to us it’ll be too late . . . those who come early are managed well and they recover . . . ” he said.