COVID-19: Your reason for death toll disparities don’t add up – CDD fellow to GHS

A pharmacist and fellow with the CDD Kwame Sarpong Asiedu has punched holes in the Ghana Health Service’s explanation for the disparity in the country’s COVID-19 death figures.

The Director-General of the GHS Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, explained at the Ministry of Information bi-weekly news conference that the reason death figures in the Ashanti Region were not reflecting at the national level was because they were being audited.

It followed concerns by pressure group OccupyGhana that the country’s death figures were being under-reported.

“There is cause to suspect that the death numbers are being massaged. The reported 54 deaths so far cannot be right. For instance, even though 38 deaths have been reported from the Ashanti Region alone, less than 20 of those deaths are included in the national count,” Occupy Ghana noted in a statement.

Responding to the claims of OG, Director General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said the figures were being audited hence the disparity.

“Once a death is reported in a region, we have another case management team that does audit and clinical conferencing with them to see what was the cause of death. How was it managed? What were the circumstances? Is it a COVID related death? How do we confirm? As soon as that is done they are added. So you may see a region reporting a certain number. We are not only interested in the number. We want to know whether it is treatment appropriate. Where they (cases) are coming from…So that’s how it is being done. Just to say, that nobody is deliberately withholding numbers. We know the SITREPs are there and every Ghanaians will see Situation Reports in the Greater Accra Region, Ashanti Region etc,” Dr. Kuma-Aboagye explained

However, the UK-based pharmacist and CDD fellow Kwame Sarpong Asiedu told  Starr Today auditing the death toll from the regions is not the standard practice.

“The point is that to the best of my knowledge no virus has ever killed anybody. Viruses are opportunistic. What they do is, they compromise your immune system so that something you are vulnerable to; whether it’s a heart attack, whether it’s a bacterium, whether it’s a fungus, will kill you off. So I struggle to understand how you (GHS) would tell me you are doing an audit to determine who directly died of the virus or died of another disease. Because if we make that analogy then we will end up saying nobody ever died of AIDS, because the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has never killed anybody,” Kwame Sarpong Asiedu told Starr News Naa Dedei Tettey

He says government is in a fix because it has consistently referenced the low number of death recorded in the country as evidence of better management of the pandemic in the country.

“And that is why from the outset I would always argue that I wasn’t too fixated on our case mortality numbers. The problem is, the government made a big fuss about our low case mortality numbers and that is why we are all caught up in this much ado about nothing. Because now they are trying to find reason to keep this number down and unfortunately the reasons don’t add up,” Kwame Sarpong Asiedu noted

 Ghana’s COVID 19 case count now stands at 12,193 out of which 7,809 are active, 4,326 have recovered and 58 persons have died.

Source: Ghana/ Dedei Tettey


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