Ghana Health Service intensifies mechanism to contain Marburg Disease
Marburg Virus Disease
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has intensified its surveillance mechanism to facilitate, the early detection and containment of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD). This is to ensure the prevention and further spread of the disease. It is said that the disease was suspected to have claimed one more life.
The death is in close contact with one of the initial two deceased cases, on July 21, this year. At a press briefing, the Ministry of Information provided an update on public health emergencies the country was dealing with.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the main conditions stressing the health system are MVD, Monkey Pox, and COVID-19. He also said the country was experiencing pockets of poliomyelitis, measles, and yellow fever outbreaks.
The intensified mechanism
Dr. Kuma- Aboagye said the intensification mechanism included the development of a national response plan. Alerting and building the capacity of all district health facilities to be on the lookout for the MVD and the others.
Also, carrying out community engagements on prevention and intensifying public education and risk communication in affected regions.
He mentioned others to include the constitution of a rapid response team to support regional and district response teams for detailed case investigations. The provision of more personal protective equipment and other logistics. The development of training tools and educational materials and the training of community-based volunteers and supervisors for intense surveillance.
Threat of MVD
Continuing with the update on the MVD, he said, although the threat of spread was very low in the country, the risk existed because the vector was present. He said 40 contacts of the case had been identified, 11 were health workers who were undergoing daily monitoring for 42 days.
He said to ensure that no cases were missed, the isolation period had been increased from 21 days. The incubation period for the MVD is now 42 days because the new case developed systems after going through the 21-day isolation period.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said officially the country had confirmed three cases locally. He said the Institute Pasteur could not corroborate one of the locally confirmed cases presented to it. And so the test would be repeated. In addition to the new confirmed case locally by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
Prevention protocol for MVD
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said there is currently no vaccine for the disease. He, therefore, appealed to the public to adhere to preventive measures. He said the GHS was also collaborating with Ghana Wildlife to reduce the risk of spread.
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