Written by Ella Togun, Global Surgery, Program manager
Ghana is a West-African country with a population of 30.2 million people. The country’s index cases of the Covid-19 pandemic were announced on March 12.2020, by the health minister and were two people who returned to the country from Norway and Turkey. Since then, the cases in the country have grown to 47.310 (as of 19/10/20) with 310 deaths. (1,2)
Immediately after the announcement of the index cases, the government swung into action with the president announcing that $100million would be made available towards the preparedness and response plan for the pandemic. Additionally, on March 15, public and social gatherings were banned, schools were also closed. However, candidates for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) were permitted to go forth while following strict social distancing protocols. The country closed its borders on March 22 restricting international travel and a partial lockdown in Accra, the country’s capital, and Kumasi, later in the month. Other response measures included street and market disinfection. (3)
The virus continued to spread with hotspots in Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central Regions. At a fish-processing factory in Tema in May, 695 persons tested positive after a worker contracted the virus and infected over 500 workers there. The news was a widely reported case of a super-spreader. (4)
As countries all over the world continue to understand the virus and how to, directly and indirectly, manage it, Ghana has embraced technology and scientific innovation in the control of the virus spread in the districts. This article highlights four ways the west African county leveraged innovation in the fight against Covid-19.
1. Telemedicine: The Covid-19 outbreak led to changes in physical access and utilization of medical services in Ghana. This was due to movement restrictions during lockdowns, fear of infection during hospital visits, and overwhelmed health facilities at the peak of the pandemic. Medical practitioners embraced technology to consult and monitor patients remotely. Telemedicine applications such as Talamus which allows patients to make physical and virtual video appointments with doctors and helps…