Accra, Oct 26, GNA – A capacity development workshop aimed at empowering trainers with preventive measures and interventions against an outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country has been held in Accra.
The training, dubbed: “Ghana Ebola Intervention 2014”, was jointly organized by Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) and its Swiss counterpart. It brought together members from the 10 regions of the country to share a common understanding on EVD.
It also sought to upgrade the knowledge of the representatives on the early signs of EVD in a suspected case in their communities; and on how to prevent the spread of the disease.
Explaining the rationale for the maiden training programme to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Samuel Kofi Addo, Secretary General of the Society, said the trainers were going to be the eyes of GRCS in their various regions by educating some volunteers, who would also help as first point of contact in any vicinity they would find themselves.
He said so far the GRCS had mobilized 60 volunteers that were also going to have a step down training from their representatives in each region for the day-to-day house to house sensitization exercise.
Educating the participants, Dr Emmanuel K. Dzotsi, Public Health Specialist, Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health, said EVD is a viral disease that is severe, and often fatal.
However, he said, some people survived the disease based on early detection and treatment.
He explained that the initial source of past EVD outbreaks was the result of human contact with wild animals through hunting, butchering, and the preparation of meat from infected wild animals (bush meat), but with subsequent transmission being from human to human.
Dr Dzotsi advised anyone with symptoms such as sudden onset of high fever, joint pains, vomiting, severe headache, chest pains and cough, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhoea, haemorrhaging and bleeding tendencies needed to report to the to the hospital for professional treatment.
He said the Zoonotic disease, which means direct transmission from animals to man, had an incubation period of 2 to 21 days and during that period it was not contagious until the suspected patient begun showing signs and symptoms of the disease.
Dr Dzotsi stressed that unexplained fever, sudden and unexpected death, or a hemorrhagic sign were some of the signs that community ‘alerters’ should look out for.
He said health care settings, family settings, hunters and burial ceremonies were among the easiest ways of transmitting the disease and called for community education, social mobilization campaigns, safe burial practices, as well as the provision of adequate preventive gadgets in various health facilities as well as homes.
He also called for the effective education and the monitoring of early detection, and the adoption of better life style measures like frequent washing of hands under running water amongst the public to prevent the country from recording her first EVD case.
Mrs Issabelle Guess, a Paediatrician, with the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) Emergency Response Unit, educated participants on the actual outbreak of EVD, the errors that gave room for its existence and the preventive measures Ghana could take to continue to be an Ebola free country.
She said the training was timely and important, especially when Ghana was putting in all efforts in trying to prevent an outbreak.
Mrs Guess, however, advised Ghanaians to stay away from bush meat as it was the primary source of the disease.
Mr Seth Addae-Kyereme, Country Representative, of SRC, charged members to use the knowledge they had acquired from the training to help save mankind just as their motto depicted, and expressed the Society’s commitment to projects that sought to promote Ebola prevention at the household level.