Eastern Region GHS tests emergency response preparedness

The Eastern Regional (E/R) directorate of the Ghana Health Service has conducted a simulation exercise to test the organisation’s preparedness to respond to emergencies. Using the Koforidua polyclinic as the first port of call and the regional hospital as the referral facility, officials staged a case of Marburg, a deadly viral and infectious disease, to test their preparedness. The full-scale simulation exercise also assessed the emergency preparedness of the national ambulance service in its response to calls for referrals in times of crisis. Dr. John Ekow Otoo, the Deputy Eastern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) responsible for Public Health, led the exercise to review the existing structures and protocols within the health sector. The objective was to improve the response capabilities and overall preparedness. While describing the exercise as successful, Dr. Otoo noted the presence of certain shortcomings that needed to be addressed in order to fortify the structures and protocols to the highest standards for prompt emergency response. ‘We have seen the lapses and know our strengths and weaknesses, which is the essence of this exercise, so we have to work and fill in the gaps and not be found wanting should any emergency break out,’ he said. Dr. Winfred Ofosu, Eastern Regional Director of Ghana Health Services, said following the COVID-19 outbreak, the regional health body was putting all its facilities in readiness to tackle any disease outbreak. That also means a high level of surveillance of the health service structures and facilities to detect any infectious disease outbreak. He commended the staff of the Koforidua Nursing and Midwifery Training School for availing themselves to be used as characters in the exercise. The exercise, which saw the participation of all parties involved, including observers from the national headquarters of the GHS, was unanimously acknowledged as a resounding success. Despite progress made, there are still areas that call for improvement to enhance emergency responses in the eastern region. Since last year, the GHS has been diligently implementing the simulation exercise to assess its resilience and preparedness in the event of potential emergencies or outbreaks. This initiative spans all 16 administrative regions, ensuring a thorough evaluation of Ghana’s preparedness and response levels to emergencies.

Source: Ghana News Agency