Beating Marburg virus outbreak: Ghana’s journey to victory

Beating Marburg virus outbreak: Ghana’s journey to victory

Accra – “We now have been managing circumstances of outbreaks corresponding to COVID-19, however Marburg raised the stakes a lot increased,” recounted Dr Joseph Darko, the Case Administration Lead on the Apinto Authorities hospital in Ghana’s Western Area, the place the third Marburg case was efficiently managed. “Regardless of the fears, we had been decided to outsmart the virus in Ghana along with our companions.”

An outbreak of Marburg virus illness (MVD) was declared in Ghana on 7 July 2022, after a take a look at on an index case who died 24 hours after presenting to a well being facility within the Ashanti area with signs of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHF) returned optimistic after his dying. 

This was one more public well being problem that was going to confront Ghana’s healthcare system. Nevertheless, the nation’s public well being emergency preparedness and response system gallantly stood the take a look at of the Marburg Virus because of the swift response of the Ministry of Well being and the Ghana Well being Service with help from WHO and different companions, which later led to a declaration of the outbreak over on 16 September 2022.

For the WHO Consultant to Ghana, Dr Francis Kasolo, Ghana’s response to MVD is a dividend of preparedness and response pushed by multi-stakeholder collaboration by means of the “one well being” method, an built-in, unifying method to stability and optimize the well being of individuals, animals and the atmosphere.

“Basically, the response to this Marburg virus illness outbreak demonstrates how early alert and response, robust surveillance, group involvement and participation, and coordinated efforts can cease an outbreak in its tracks earlier than it ravages communities”, mentioned Dr. Kasolo.

While well being authorities had been already coping with a number of outbreaks together with COVID-19, yellow fever, polio, and monkeypox, the Ministry of Well being and the Ghana Well being Service activated the Emergency Operations Heart to successfully coordinate response actions to the MVD outbreak and keep away from escalation of circumstances within the three at-risk areas, Ashanti, Western and Savannah areas, with preparedness actions happening throughout the remaining areas of Ghana. 

The Authorities of Ghana mobilized help from companions and stakeholders together with the Ministry of Meals and Agriculture and the Wildlife Division to rapidly implement measures that may sharply break the chain of transmission, handle affected circumstances to cut back mortality and morbidity, whiles making certain continuity of well being companies and equitable dedication to different ongoing well being emergencies.

WHO supported the Ministry of Well being and the Ghana Well being Service with coordination, contact tracing and identification and administration of circumstances. The Remedy Heart within the Western Area that efficiently managed the surviving affected person had benefitted from a simulation train a number of weeks earlier than the outbreak. 

“The response to Marburg virus was not solely swift, however it was additionally complete and nationwide”, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, Director of Public Well being of the Ghana Well being Service recalled. “The help from WHO and different companions enabled us to reinforce surveillance, break the chain of transmission and actively managed circumstances”.

Given the efforts of the Authorities of Ghana and its companions, it’s not stunning that, on 16 September 2022, Ghana declared an finish to the MVD outbreak, almost two months after the primary case was confirmed. The declaration was made after no new circumstances had been reported over the previous 42 days in accordance with WHO tips.

Dr Sally-Ann Ohene from the WHO Emergency Preparedness and Response in Ghana, believes different international locations can study helpful classes from Ghana’s newest public well being milestone. 

“The lesson in Ghana’s response to the Marburg Virus Illness outbreak is obvious; we should leverage stakeholder collaboration to construct resilient surveillance constructions in any respect ranges and put programs in place to activate them within the quickest time when the necessity arises.” Famous Dr Ohene.

To protect towards future outbreaks, WHO and the UK Overseas, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace (UK-FCDO) are supporting the Authorities of Ghana to conduct a socio-ecological examine on the MVD in Ghana to higher perceive the dangers inside the nation for mitigation intervention to forestall a recurrence.       

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