The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has explained that the 15 deaths recorded at Tema Manhean in the Greater Accra region in the last two weeks were due to lifestyle diseases.
The Director General of the GHS, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare has explained that the deaths were not spiritually related as earlier speculated.
He said the deaths were unrelated and that they had resulted from different causes of death.
In a radio interview with Radio Ghana Thursday afternoon, Dr Nsiah Asare said none of the deaths was endemic or infectious in nature.
”Four of them are hypertension, alcoholism and somebody who already has hypertension and another who has a cardiac problem.”
He however maintained that a surveillance team is still on the ground monitoring the situation.
He said it was unfortunate that some people were attributing the deaths to spirits.
Dr Nsiah Asare urged residents of Tema not to heed to calls to go and take ‘spiritual baths’ in the sea.
“We heard about this thing from yesterday [Wednesday], quickly we sent the Metro Health Directorate with support from headquarters to the place and we had the preliminary investigations done.”
“What we saw was that there were 15 deaths between 29th October and 7th of November and the 15 deaths are not from one area, they are from two communities in Tema – Awudu and Harbour Electoral areas.
“So we went there, we met the assemblyman and we went to the two hospital facilities which are in Tema. We saw the patients and what I can tell you is that, the deaths are unrelated, there are different causes of death to this and none of the deaths is endemic in nature or infectious in nature, four of them are hypertension, alcoholism and somebody who is already a known hypertensive, he has cardiac problem.”
“The other one was an assault case, knife cut, one of them had a head injury, I think two people were fighting, and then one of them that we did the post-mortem is a young lady who had an ectopic pregnancy who died.
“So they are unrelated and we have realised that it is not anything which is epidemic in nature that people should be worried about. But we are still on the ground, we are following up and we will continue to follow up, it is not a strange disease, most of the problem that is killing them is purely lifestyle diseases.”
“All that I will say is that people should watch their lifestyle and have a healthy lifestyle and people should go to hospital as quickly as possible,” the Director General of the Ghana Health Service said.
He advised people against going into the sea to go for a bath, saying it was not necessary.
The deaths in the area within two weeks aroused apprehension in the community.
A traditional priest, Agbafoitse Nii Abor Kome, had attributed the deaths to a curse on the community and advised residents to undertake ‘spiritual baths’ in the sea to cleanse themselves.
That resulted in mass trooping of residents to the seashore to carry out the advice, amid fears.
Alarmed by the situation, the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) and the Tema Traditional Council, after separate meetings with health personnel, called for calm while investigations were being carried out to establish the actual cause of deaths.
Writer’s email: [email protected]