Ghana prepares against Ebola

Test on Ghana's first suspected case of Ebola proves negative

Ghana has stepped up its health surveillance since the outbreak of Ebola in other west African countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ghana remains free of the lethal virus although there had been fears that a 12-year-old girl who died of a viral fever in Kumasi was the country's first suspected case of Ebola. However following tests in Accra, Ghanaian health authorities announced on 8 April that the girl did not die of the disease, which has no specific cure and has a high death rate.

Ghana's health minister Sherry Ayittey said that officials at the nation's ports and border have been trained to detect signs of Ebola and that 66 quarantine centres would be set up across the country. In addition Ghana has established a national taskforce, restocked its testing equipment and established a telephone hotline, 0244727958.

So far more than 90 people, including at least four health care workers, have died of Ebola in Guinea and Liberia and there is a reported case in Mali. The outbreak in Guinea is the first time that the disease, associated primarily with central Africa, has been detected in the country.

Medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres is warning of an “unprecedented epidemic” in the impoverished west African region which has poor health services.

For more details see Ghana's health service website.