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Health officials rule out KUMACA closure as drug administration continues



The Health Ministry and Ghana Health Service have put in place emergency measures to contain the health crisis in Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) in the Ashanti Region.

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu explained the objectives of the new plan are to stop further transmission of the “unknown” disease and to ensure effective case management.

At least 23 students are reportedly on admission at key health facilities in Kumasi, with 11 deaths recorded since the first case was reported in March 2017.

The cause of death is still unknown after meningitis was ruled out, health officials have said.

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu

Related Article: Meningitis ruled out in KUMACA student deaths

As part of the emergency plan, surveillance of students has been intensified and cases recorded are to be referred to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) hospital.

A medical team from the Ghana Health Service is administering Azithromycin antibiotics to students against possible bacterial infection.

There will also be an immediate post-mortem conducted on all bodies by a group of pathologists.

Related Article: KUMACA in crisis as more students collapse

Parents and guardians thronged KUMACA to withdraw their wards

A team has also been dispatched to investigate the matter by “examining the school’s kitchen, dining hall and scan the whole environment.”

Deputy Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum had said the school will be closed down after the drug administration.

“We are going to close down the school…it is going to happen,” he said.

But Ghana Health Service Director-General Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare has ruled out the possibility of closing the school.

“We don’t recommend that the school should close [because] we want to contain the situation,” he told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Thursday.

Related Article: ‘Fear, panic’ in Kumasi as another KUMACA student dies

He said because health officials are working to unravel the cause of death, there is no need for the school to close down even after the drug administration.

“It is not necessary,” Dr Nsiah-Asare said, adding health officers working on the case will be meeting with parents to update them on the situation.


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