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COVID-19: KATH recording high positive cases involving children

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The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi has within the last 10 days recorded nine coronavirus positive cases involving children.

One of the victims has succumbed to the virus.

Professor Sampson Antwi, Head of the Child Health Directorate, who made this known, said the children were aged from 11 days to 14 years.

Speaking at a news briefing in Kumasi, he said all the designated beds for children with highly infectious diseases at the hospital were currently full.

However, the management of KATH and the regional health directorate were exploring the possibility of getting additional treatment centres for children at either the Kumasi South hospital or the Frimpong Boateng Medical Centre at Toase, to help manage and treat children with mild COVID-19 symptoms.

These treatment centres, according to him, would help cater for children who were COVID-19 positive and stable so that spaces could be created for admission of new cases at KATH.

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital last year recorded a total of 14 coronavirus positive cases involving children.

The last case was recorded in September 2020, and the directorate, according to Prof. Antwi, had since then been running tests on suspected cases.

The briefing was in response to allegations on some media platforms that the Directorate did not have a standing team that managed children with COVID-19 cases.

Professor Antwi said the Child Health Directorate had trained and qualified doctors and nurses, who were responding to and managed initial suspected and positive cases.

He said it was not true that the Directorate lacked personal protective equipment (PPE) and explained that every week quantities of PPE were distributed to staff and the patients who visited the facility.

Prof. Antwi denied that suspected COVID-19 cases were managed alongside other patients and said the directorate had a three-bedded pediatric highly infectious isolated unit, where children who tested positive were managed by COVID-19 response team and one-bedded unit was created at the mother and baby unit to cater for newborns whose mothers were infected as mothers could transfer the virus to the unborn child.

With these, he said, “the Directorate cannot actually mix children who tested positive with those who are not suspected cases.”

Prof. Antwi said there was a dedicated ward serving as a holding area, where children with suspected cases were screened to determine their status.

Professor Kofi Opoku Baafuor, Medical Director of KATH, said the welfare of staff and patients was paramount and pledged that management would continue to do its best to manage COVID-19 cases and other illness that were brought in.

He said each directorate of the Hospital had trained and dedicated staff who were capable of managing cases and other illnesses and added that it was not the duty of KATH to do contact tracing, but rather, the duty of the Public Health Unit of the Regional Health Directorate to undertake that for patients and family members.

Prof Baafuor said in September 2020, 117 persons were sampled and tested at the facility of which 12 were confirmed positive.

In October out of the 137 sampled tested, 14 were confirmed positive, while 14 out of the 165 tested in November came out positive with December recording 26 positive cases out of the 183 samples tested.

Prof. Baafour however, said as at 26th January this year, out of the 504 people tested 251 came out positive representing 49.8 per cent.

He called on everybody to help to scale down the rate of infection by wearing nose masks, practising social distancing where appropriate, washing of hands with soap under running water among others.

SourceGNA

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