Ebola Virus Spread …Rejected Patients Heading Towards Ghana?

Vivid accounts of witnesses of the devastation being caused by the deadly Ebola virus in neighbouring Liberia reveal that health workers are heartlessly shunning persons suspected to be suffering from the disease. This, according to accounts gathered by the paper is partly responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in other African countries because dejected patients are forced to seek refuge elsewhere after being rejected by their country. Most of the patients, the paper gleaned are heading towards Ghana and Nigeria to find refuge in the health facilities in those countries. Orichos Neufville, a Liberian, sharing his experiences on the epidemic to the DAILY HERITAGE on the sidelines of the 4th Summit of All-Africa Students Union in Accra, said some of the medical personnel claim they have not been provided with adequate logistics needed to protect themselves. “When a person reports to the clinic with the Ebola virus in clinics in remote areas, you have medical doctors virtually running away from the people. You cannot blame them because 52 health workers have died after suffering from infections from treating a patient,” he intimated. Mr. Neufville recounted that until one comes in real contact with a person that has contracted the virus, it would be difficult to believe the epidemic is real. “It is no joke, when your friend has it, you are even afraid to assist to take him to the hospital for swift treatment. You do not know what might happen to you next,” he wondered. He contended that it is long overdue African leaders take finding a lasting solution to the epidemic extremely serious. The visibly worried Liberian said countries that have not yet been hit should not wait before they begin putting in place drastic measures to combat the menace. “Africans should not wait on the West to give them funds to fight the disease. With the little resource, they can start with advocacy,” he charged. Mr. Neufville said closing borders to other nationals and residents is a short term measure and not a pragmatic move to dealing with the Ebola virus. “Africans must not deal with the disease individually, but collectively they should be seen determined to eliminate the deadly virus in the sub-region.” This comes on the heels of reports by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) that the health system in the country does not have the requisite logistics and practical measures to deal with the disease, especially, at the facility level. The General Secretary of the GMA, Frank Serebuor, is reported to have said that the Ministry of Health has not provided the equipment to deal with the disease.