The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate has held risk communication and community engagement with key stakeholders on the prevention and control of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD).
Marburg Virus Disease is a rare but severe hemorrhagic fever, which affects both people and non-human primates.
In the early course of the disease, the clinical diagnosis is difficult to distinguish from many other tropical febrile illnesses. It spreads through human-to-human transmission via broken skin or mucous membranes.
The Ashanti Region recorded one case each in the Adansi North District and Bekwai Municipality in June this year, bringing to the fore the need to step up surveillance to prevent the spread of the disease in the region.
The meeting, therefore, sought to equip participants with the requisite information on how to communicate during outbreaks as part of the Regional Preparedness and Response Plan to contain possible disease outbreaks.
Participants were drawn from the Information Services Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Veterinary Services Department, National Disaster Management Organisation, and the National Commission for Civic Education.
The rest came from the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, Ghana Education Service, Muslim and Christian Councils, Regional Health Administration and the media.
With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Breakthrough Action, a global social and behaviour change project, the participants were updated on Marburg and COVID-19 situations in the region.
Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Director of Health Service, said it was important to ensure a coordinated and consistent routine and emergency communication between the authorities and the public during disease outbreaks.
That, he said, would address a comprehensive prevention strategy with an additional component looking into the preparedness and response to address rumours, reduce panic, fear and stigmatisation.
The Regional Director called for the adoptoption of different media channels to deliver messages to reach every segment of the population.
He entreated all stakeholders to show keen interest in issues bothering on public health so as to collectively prevent disease outbreaks, adding: “Everyone is at risk during health emergencies.”