COVID-19 pandemic in resource-poor countries: challenges, experiences and opportunities in Ghana
Keywords:Novel SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Challenges, Opportunities, Ghana
The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is seen world-wide. In developing countries, adequate health facilities and staff numbers are a concern. Ghana recorded its first 2 cases of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020. On 30 March 2020, a partial lockdown for 14 days was imposed and later extended along with other measures. By the end of the initial lockdown, 19 April 2020, an estimated 86,000 people had been traced and 68,591 tests performed. Of the 68,591 tests, there were 1,042 (1.5%) positive cases, 9 deaths, and 99 recoveries, with Ghana ranked number one among African countries in administering tests per million people. Ghana’s effective track and trace system, as well as lockdown and other measures, have helped limit mortality with only 85 recorded deaths by 23 June 2020. Scientists from three facilities of the University of Ghana have also successfully sequenced the genomes of COVID-19 from 15 confirmed cases, and the Food and Drugs Authority in Ghana have also helped address shortages by fast-tracking certification of hand sanitizers and local production of 3.6 million standardized personal protective equipment. There has also been the development of prototypes of locally-manufactured mechanical ventilators to meet local need at intensive care units. Most people have also resorted to changing diets and the use of supplements to boost their immune system. Although initial results are encouraging, further research is needed to understand the dynamics of COVID-19 in Ghana and provide additional guidance.
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