The Director of Public Health at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Philip Amoo has instructed health workers to ‘run’ if they are not provided with Preventive Protection Equipment.
According to him, health workers have the right to not attend to a patient suspected of having COVID-19 if they’re not in PPEs.
His pronouncement backs calls by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association urging its workers to protect their lives by removing themselves from the environment if they’re not provided with the needed logistics to operate effectively.
Speaking to ABC News, Dr. Philip Amoo said as stipulated in Ghana’s labour law to refuse work if it puts your life at risk, people must not hold health workers liable when they refuse to attend to a patient if they don’t have the right logistics to safeguard their health.
“As you know the labour law states clearly that where a worker in whichever sector thinks that he’s given an assignment to do but does not have adequate protection against the dangers involved in the task, that worker has the right to stand back and refuse to work. So a health worker who is not adequately protected with protective equipment has the right to say I will not see a patient who is suspected to have COVID-19”, he iterated.
He therefore called on government to make PPEs available in the various hospitals in the country as health workers are ready to battle the novel coronavirus head-on if they lack nothing and are fully protected.
The coronavirus cases in Ghana has increased to 11. One of the two new cases involves a 61-year-old Lebanese male national based in Kumasi and the other a 59-year-old Ghanaian woman resident in the United Kingdom who recently returned to Ghana.
So far, 246,597 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded worldwide with 88,486 having recovered and 10,051 dying from the viral infection.
The World Health Organization has meanwhile warned African countries to prepare for the worst as the number of COVID-19 infections see a significant increase on the African continent.
According to WHO, crowded conditions in poor areas could lead to even faster transmission, hence the call for preparedness.
Though the pandemic is in its early days on the continent, health experts have warned that even facilities in Africa’s richest nations could be overwhelmed.