World Vision Ghana has joined the global fight against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) with a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) worth USD 3,000 (Gh¢17,265) as some parts of the country welcome the first day of government’s stay-at-home orders with mixed sentiments.
The humanitarian organisation presented the equipment to the Upper East Regional Health Directorate on Monday in the Talensi District’s capital, Tongo.
“As a humanitarian organisation, one of our core values is that we are responsive to the needs of society at any given time. So, we are joining hands with all organisations and governments all over the world to help fight this disease. This virus is affecting wellbeing all over the world. People are dying and people are struggling to make ends meet because of this disease.
“And it is because of this we have called all development partners in the three districts to present to you items that World Vision and partners and, then, donors all over the world have pooled resources together to support our districts where we operate (Builsa South, Kassena-Nankana West and Talensi) so that we help fight this disease,” said the organisation’s Cluster Programmes Manager, Robert Pwazaga, as he officially handed the anti-COVID-19 kit over to officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) from the three districts.
The items include respirators (165 pieces), facemasks (7,000 pieces), surgical gloves (6,600 pieces), spectacles (22 pieces), protective hand gloves (800 pieces), hand-washing equipment (19 pieces), A2 Information, Education and Communication (IE &C) posters (2,500 pieces), A3 IE&C posters (2,000 pieces), flyers (2,500 pieces), Lifebuoy Soap (58 pieces), Mother Power Zone Bleach (24 pieces) and overall (24 pieces).
“COVID-19 is a global problem. The figures are changing quite rapidly. If you look at what is happening in the developed countries, almost 10% of the healthcare workers are coming down with the infection just because they don’t have adequate number of personal protective equipment.
“If the developed countries are struggling, you can imagine [us] the developing countries who cannot manufacture these items the position in which we are. We are very excited that World Vision is supporting the health sector with PPE and also materials to maintain hygiene. We believe that these will support our health workers in the areas that we are working,” remarked the Deputy Director of Public Health at the Upper East Regional Health Directorate, Dr Josephat Nyuzaghl, when he received the items.
You don’t need to panic; there is hope— Expert assures public
The disease, since its outbreak in China late in 2019, has infected 737,577 people and claimed 35,000 lives globally as of Monday March 30, 2020. However, a total number of 156,295 people worldwide have recovered and have been discharged.
The pandemic has prompted lockdown orders in several countries as a panic-stricken world searches for a cure for the strange virus. But the world, emphasises Dr Nyuzaghl, should not respond to the plague with fear.
“I think people should not be afraid of COVID-19. The proportion of people who develop severe form of the disease is just 5%. And the good thing is that we know how to prevent this disease. That is what community members and individuals should focus on. Hand-washing, hand-sanitising, making sure that you maintain the social distance; if you don’t have to go out, you stay inside. People should not be afraid. So far, out of the 152 cases that have been recorded in this country, five died. And these five that died are people who had some other underlining health conditions. So, the risk of death is actually higher in those who have some other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease or other chronic lung diseases.
“And so, I also would encourage anybody who has any underlining condition to stay away from public gathering as much as possible and just keep to the basic things which we have been preaching— make sure you wash your hands; use the hand sanitizer; respiratory etiquette, don’t cough directly into your hands; and if you have no good reason to be outside, you should stay indoors. And if we can all do this, I don’t think anybody should be afraid of COVID-19. Yes, it kills a few people. But these are people who generally have serious underlining health conditions. But generally, 80% of the people who will get this disease will recover. So, there is hope. I believe, this condition, very soon, we will come out of it. Even in Wuhan, Ground Zero, where all these started, as we speak, for the past few days they have not recorded any single case… because they did the basic things which I have just talked about,” assured Dr Nyuzaghl.
Meanwhile, seven of the ten COVID-19 suspected cases in the Upper East Region have tested negative. “The rest”, according to the GHS, are yet “under test”.
By Edward Adeti, Journalist – Upper East Region, Daily Mail GH