About seven hundred and seventy-nine (779) health workers in Ghana have contracted the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Nine of them have, however, succumbed to the disease, while a large number are in isolation awaiting their test results after being exposed to the virus in the line of duty.
A joint press statement by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Health Services Workers' Union of TUC Ghana (HSWU) and Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) on Thursday, July 9, said the rate of infection among health workers was a matter of grave concern since it was negatively affecting health care delivery at the various health facilities in the country.
Giving a breakdown of infections, the statement said as at Tuesday, June 30, 190 doctors had contracted the disease, with four of them deceased.
It added that 410 nurses and midwives had also been infected with one death, while 156 members of the HSWU had also been infected with three deaths.
It said 23 members of the GHOSPA had also contracted the virus with one unfortunate death.
According to the associations, the increasing numbers could be attributed to inadequate and erratic supply of PPES to health workers both in quantity and quality as well as a general breakdown or non-adherence to infection prevention and control protocols in most facilities.
It added among other things that, there were delays in receipt of COVID-19 test results for patients being managed in wards, some health facilities were also concealing information of colleagues who had tested positive for the disease, resulting in increased exposure of health personnel to the virus.
It said there was also a breakdown or inadequate contact tracing within facilities, while designated holding bays for suspected cases in some facilities were non-existent.
The associations, therefore, want government to expand COVID-19 testing centres and their capacity throughout the country together with readily available test kits to prevent undue delays in obtaining test results.
It said among other things that government should, as a matter of urgency, ensure a regular provision of adequate PPEs for all health workers at all times as well as intensify COVID-19 preventive and stigma education among the general public.
The associations also want government through the security agencies to ensure strict enforcement of all COVID 19 safety protocols without fear or favour.
Below is the full statement;