The Member of Parliament for Daffiama Bussie Issa constituency and a Member of Parliament select committee on health, Dr Sebastian Sandaare says he disagrees with President Akufo Addo’s appointment of the Information Ministry to be in charge of education on the Coronavirus.
President Akufo-Addo addressing the nation on Wednesday, 11th March 2020, indicated that the Ministry of Information is at the fore of a nationwide public sensitization to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus which has claimed over 4,500 lives around the world.
“The Ministry of Information is leading a nationwide public education campaign on preventive measures. But we must all observe and ensure that we are able to control the spread of the infection should we record any infection in the country which mercifully, so far we have not but which by the law of averages, we shall. But for the time being, a weekly update of the situation will be provided by the Ministry of Information. There will be more frequent updates when the need arises.”
“I listen to the president when he said that the ministry of information would be in charge of the education, in a bit I don’t think that is proper because you see, you have a committee that is in charge, what they called the interministerial committee, is a collaborative kind of committee involving the minister for health, NADMO, the minister of information can be part but you don’t select who, leave the team to decide who plays what role. You don’t promise money and decide who should be in charge of affairs. It has always been the health authorities championing this and we have health promotion units trained to educate the public. So they should pass through that channel,’’ he added.
He said the education and management of the system should be in the hands of health authorities instead of leaving it in the hands of “Information ministry where now they pass the money through party boys; they sit in radios and talk even what some of them don’t probably understand but at the end of the day they will say they are educating the public.”
The Daffiama Bussie Issa MP spoke to journalists in Jirapa after a visit to the Ghana- Burkina border to obtain first-hand information the about the movement of people in and out of the country in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus.
Dr Sandaare admonished health workers at the Port Health Centre in Hamile to be very vigilant in their work.
He donated some detergents and hand gloves to support in their work. It was revealed that the facility is challenged with the inadequate human resource; walk through scanners and infra-red scanners.
It was also revealed during the visit that no health official, no capacity building programme has been organized so far for health authorities on the deadly disease.
At Dikpe in the Lawra municipality, close to the Black Volta where a lot of immigrants use, there was no medical team stationed to check immigrants.
He said the region is a high-risk region because Burkina Faso, Togo and other neighbouring countries have recorded confirmed cases of the disease.
Dr Sandaare said the Upper West Region need a fair share of the 100 million dollars urgently to strengthen the public health system and surveillance.