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Government working with WHO to fight swine flu

Government is collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to access vaccines as part of the response measure to deal with the outbreak of the H1N1 flu at the Kumasi Academy Senior High School (KUMACA).

“As I speak, indications that we are getting from WHO is such that vaccines that can combat the strain are available and we are making arrangements to see how best we can bring some of them into the country for further activities.”

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health gave the assurance when he briefed Parliament on measures being taken by government to fight the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza at the Kumasi Academy Senior High School.

The Ministry of Health announced that samples from Kumasi Academy students sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute tested positive for the pandemic strain of influenza type A, H1N1 2009 also known as Swine Flu.

The samples were sent after it became clear there was a health crisis in the school following the death of four students in the last week.

An outbreak of an acute respiratory infection has also been confirmed in the school.

Mr Agyemang-Manu also described the developments as “good news” because the health officials now have a concrete lead to work on in their efforts to overcome the illness.

“Earlier, we were overwhelmed and it is like we were on an unknown island and we didn’t even know what to do. So now that this has been confirmed, at least we know the disease is curable. It can, therefore, be diagnosed and treated,” he stated.

Mr Agyemang-Manu also indicated that the Ministries of Health and Education has recommended that students of the school should remain on campus to enable final conclusions on response actions.

He called for the strengthening of surveillance on the condition as well as take steps to enhance school health at Kumasi Academy and nation-wide.

He indicated there was the need to strengthen case management including strict adherence to infection prevention and control measures.


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