The fourth biennial scientific conference of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana opened in Accra yesterday[September 28, 2022], with a call on Ghanaian public to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols in order not to be overtaken by events.
The Chief Executive Officer of Promasidor Ghana, Festus Tettey, who made the call, said the public appeared to have become complacent with the pandemic, and were no longer vigilant.
“A few places of business still provide hand sanitisers, while most don’t provide hand-washing logistics. Let us not become complacent in adhering to all the necessary precautions that we have learnt to follow,” he advised.
The three-day conference — attended by professionals and experts in the health sciences — was dubbed: “COVID-19 pandemic to date: the uncertain path ahead”.
Mr Tettey said it was possible to slow down and prevent the spread of the pandemic and any new diseases that the country might encounter, stressing, however, that the onus was on everyone to take personal responsibility by adhering to the protocols.
He pointed out that COVID-19 had become a feature of the health system, and that it was important that people learnt to live with it.
“Despite the strides made globally and in the country in combating the pandemic, the path ahead is still unclear. Indeed, as recently as last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of more dangerous COVID-19 variants.
“This come on top of other viral disease outbreaks such as Monkeypox. All these facts support the assertion that the path ahead is uncertain.
Let us not be complacent in adhereing to all the necessary precautions in our everyday lives,” he added.
Mr Tettey said the outbreak of COVID-19 affected the economy, including supply chain disruptions that had led to massive costs to businesses.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development of the University of Ghana, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, said it was serious that about 68 per cent of the country’s population were reported not to have been vaccinated against the health crisis.
He urged the conference to deliberate on why Ghanaians were behaving that way towards the vaccination, pointing out that if the country was able to achieve 100 per cent coverage immunisation of children under five in certain areas, it should be possible to achieve same for the whole population.
Prof. Asante gave the assurance that the university would continue to provide the enabling environment to conduct high quality research to address the needs of the country.
He disclosed that the university, through its office of research, innovation and development, hoped to review its current research areas towards ones that promoted innovation; re-orient its research towards addressing global challenges, and for its faculty to train the next generation of scientists and researchers.
Prof. Asante explained that malaria research would, for example, be broadened to include COVID-19 and non-communicable diseases, while considering the use of artificial intelligence in the research strategy.
The Provost of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana, Prof. Julius Fobil, said conferences of the college were one of the several ways it sought to promote its research, provide services and address the health challenges of the nation and the global community.