The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye has advised Ghanaians especially Muslims to report to health workers all suspicious deaths before embarking on pre–burial activities.
He said this is crucial to the containment and reduction in the infection rate of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) or any infectious disease for the safety of all.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye made the call in an interview with the GNA following the case of Marburg virus disease recorded in the Upper West Region.
He said the act of people embarking on rapid burials is posing a major challenge by preventing health workers from ascertaining the true cause of death before burial.
He emphasised that minimising this practice, especially in cases where one is not sure of the cause of death, will ensure that health workers put in the necessary processes.
He added that prevention could be at the burial site.
The GHS boss explained, “Marburg is rare, and like Ebola, it is both infectious and kills almost all its victims as it makes them very sick.”
He said with Marburg, there is no treatment, and there is no vaccine. Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the main strategy of his outfit is to identify, detect and contain the disease at source, so it does not spread, stressing that surveillance system put in place is responding appropriately.
The Director-General said they are working with partners including the Wildlife Division and the veterinary medicines group, to identify the source of the outbreak.