Ebola Insurance: Gov’t heeds GMA call

Mahama Insurance Ebola

Government has approved an insurance policy for frontline workers who would be managing Ebola cases in the event of an outbreak in Ghana, according to the Chief of Staff.

Prosper Bani, revealed this during a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, at the Flagstaff House Wednesday.

The insurance package has been one of the key requests by health workers during discussions on Ghana’s Ebola preparedness a few months ago.

The health workers, led by the Ghana Medical Association maintains high fatality rates among their colleagues in countries battling the outbreak, and poor conditions of service for doctors, make the request for insurance cover legitimate.

Details of the insurance cover for the health workers was not made known, according to Presidential Correspondent, Gifty Andoh-Appiah.

Gifty however reports the Chief of Staff mentioned the policy and capacity building activities for front line workers as key steps being taken by Ghana government in readiness of a possible outbreak of the deadly virus that has claimed more than 4,000 lives in Liberia, Guinea, Siera Leone and other West African countries.

“Just last week, government approved the Incidence Operation Centre here in Accra and currently we are building the capacity of the centre to ensure that it becomes operationally effective”, the Chief of Staff told the U.S Ambassador.

Samantha Power, who is leading a U.S. team to assess progress made in combating the Ebola epidemic in West Africa said countries must guard against complacency when dealing with the scourge.

She said extra vigilance is key to fighting the disease, considering what the US has had to go through when the first Ebola case was confirmed in the country a few weeks ago.

“Structures alone — to say the obvious — are not enough. Sometimes structures can give one a false sense of security and confidence and so one has to be capable not to confuse bureaucracy for readiness”, she told her Ghanaian counterpart made up officials from the health ministry and other personnel leading Ghana’s Ebola preparedness efforts.

She said U.S President, Barak Obama, considers Ghana’s accommodation of the UN Ebola Center and President John Mahama’s visit to the Ebola hit countries as a major step in checking stigmatisation.

The Chief of staff also called on bilateral and multilateral agencies to come on board in checking socio-economic challenges posed by the deadly virus in the sub-region.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the number of Ebola virus cases globally stands at 13,703 and that the death toll around 5,000.

So far about 112 suspected Ebola cases in Ghana have all proved negative.

source : myjoyonline.com

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