Cholera is still a disease that occasionally threatens public health in Ghana, and recently Cape Coast had 737 cases. With a donation from the Embassy of Denmark, the health service in Cape Coast will be better equipped to deal with future outbreaks.
”When we have had cholera outbreaks like the one we just had from September to January, we have had to call on beds from Accra to be send to here, and then transfer them back once the outbreak was over. With the gift from the Danish Embassy this is no longer needed,” says Dr. Samuel T. Kwashie, Director of Regional Health Services, Cape Coast.
40 cholera beds is the gift that the Danish ambassador in Ghana, Tove Degnbol, handed over to the regional hospital of Cape Coast on 21 February 2017.
”I hand you this gift with the hope that you will never need it,” the ambassador said as she handed over the blue rubber beds with a hole in the middle. The beds are shaped this way to be ultra hygienic and let the hospital personnel treat the sick the best way possible.
The donation of cholera beds is part of the longstanding Danish support to the health sector in Ghana. In the future, the support will mainly be in the form of facilitation of public-private partnerships and support to research cooperation between researchers in Ghana and Denmark.
The highest number of cholera cases
In Cape Coast, Tove Degnbol also attended the opening of the Central Region Health Sector 2016 Annual Performance Review Meeting as the guest of honour.
Several speakers during the day talked about the Cape Coast cholera outbreak in 2016 which was the worst in Ghana in 2016. Attention was called to the importance of improving general environmental conditions and notably water and sanitation facilities to prevent future outbreaks.
In her speech, Tove Degnbol also underlined the urgency of bringing down the maternal and infant mortality rates. This has been a key priority for Danida, and she expressed concern that the situation seems to stagnate and even deteriorate in some areas.
Other important themes of the day were the increase in reported HIV cases and teenage pregnancies. The Annual Performance Review will last until February 23.
People from all parts of the health sector attended the opening meeting of the review, including doctors trained in Denmark who are now members of the DANIDA Alumni network. Tove Degnbol got a brief chance to catch up with them after the meeting.