Over 150 Ghanaian Doctors & Dentists Infected With COVID-19

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) The Ghana Medical Association (GMA)

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), has expressed deep condolences over the death of four its members who have died after being infected with COVID-19 and revealed that over 150 medical doctors and dentists across the country, have so far been infected with the deadly coronavirus.

This number is minus the nurses, midwives, physician assistants, laboratory technicians, orderlies, mortuary attendants among other health workers.

The GMA, in statement said majority of those affected are in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Central, Western and Ashanti regions.

The leadership of GMA, has been under severe pressure from the rank and file of the association for pandering too much to government in the fight against the virus instead of seeking the interest of its members.

Lots of criticisms were heaped the association's President Dr. Frank Ankobea, for being too quick to support anything government says with respect the disease, but in recent weeks, the attitude of the GMA appears to be changing.

Together with Dr. Justice Yankson, the association's General Secretary, Dr. Frank Ankobea, last Friday paid tribute to GMA members, who have died in the line of duty describing the loss as immense given the contribution and heroism to the medical practice.

The first is a consultant physician and former Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, who died in April at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).

Dr. Harry Boateng, a Specialist Pediatrician and Medical Superintendent at the Kwadaso SDA Hospital was also mentioned.

A retired Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Emmanuel Twagirayesu as well as Dr. Richard Kisser, a Consultant Surgeon with the Trust Hospital were both remembered.

 While Dr. Kisser died last week Thursday, the Medical Superintendent of the Kwadaso SDA Hospital in Kumasi Dr Harry Owusu Boateng, also, in June died after contracting the virus.

And in April, Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, the Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, also died of Covid-19 at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).

"The National Executive Committee of the Ghana Medical Association informs all members with deep sorrow the unfortunate demise of four members of the association who have sadly succumbed to COVID-19 since the outbreak of the diseases in the country. These fallen heroes have contributed immensely to the medical profession and their untimely demise constitutes a big loss to the fraternity. May their souls rest in perfect peace", the GMA noted.

All members of the Association have also been urged to on Monday, July 6, 2020, to observe a minute silence in honour of these gallant soldiers of the medical fraternity, during their clinical meetings.

While assuring members of the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it has therefore advised its members to abide by the safety measures and observe all Infection Prevention and Control protocols in order to minimise spread among health personnel.

"The National Association Committee of GMA wishes to assure all members that it is working assiduously to tenure the concerns about inadequate PPE delays in testing and other member welfare issues related to COVID-19 are addressed by the government and will not relent."

Over a hundred health workers who are on the frontline have also been infected with COVID-19.

Some mortalities have also been recorded although some of the health workers have recovered.

Meanwhile, Dr Titus Beyuo, the Association's Deputy General Secretary, said some of those affected have recovered while others have succumbed to the virus.

Speaking in an interview on Joy News Prime on Thursday, he said the situation is becoming alarming and is a matter of grave concern.

For him, should the situation persist, the county's health system could be in a serious crisis in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The trend is very troubling to us [GMA] because this utterly means that we have been hit as a body.

"But the good news is currently, we don't have any doctor in the ICU those who have tested positive and are responding well to treatment," he said.

Consoling the family, the Deputy General Secretary said, "We express our deepest condolences to the family of our fallen colleagues especially that of Dr Kisser who just passed on quite recently."

Source: www.theheraldghana.com