REPORT OF MUNICIPAL PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 29TH JANUARY, 2021 AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL
On 13th March, 2020, the first two cases of COVID-19 were reported and confirmed in Ghana. Subsequently, the Minister of Information informed Ghanaians that the number of COVID-19 cases had risen to six and also issued several guidelines for entry into the country and how to prevent it. A number of interventions were introduced to prevent the spread of the virus and country seems to contain the virus as the daily infections was minimal.
However, over the past few weeks, the daily virus infections in the country have surged from an average of 25 infections per day to an average of 130 per day. As the coronavirus daily infections have increased fivefold since December 2020, the country is said to be experiencing a second wave of the pandemic. It is against this backdrop that the Public Health Emergency Committee meeting of Bawku was called on the 29th of January, 2021.
The Chairperson of the Committee, the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Hawa Ninchema used the opportunity to welcome all members and also thanked them for their contribution towards the fight of covid-19. She urged all members to continue to support the committee to do more in order to mitigate the effects of this second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Municipal Director of Health services, Ibrahim Saheed provided updates on COVID-19 for the nation, the Upper East Region as well as the Municipality.
The Municipal Director of Health Services informed the Committee members of the visit of the regional clinical team to Bawku presby hospital to assess the facility’s readiness to establish covid-19 treatment centre. He also mentioned that, the number of confirmed cases were increasing due to disregard for the covid-19 safety protocols. He therefore recommended for the establishment of a covid-19 taskforce to enforce the safety protocols. He also stated that the trend of this second wave was a cause for concern as a lot of Health staff have been affected. He further stated that, out of the total 16 confirmed cases in Bawku Municipality, seven (7) of them were health staff.
He advised that we look at the various sub-committees and if the need be, review them and make sure they all intensify their work to bring the situation under control.
Concerns raised/issue discussed:
- There is the need to educate the Municipality on the appropriate wearing of face mask in order to prevent covid-19
- Means of transport at Bawku Presby Hospital was a challenge as some officers cannot move as quickly as possible when they were called. The Municipal Director of Health services said that, the hospital needed to integrate their activities with Municipal Health Directorate so that any support needed can be provided
- The NCCE should support the Municipality with their COVID-19 pick-up vehicle for COVID-19 activities when the need be
- The MCE should meet Bawku Naaba to discuss measures of enforcing the restriction on social gatherings such as funerals and weddings as announced by the President.
- The Municipal Assembly should support the Malam at Buabula to take care of the Arabic students at his home to prevent them from loitering about in town. It was also suggested that a nurse should be assigned to that home to see to the health needs of the children.
- Concerns were also raised with regards to school children not obeying the COVID-19 protocols. The SHEP coordinator stated that Ghana Education Service had a challenge with overcrowding in some of the class rooms and inadequate supply of PPEs. It was decided that parents should be educated to take up the provision of PPEs for their children and should not rely on the Government.
- Head teachers should also be trained to enforce compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols in schools.
- The Municipal Director of Health Services appealed to the Municipal Chief Executive and the Municipal Coordinating Director to lobby for logistics to support the COVID-19 fight.