Member of Parliament for Daffiama/Bussie/ Issa Constituency in the Upper West Region, Dr. Sebastian Ngmenenso Sandaare, has blamed the government for its passive response to the outbreak of Meningitis in the region.
According to him, a proactive government would have started preparing for the outbreak of Meningitis since it is public knowledge it is a seasonal disease.
He said, “We did not know about COVID-19 but Meningitis has always been with us. So any proactive leader would have started preparing for the Meningitis season.”
Speaking in an interview with this portal in Parliament, Dr. Saandare noted that the absence of a strategic response plan has exposed the country to the dangers of disease outbreaks.
“Meningitis is killing more people than the coronavirus but it does not appear to be receiving the needed attention because of the global nature of the COVID-19,” he stated.
He challenged the government to make its response plan available if there is any or begin the process of developing one to prepare the country adequately for such eventualities.
Such a strategic document, he said, would have provided direction and guidance on how to deal with the Coronavirus and Meningitis and how to handle them at the local and national levels.
“Such a document will spell out the activities at the pre-pandemic preparations, the pandemic face, and the post-pandemic activities.”
“It will outline the cost to the state among other very important information to ensure we stay one step of any disease,” he said and added, “I have not seen such document.”
Dr. Sebastian Sandaare warned of an imminent collapse of the health system in Northern Ghana if resources are not immediately channeled to the area to fight diseases.
According to him, the inadequate and poorly resourced health system is being stretched beyond reason as it battles the COVID-19 and Meningitis diseases at the same time.
“The health system in the northern sector could be stretched beyond recovery because it is dealing with a double burden of diseases,” he warned.
The exigencies of the Coronavirus pandemic, he said, do not mean other fatal conditions and diseases should be neglected.
He argued that some of the resources government received for the COVID-19 fight should be channeled to fight the Meningitis, which also demands similar personal protection.
“There is no vaccine for the current strain of the Meningitis but there are available drugs for treatment. We are not calling for a vaccine to be developed now.”
“We are saying the government needs to send funds to the place for public education and for the required treatments and safety protocols,” he said.
The MP lamented the lack of dedicated budget from the government for public education on the Meningitis in the Upper Regions and warned this could worsen an already precarious situation.
By Uthman A. Marani/Frongpageghana.com/Ghana