COVID-19 cases in schools in the Western Region have increased from last week’s 56 cases to 75 with the University of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa being the latest to record a case.
The Western Regional Director of Health, Dr. Jacob Mahama, who said this at the directorate’s maiden briefing in Sekondi added that they are converting more blocks into isolation centres for space and taking some to public hospitals for management.
“As of today 23rd July 2020, we have 22 schools that we took samples from and out of them, the number has risen to 14 schools that have got positives [cases]. So the leading one is Nsein Senior High in Axim with 26 positive cases out of 82 samples collected. Archbishop Porter Girls SHS has also increased to four positive cases out of 99 samples taken. At Asankragwa Nursing and Midwifery Training School, we took nine samples and six of them are positive and at Adiembra SHS, we took 21 samples but six were positive. At Fijai, eight samples were taken and one was positive.”
He continued, saying, “At St. John’s School, there were six samples and two were positive. Ahantaman, 10 samples and two positives, Sekondi College, four samples and two positives and at Shama, 46 samples taken and 19 positives. At the University of Mines and Technology, four samples taken, one positive and Fiaseman SHS, three samples taken, one positive. From Prestea SHS, 11 samples were taken, with one testing positive, St. Augustine’s SHS at Bogoso, five samples were taken, and three came out positives and finally from Huni-Valley SHS, two samples were taken and one turned out positive. In all, the total for educational institutions with COVID-19 positives is 75.”
On the region-wide COVID-19 situation, Dr. Mahama said Western Region has taken delivery of some testing materials, including reagents, but still has 4,330 pending cases.
He however enumerated some challenges facing the COVID-19 fight in the region.
“We have a few challenges and these include inadequate transport for monitoring and transporting frontline workers. Renovations of the DHMT blocks has also become a challenge with some being death traps especially in Nzema East which was assessed by NADMO for them to relocate. We also lack consultants and senior specialist doctors at our referral hospital, Effia Nkwanta. Inadequate anaesthetists in our various hospitals is also a challenge. Usually, we have one or two doing 24 hours for a week. Inadequate pharmacists and large numbers of casuals are draining our IGF [Internally Generated Funds].”
The Western Regional Health Directorate first confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in five Senior High Schools in the Western Region on the 11th of July 2020.
Dr. Mahama added that, notwithstanding the unprecedented strain on their surveillance facilities and capabilities in the region due to COVID-19 pandemic, the directorate continues to improve in all surveillance indicators.