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WHO identifies gaps in Ghana’s preparedness for Coronavirus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it has identified gaps in Ghana’s preparedness for any suspected or confirmed case of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19.

WHO identifies gaps in Ghana’s preparedness for Coronavirus

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An assessment report by WHO as of Friday, February 14, 2020, revealed that although the government has committed GH¢2.5 million for any eventuality, the amount is inadequate.

According to the report, Ghana’s total budget for COVID-19 preparedness stands at GH¢35million.

The report however scored Ghana high for the capacity to test for the disease at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research.

Corroborating the WHO’s assessment, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in its assessment report dated February 25 said “there are funding gaps and additional funding will be required to implement remaining activities at the national level, regions and districts”.

“The World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and other Health Partners are supporting the country to identify priority areas as per the WHO national capacities tool, to map out and access support for the entire preparedness process,” it added.

According to the GHS report, as of Tuesday, February 25, 2020, a total of 24 suspected cases had been reported and have all tested negative for COVID-19.

As part of surveillance measures, the GHS said a newly completed 100 bed hospital has been identified for potential use as a quarantine facility.

It added that four other facilities (Ga East, Police, LEKMA and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospitals) have been identified as additional facilities to support case management.

Ghana has been classified among Priority 1 countries in WHO Africa region for being at risk based on flights and passenger volumes.

Nigeria is the first sub-Saharan African country to have recorded a case of the COVID-19 after an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria flew into the commercial capital Lagos from Milan on 25 February.

Challenges outlined by WHO

  • Inadequate funding to implement the various preparedness activities planned.
  • Support from Government so far has gone towards the provision of PPEs, coordination activities,
    health declaration forms.
  • Additional funding will be required to implement remaining activities.
  • WHO is supporting the country to identify priority areas as per the WHO national capacities tool to map out and access support for the preparedness process.
  • Total budget for COVID-19 preparedness stands at 35 million Ghana Cedis.
  • The table below presents funding gap for prioritized activities.
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