The Supply Chain Manager at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare John T. Harris, has disclosed here that Personal Protective Equipment or PPEs distributed to hospitals, clinics and other health facilities across the country during the Ebola crisis landed in the hands of motorcyclists, who misused them.
Speaking at the regular briefings of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Mr. Harris said the Ministry of Health and its partners are doing everything necessary to decommission or maintain ETUs.
He said it has drawn the attention of the public how decisions are made about which ETUs to maintain and which to decommission and also the process of decommissioning, especially cleaning and sanitation and also about the potential spread of infections, which have grown as a result of citizens noticing commercial motorcyclists wearing PPEs as raincoats in market areas both in Red Light and the Waterside commercial districts.
The Supply Chain manager said Health Supply Chain System underpins the entire health system, and is essential to ensuring consistent availability of affordable, high-quality diagnostic and health care products in locations that are geographically accessible to target population.
According to him, the system carries information about supply and demand for products back to planners, policymakers and handles financial flows so that the system is adequately resourced, saying, “A broken supply chain can cripple the health system and undermine health outcomes”, he added.
Harris said PPEsfor those involved in direct patient care or with suspect, probable or confirmed Ebola cases; those entering isolation areas where patients with suspect, probable or confirmed Ebola or have been present prior to decontamination, staff working in delivery areas or with patients with sufficient vaginal bleeding, staff handling dead bodies and staff who are cleaning up body fluid spills, among others are very critical.
Meanwhile, decommissioning is a technical process in which Ebola care facilities are assessed, dismantled and or re-purposed after a proper decontamination phase, aiming at preventing exposure to contaminated structures, equipment or materials. By Ethel A. Tweh – Editing by Jonathan Browne