10th March 2020
The International Programmes Office (IPO), University of Ghana, together with University Management have noted with concern, the global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. The University Health Services Directorate is carefully monitoring the situation.
As at 11th March 2020, there has been NO confirmed case of the disease in Ghana and definitely none in the University or the Greater Accra Region where our University is located. Further, Ghana’s ports of entry track all embarking and disembarking passengers for fever, as well as provide a form that collects data that allows health officials to track passengers in the event that they subsequently report ill at a health facility.
Public Health Professionals and Health Experts at the University Health Services and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), in collaboration with the Public Affairs Directorate of the University continue to engage, inform and educate the University community on the COVID-19 and have provided information on the disease via emails to the entire University Community, including students. Directives and protocols from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the COVID-19 outbreak are being adhered to.
The Balme Library of the University has set up a COVID-19 Awareness Corner to provide information on the novel COVID-19; what it is; how it spreads; its symptoms and prevention procedures. The awareness corner will provide daily bulletins on COVID-19 as well as the following:
- . Statistics of the spread of the virus to guide travel patterns
- . Workplace ethics and etiquette to prevent COVID-19 and contain it if a case is suspected or confirmed.
Based upon constant review of the health situation in the University and Ghana as a whole, there is currently no need to suspend lectures or any other public engagements on campus and in Accra.
According to our health experts and the WHO, the following are to be noted about the disease:
Signs and symptoms
Common signs of infection include
- . Respiratory symptoms
- . Fever
- . Cough
- . Shortness of breath
- . Breathing difficulties
In more severe cases, infection can cause
- . Pneumonia,
- . Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- . Kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include
- . Frequent hand washing with soap under running water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- . Covering mouth and nose with tissue or flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing. Wash hands afterwards and discard the tissue immediately in a dustbin.
- . Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
- . Avoiding unprotected close contact with anyone with a fever and cough, and seeking medical care if you have a fever, cough or difficulty in breathing.
- . If you become sick while travelling, inform the crew, seek medical attention and share your travel history.
- . Avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
As this is a new virus, there is no vaccine available for prevention yet.
Management of the situation
There is no cure yet and no specific treatment for patients with suspected or confirmed cases. Therefore, the mainstay of management is:
- . Immediate implementation of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures. This includes quarantining suspects and contacts for 14 days.
- . Early supportive therapy and monitoring
- . Management of respiratory problems
- . Prevention of complications
The International Programmes Office assures all international students and their parents / families as well as other international partners of the University of Ghana that Senior Management of the University is closely monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 and is ready and willing to find best solutions, especially for International students, should there be a confirmed case in the country.
We will continue to review the situation, issue regular information to all international students and offer them the needed support to safeguard their health so that they can complete their studies here and return home safely.
All information on COVID-19 should be directed to:
– UG, Hospital
0303974641 / 0307030184
– National Contact, Ridge Hospital
0509497700 / 0558439868
– National Case Management Surveillance Hotlines
0552222004 / 0552222005