Dr Kwaku Agyemang-?Mensah
Dr Kwaku Agyemang-?Mensah

The Governement of Korea, through the Korean International Corporation Agency (KOICA) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in support of the establishment of the Tamale Ebola Centre.

Dr Kwaku Agyemang-?Mensah
Dr Kwaku Agyemang-?Mensah

The signing of the MOU would enable KOICA to fully support the construction of Tamale Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) at the cost of $423,000.

The centre, expected to be completed in 12 weeks, is to improve the Ebola emergency referral system and people?s access to the isolation centre in the three regions of the north, which share borders with Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Togo.

Ghana?s first Ebola centre is in Tema, in the Greater Accra Region.

The agreement reaffirms the commitment of KOICA to support the Ghana National Ebola Preparedness Plan in terms of case management in thematic area.

The amount for the Tamale Ebola Centre would be earmarked to the MoH aid pool account, while the project is expected to be executed by the 48 Engineer Regiment of the Ministry of Defence.

The centre would be a permanent structure with the capacity of 16 beds and double layer fences as prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

It would also have separated walls for the patients who are in critical or recovering conditions.

Post completion of the construction of the centre would be handed over to the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which would serve as the treatment centre for infectious diseases such as meningitis or cholera.

Ambassador Lyeo Woon-Ki, representative of the government of Korea in Ghana, giving his remarks after the signing ceremony said realising the importance of the treatment centre and the difficulty the government is facing in building one in the northern belts of Ghana, the government of Korea decided to support the establishment of Tamale Isolation and Treatment Centre.

?The lack of functional Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in the beginning of an outbreak can lead to a small outbreak getting out of control ? and the higher chance of contamination in transporting patience from north to south, the government of Korea decided to support the establishment of Tamale Isolation and Treatment Centre,? he noted.

Ambassador Woon-Ki said the Tamale ETC is expected to improve the Ebola emergency referral system and people?s access to isolation centre in the five regions of the northern part of Ghana which share the same border with neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Togo.

He said that the government of Korea has devoted around $4 million to the three countries who are highly hit by the current Ebola outbreak and the other West African countries.

He expressed optimism about the possibility for both governments to further collaborate in the area of development corporation, explaining that as the logistics hub for international fight against Ebola and the transit point in the West African region, Ghana is at higher risk to the Ebola spread.

?Strengthening the preparedness of Ghana to Ebola in a sustainable way is very crucial,? Ambassador Woon-Ki said.

The Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, who signed on behalf of the government, expressed his gratitude to the people of Korea for supporting the country?s Ebola efforts.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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