The recent death of three students of Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) within 48 hours, no doubt, is worrying to parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as students of the academy.
It is even more disturbing, especially at a time that the academy is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Three first-year male students of the academy have died under mysterious circumstances within two days, causing fear and panic among students, parents and staff members of the school.
The latest deaths bring to 10 the number of students, all males, who have died since May this year.
This is a worrying trend, indeed, more so as the cause of the deaths is still not known. That is why the Daily Graphic finds it timely that a medical team is visiting the academy to ascertain the actual cause or causes of death, as well as find a remedy to the problem. Additionally, it is reassuring that the Asokore Mampong Municipal Health Directorate has also moved to the school to continue with personal hygiene and health education.
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In April this year, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, announced at a press conference that a post-mortem conducted on the bodies of four students of the school who had died within a spate of two weeks showed that they died from meningitis.
This was contrary to earlier suspicions that the students might have died out of food poisoning or killed for ritual purposes. In all, the school has recorded 26 cases of meningitis, out of which four have died.
The school authorities are unfortunately tight-lipped over the matter but the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs Cassandra Twum-Ampofo, confirmed the deaths to the Daily Graphic.
It is in this vein, that we urge the teaching, non-teaching staff and students to cooperate and provide all the needed clues and information that would help unravel the actual causes of these deaths.
We are hopeful that all aspects of student life would be thoroughly investigated so that recommendations can be made for a lasting solution to the problem.
The investigative team must also examine the academy’s waste disposal system to make sure that the best practices are being adhered to in the disposal of solid and liquid waste.
Again, the education and health authorities must ensure that the school puts in place a well-functioning sickbay. If such a facility is not available, the Daily Graphic will like to advise that such a facility is set up immediately to provide prompt care to students who report sick.
Clearly, parents and students of the academy and other institutions have cause to worry over happenings at KUMACA and look forward to a lasting solution.
The earlier the situation is brought under control to restore normalcy, the better for all.