HEALTHNEWS

Ghana’s ambulance not for sale in Dubai

The Ghana National Ambulance Service has reacted to a video in circulation claiming one of the ambulances belonging to the service has been shipped goons in Ghana to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for sale.

A statement released and signed yesterday by the Deputy Director of Public Relations at the National Ambulance Service, Simmons Yussif Kewura, explained that the vehicle in the video is part of 26 new vehicles the government was procuring from Dubai.

Debunking the claim in the audio accompanying the video that the vehicle had been sent from Ghana for sale in Dubai, the service said the vehicle is currently in the yard of the vehicle manufacturing company, which is preparing it for shipment into Ghana.

It is part of a total of 26 Toyota Hiace vehicles that the government through the Ministry of Health has purchased, the PR Unit said.

“The manufacturing processes are over and very soon the ambulances will be shipped into Ghana. We therefore entreat the general public to disregard the video in circulation and commentary made by the person who made the video,” the statement indicated.

Tiktok video

In a video shared on social media (Tiktok), two people, speaking the Twi language filmed the said vehicle parked in a yard among other vehicles in Dubai.

They claimed that they were in the yard to look for a vehicle to buy and came across the Toyota Hiace ambulance branded in Ghana National Ambulance Service colours.

The vehicle had the inscription, “National Ambulance Service”, with the Ghana Coat of Arms on it. It also had the writing, “Radiology Specialist Ambulance, Ministry of Health, Funded by World Bank”.

Decline in diarrhoea, cholera cases

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said there has been a dramatic decline in diarrhoea and cholera outbreaks in Ghana in the past three years.

He attributed this to the handwashing and personal hygiene measures put in place during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President, therefore, urged Ghanaians to continue to observe regular handwashing and other personal hygiene measures, measures instituted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic

Addressing the nation on Sunday, the President said: “…But it is strongly recommended that we keep some of the measures imposed during the crisis and integrate them into our everyday lives because they have served us well and will continue to serve us well. I urge you all to continue the regular handwashing and other personal hygiene measures so they become entrenched national habits.

“There has been a dramatic decrease in diarrhoea diseases and we have not had any cholera outbreaks these pasts three years. These developments were attributable mostly to the handwashing and improved hygiene regime in our communities,” he stressed.

The President further indicated that: “It does not hurt to wear a mask if you have a cold for example… I hope that there will be no argument that we should be institutionalising the periodic disinfection and fumigation of markets. Never again should our markets be breeding grounds for rodents”.

Good dividends

President Akufo-Addo also acknowledged that even though COVID-19 had brought immeasurable hardships to Ghanaians, the pandemic also brought some good dividends.

“It has led to the strengthening of our disease surveillance system and this has been manifested in recent months by our ability to deal in a rapid and aggressive way with outbreaks of frightening diseases like Marburg, Lassa fever, and monkeypox before they could turn into serious public health catastrophe.”

“The pandemic also exposed some of the painful deficiencies that we have and forced us to take some brave and necessary decisions like the expansions of our network of health facilities under Agenda 111,” he said.

The President added: “I doubt very much but for the pandemic the network of health laboratories to capacity to do PCR testing in our country would have expanded exponentially from the initial two to 67 laboratories nationwide.”

COVID is over

President Akufo-Addo declared the COVID-19 pandemic over in Ghana, saying “all the outstanding COVID-induced restrictions at the country’s airports and all entry points have been lifted”.

He said the country is back to the pre-COVID situation as far as health entry requirements are concerned, and declared an end to the mandate of the COVID-19 Trust Fund and urged Ghanaians to support the government by continually paying the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy.

“The COVID Health Recovery Levy that was introduced to help fill some of the expenditure holes might not be the most popular tax but I entreat all of you to bear with us. The COVID Trust Fund has performed an invaluable service and with these developments has reached the end of its mandate,” the President added.

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