I am fuming because the Kumaca Swine flu or H1N1 related death didn’t start today. In March 2017, citifmonline carried a story on students of Kumaca demonstrating over mysterious death.
Three students who were sick reportedly demanded exeats. After they were granted, they all died within two weeks at the hospital. Students demonstrated when three more students fell sick and were taken to Garden City and Manhyia Gov’t Hospitals.
Current Swine Flu Cases
Four students of the same Kumasi Academy (Kumaca) are confirmed dead, attributed to the swine flu. Ghana’s Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu said 12 out of the 19 cases sent to Noguchi Memorial Institute. The cases tested positive for the Influenza type A virus popularly known as swine flu.
Two key questions trouble me about the Kumaca Swine (H1NI) influenza;
• Are we safe in this country?
• Are we ready in case epidemic strikes?
Where We Goofed
Honestly, we need to bow our heads in shame for the innocent lives that perished in the school. Clear case of negligence. Here is how:
Quarantining students: It’s sad how panicking parents were allowed to withdraw their wards from the school. Did we forget the virus could spread?
Root cause: As at last week, health officials in Ghana were speculating the cause of the death.
Fumigation: After the announcement on the death of the 11 students, a fumigation exercise was embarked on. It covered eight dormitories, 45 classrooms, science laboratory, dining and assembly halls; kitchen, lavatories and the sick bay of the school.
Dear Ghana, are we serious? In this day and age, did we have to waste money to fumigate a virus (H1N1)? Is it bed bugs we’re eradicating? SMH
On behalf of the President, the Government and people of Ghana, I wish to express our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the families, teachers, students and friends of Kumasi Academy Senior High School who have been affected by the H1N1 virus. pic.twitter.com/jdAg5oAec2
— Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia (@MBawumia) December 8, 2017
The State Vrs Post Mortem Report: Who Lied
The Health Minister said 12 out of the 19 cases tested positive for swine flu so what killed the rest? Many parent have contested this claim.
Mother of a deceased student, Olivia Agyemang, says the postmortem conducted on her son at KNUST Hospital shows “severe pneumonia” as the cause of his death.
Another bereaved mother, Aunty Yaa, also insisted a postmortem conducted at KATH indicated “breath seizure”.
“About five (5) months ago I lost his father, my husband. Today I am mourning my son, who was infected with the disease and passed away seeking treatment. This is the worst time for me and the family” Janet Oteng, said.
The Ghana government has so far committed some funds to contain the situation while procuring vaccines and medicines; promising to cover the cost for hospital bills and burial of the unfortunate lives lost. SMH
What Next After The Kumaca Case?
With the way things are going at the secondary school, we all need to be careful to stay alive. Do the following religiously:
Wash Your Hands: Using warm water and soap, wash your hand thoroughly. That is one of the most important ways to avoid getting H1N1.
Avoid Touching Your Face: Keep your hands away from your eyes, mouth and nose, as it serve as pathways for the virus to enter your respiratory tract.
Use a hand sanitizer: When there isn’t running water to thoroughly wash your hands, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Alcohol can inactivate viruses by destroying the structure of their proteins.
Cover your nose and mouth: When someone sneezes or coughs, liquid droplets packing flu viruses can travel as far as three feet (one meter) through the air and descend on your nose or mouth. It’s best to maintain at least an arm’s-length distance when talking to someone who shows signs of infection.
Change Your Clothes: Changing your clothes as soon as you get home helps not spread anything you’ve picked up during the day. When clothes are changed, the virus or germ is transferred to the laundry pile instead of to loved ones.
Stay Home: Staying home from work or school is good as it limits the spread of the disease.
Allow Fresh Air In: Open up your home or office’s windows to let stale air out and fresh air in.
Enough Sleep: Sleeping between 8 – 10 hours can boost your immune system against the virus.
Frequently Asked Questions About H1N1/Swine Flu
What is swine flu?
Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is a relatively new strain of an influenza virus that causes symptoms similar to the regular flu. Swine flu originated in pigs but is spread primarily from person to person.
H1N1 virus made headlines in 2009 when it was first discovered in humans and became a pandemic. Pandemics are contagious diseases affecting people throughout the world or on multiple continents at the same time.
Should I be worried?
Swine flu caused a pandemic in Asia between 2009 and 2010. But in 2010, the World Health Organisation confirmed that the outbreak was over.
Now, H1N1 is one of the seasonal flu viruses that circulate each year. Swine flu is no more dangerous than the other flus which strike in winter: influenza virus B and H3N2.
The flu can be serious for those who are vulnerable-existing long-term health conditions; or who are undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy.
That is why pregnant women, over 65s, those with long term health conditions, the very overweight, carers; health and social workers or people live in residential care are eligible for a free jab on the NHS.
We need greater scientific literacy in Ghanabecause the Kumaca oubreak is a reminder that our institutions are weak. I just pray our negligence doesn’t kill all of us one day.
The future is unknown and I ask, are we ready…
Swine Flu Credit
If you enjoyed reading this post, please recommend and share it to help others find it!