The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and World Vision Ghana have started the training of mortuary workers across the country as part of efforts to mitigate COVID-19 infections among them.
The training programme is to build their capacity on appropriate Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices, to enable them to properly handle corpses and burial of COVID-19 deceased patients and to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus among the workers.
Participants will be taken through areas such as Management of COVID-19 patients, proper usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), IPC considerations in preparation of dead bodies, taking of sample, bagging and transportation of corpse to morgue, Disinfection of equipment, items and vehicles for the transportation of dead bodies.
Addressing the media on Friday in Accra to officially commence the workshop, Dr Lucio Dery, Deputy Regional Director in charge of Administration at the GHS, Greater Accra Region, said observing appropriate IPC was fundamental in the effective delivery of health care services.
He said even though over the years GHS considered basic IPC as a standard requirement to reduce health-care associated infections (HAIs) and hospital-acquired infections among the health professionals, training of mortuary workers on IPC had become necessary due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Deputy Director added that health professionals including doctors, nurses and hospital cleaners had all been effectively trained on the proper IPC practices across the country, to stem the spread of the virus the workers.
Dr Dery appealed to participants to act as agents of change by transferring the acquired skills and knowledge, through the training to fellow workers and community members on the effective ways of handling COVID-19 patients to stem the spread of the virus in communities.
He assured health workers of Government’s commitment to ensure that they operated under safe environment.
Mr Matthew Yaw Kyeremeh, the Acting Head of Mortuaries and Funeral Facilities Agency (MoFFA), commended the GHS and World Vision Ghana for initiating the programme, particularly for the mortuary workers to improve on their work.
“I believe that after this training they will go back and become better workers in the prevention of infection, within themselves and their families and the areas that they do practice,” he said.
Mr Kyeremeh said even though there was no record as to how many mortuary workers had been infected or lost their lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agency was doing all it could to provide them with the appropriate PPE in order to curtail any future infection.
Mr Richard Okai, Integrated Programmes Director, World Vision Ghana, said the Organization committed $2million to help reduce the impact of the pandemic on the health system, child protection, food security and education, among others.
The Organization, he said provided over 200,000 PPE worth $350,000 to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), the Ministry of Health and the GHS, among others, to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
Mr Okai commended Government for its management of the disease and called on Ghanaians to continue to abide by the prescribed safety protocols, to help stem the spread of the virus.
He also assured the Ministry of Health and the GHS of the continuous partnership to improve on health care delivery in the country, to achieve a Universal Health Coverage.
The nationwide exercise is expected to be rolled out across the remaining regions in the coming days.