Health alerts and advisories
The goal of this How To page is to bring the expatriate community relevant and confirmed alerts and advisories on health issues in Ghana and the region.
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EBOLA CRISIS UPDATES
Throughout of the crisis, there has been no cases in Ghana, which share no border with any of the affected countries.
There are no flights between Ghana and Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three main affected countries.
For detailed country-by-country information updated regularly, please see the World Health Organization Update. Find other information at Ebola News Today and Ebola Deeply.
A quote from the US government: “It is important to note that Ebola is not highly contagious like the flu; to the contrary, the virus is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a symptomatic individual. Every outbreak of Ebola over the past 40 years has been contained".
A few days after the OMS declared West Africa was Ebola free on January 2016, over a hundred of people were in quarantine in Sierra Leone following the sudden death of a new person. Since then, a few cases were noted in Liberia and Guinea until the OMS declared on 29 March 2016 that the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) related to Ebola in West Africa was lifted: till that day, a total of 28 616 cases confirmed, probable and suspected cases have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11 310 deaths. Guinea was declared Ebola free on June 1st.
Today, after Liberia in September, Sierra Leone is declared Ebola-free as there has not been any new case during 42 days (two times the incubation period).
This week has been the first without any new cases in all three concerned countries since the beginning of the epidemic in March 2014.
The situation at the end of summer 2015 gives a total of 11,132 deaths for over 28,000 cases. Liberia is now Ebola-free (4 800 deaths for over 10 600 cases), Sierra Leone declared a new case and Guinea three late August.
The UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, UNMEER, the first-ever UN emergency health mission, was established in September 2014 and based in Accra. The shut-down of the mission has been announced earlier this month.
Various studies state that the actual death toll could be 2.5 times higher than the 10,000+ accounted for by WHO and the health services from the concerned countries.
A new case was discovered in Liberia; the first in nearly a month. The country was planning to declare Ebola eradicated in mid-April.
The toll has passed the 10,000 mark at 10,004 for 24,350 cases. Liberia is the most affected country with 4,192 deaths for 9,343 cases but no new cases have ben registered there during the past two weeks.
The figures now are 8,981 and 22,495.
The toll is now at 8,459 for a number of cases at 21,329 and the number of new cases is the lowest since August 2014, confirming that the work done the past few months has started to show results.
As 2014 ends, the toll is now at 7,842 for a number of cases which passed the 20,000 mark at 20,081: 3,413 for 7,977 in Liberia where contamination has slowed down, 2,732 for 9,409 in Sierra Leone, currently the most affected country, and 1,697 for 2,695 in Guinea where the crisis started a year ago.
In other countries: six deaths in Mali, eight in Nigeria, one in the USA. Senegal and Spain had one non-mortal case each.
The medical staff should not be forgotten, with 366 deaths for 666 cases.
The toll is now at 6,841 for 18,464 cases. Follow the count on a daily basis on Ebola Count and learn more on the Center for Disease Control & Prevention website.
The toll is now reaching 6,000, including 3,145 in Liberia. Liberia and Guinea have reached the first objective of treating 70% of cases. There are over 1,100 new cases per week in the three affected countries. The next objective is to treat 100% of cases and have 100% proper burials.
There is progress in Liberia, the most affected country and Senegal has reopened its air and maritime borders to the three affected countries. The toll is now 5,177 deaths out of 14,413 cases, half of those in Liberia.
Despite all that has been talked about and is being set-up to handle the crisis, the same trend remains, with now 4,951 deaths out of 13,567 cases.
The first-ever United Nations emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), is settling in Accra from where it will be based.
The death toll has now passed the 4,000 mark at 4,447 out of 8,914 cases. The crisis is accelerating, especially in Liberia.
A thought to all medical personnel involved: to date, 216 died out of 395 cases.
Should the crisis keep progressing this way, WHO expects 5,000 to 10,000 new cases per week in December.
The death toll is now 3,439 out of 7,492 cases, half being in Liberia where all regions are now concerned. Cuba has sent 165 health professionals to Sierra Leone - those involved in the fight against Ebola indeed insist than manpower is more in need than financial aid.
The Ebola crisis has not changed as far as Ghana still being spared but is in its third phase and keep growing in the concerned countries, especially Liberia where over 2,700 cases have been registered up to September 15 and many infected are among the general population. The total death toll of this epidemic in West Africa is now over 2,800, as per the last WHO last count.
WHO said today that, should no improved measures be taken, the number of infected persons will reach 20,000 in November. The death rate is 70.8% currently.
The crisis has drastically changed size within the last two weeks, with under-estimated figures having reached 2,000 deaths out of 4,000 cases. Half of infected medical personel has died too (120), over half in Liberia alone. Senegal has become the sixth country affected and a few more deaths and cases occured in south-east Nigeria. The actual reproduction rate is closely followed by specialists: that is the average number of persons infected by each victim: below one, the epidemic slows, above 1, it expands. The rate in Sierra Leone and Guinea was between 1.5 and 2.5 during the first semester but has gone down to around 1. With infected people among the public, the situation on the ground in Liberia is such that the rate remains from 1.6 to 2.4, depending on the source. Ivory Coast and Ghana remain spared.
The situation about Ebola with regards to Ghana has not changed despite the continued worsening of the situation in the concerned countries. The death toll has now passed 1,400 for over 2,600 cases, including 5 in Nigeria. Ivory Coast has closed its borderd with Guinea and Liberia and several airlines cancelled flights, although this is not advised by the World Health Organization. The virus has also appeared in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where 13 deaths have been recorded since August 11. Ghana is still safe.
The Ebola fever crisis is worsening but remains within the three concerned countries. The total number of dead in West Africa is has passed the thousand mark with 1,048 deceased out of 1,848 cases. Measures taken in these three countries have been strenghtened to high levels. Ivory Coast has suspended flights to/from these countries. A nurse who was in contact with the person who died in Lagos on July 20 died from Ebola since. Ghana has tightened preventions measures.
The Ebola fever crisis in West Africa is on and does not decrease, with a total of nearly 700 deaths since the end of March 2014 in the three affected countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Most cases are in Guinea. In Ghana and after Kumasi, a second suspected case was reported in Accra. Both persons, including a foreigner, died but Ebola fever was not declared as the cause of death. A Liberia airline passenger died of Ebola virus five days after landing in Lagos on July 20. Ghana as well as Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin are so far safe.
Although contained geographically, this is the deadliest epidemic since the virus appeared in 1972.
Learn more about Ebola here and here.
The infection rate is now declining. The numbers for all 10 regions of Ghana are 25,273 cases and 208 deaths.
otal numbers for Ghana are 24,648 cases and 204 deaths.
OCTOBER 2 - Update
With 15,034 cases and 107 deaths in Greater Accra, the cholera crisis is not contained at all and now affects nine regions in Ghana, with a total of 17,527 cases and 173 deaths. The case fatality rate (CFR) is around 0.8%.
AUGUST 28 - Update
The cholera outbreak is surging with 7,800 cases today in the Greater Accra region, compared to 6,179 a week ago. The death toll is 51. This crisis is comparable to the 2011 one with 9000 cases and 72 deaths. The figures were 7000/48 in 2012 and 22/0 in 2013. One of accraexpat.com's assistants, Lucia, was one of the cases this month but was back to work after a week.
JULY 31 - Alert
The announced cholera outbreak has occured. In today's edition, the Daily Graphic reports that 197 Cholera cases were reported in two weeks at the La General Hospital alone (located at the eastern end of Ring Road) and that six persons died, including four before reaching the hospital.
MAY 29 - Advisory
The Ghana Health Service has warned of a possible cholera outbreak in Accra due to the current insanitary conditions in the capital coupled with the onset of the rains. Improper waste disposal systems due to the shutdown of the Accra Composite Plant in Accra have compounded the problem.
MARCH/APRIL 2014 - REGIONAL ADVISORY
Ebola fever. After cases and deaths in Senegal and Guinea, Ebola has expanded to Liberia and Sierra Leone and is therefore believed to expand east-bound within West Africa. The land border between Senegal and Guinea has been closed on March 29. 157 cases have been registered n Guniea, including 101 deaths, and 21 in Liberia, inculding 10 deaths. In Sierra Leone, several dead persons could have contracted the virus in Guinea. Mali has suspect cases. This is the first Ebola epidemic in that part of Africa.
News circulated on April 6/7 about a suspected case in Kumasi, which would have been the first one in Ghana. On April 8, the Thomson Reuters Foundation informed that samples brought to Accra from Kumasi were negative ID Ebola virus and also of any common viral fever.
Ghana recently trained port and borders workers to detect signs of the disease, set up a national committee, restocked testing equipment and established a telephone hotline.
Appearing for the first time in RDC and South Sudan, the Ebola virus caused the death of 1554 persons between 1976 and 2012 (on a total of 2347 confirmed cases).
Learn more about the Ebola fever, symptoms and prevention on the WHO page.
22 JULY 2013 - UPDATE
No case of cholera has been registered in Accra during the first semester of 2013.
18 MARCH 2012 - UPDATE
This update on the cholera advisory from Spring 2011 shows that the threat remains in 2012, right here in Accra.Eleven persons died from cholera in Accra within two weeks as stated by AMA (Accra Metropolitan Assembly). Two hundred cases have been registered within the last three month. The figures for 2011 are 70 deaths for 4586 cases recorded in Ghana, including 31 deaths for 2756 cases in Accra.Basic hygiene measures must be respected at all times by all, including by house staff.
27 MARCH 2011 - ALERT
Cholera outbreak in Ghana
Reports from the Ghana health service indicate that the current cholera outbreak started in September last year in the central region and keep spreading and killing people. Five regions are currently infected and they include greater Accra, central, eastern, upper west and the northern regions. The reported cases are about 5,308 and these figures are rising by the day, a total of 67 deaths has since been reported, giving a death rate of 1.5%.
Despite efforts implemented by the Government, the cholera epidemic is expanding further: from March 26 to April 10, 2011, the figures increased from 5308 to 7122 infected and from 67 to 82 deaths.
UPDATE 2 (15 May 2011)
The cholera epidemic has decreased in its area of origin but seems to affect the capital region and surroundings areas more. 98% of cases are now located in the East and Central regions and cholera expands in areas where hygine levels are low. Moreover, transmission is higher during the rainy season. In the Central region, 21 people have died out of the 555 cases registered since September 2010.
The H1N1 Virus is still very much around in Ghana. It first emerged in midway 2009 in localized communities where outbreaks appeared to be restricted to certain schools and families associated with those school going children. Now it has become more widespread in the larger communities in Accra and Tema.
There is still a lot to be done regarding prevention as there is little else to do in circumstances of epidemics. We encourage people to practice good personal hygiene and in particular an abundance of hand washing. We encourage people to avoid contact with people suffering cold and flu like symptoms and increase ventilation if and when forced to be in confined spaces.
We also encourage people to boost their general immune systems by ensuring good sleep and healthy eating habits with plenty fresh fruits and vegetables.
Should any persons be ill with cold and flu like symptoms and suspect that it may be H1N1 and not a regular flu they can get themselves screened for free at the following facilities: Achimota Clinic, Airport Clinic or the Nogouchi Institute themselves. Results are usually telephonically told to you by telephone within a 24 hour period after screening.
To date no one really knows the actually confirmed status of H1N1 cases in this region due to large sectors of the population who have not been tested and due to the unavailability of testing in the remoter regions. In comparison to other countries Ghana has been slow to spread the disease and in addition to date there have been no recorded fatalities relate to H1N1 in Ghana.
There are annual outbreaks in Ghana of Meningitis almost every year without fail. This year, 2010 has been a particular severe outbreak with regards to Meningitis and this saw 20 fatalities related to Meningitis in the Northern region alone.
People living, working or travelling in Ghana are encouraged to ensure that they are vaccinated against this strain of Meningitis. The Vaccination which covers this strain is the Mencevax ACWY.
In addition we encourage all persons who are sick with a fever, rash and stiff neck to report to a good health care facility immediately to establish a good diagnosis to rule out Meningitis.