The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has refuted claims that it is manipulating the Covid-19 data to cover up inadequacies in the case management of the infection.
According to the Health Service, the allegation of suppression of data, “is very unfair and an affront to our professional integrity.”
It said concerns over the management of Covid-19 cases should be made in a manner that does not seek to impugn the professional integrity of health workers who are managing this pandemic, but rather to genuinely seek for explanations to get better understanding of what is being done by the health professionals.
The GHS statement was in response to a release by a pressure group, Occupy Ghana, titled: Dear Ghana, have we decided to live with the virus? which suggested the GHS was suppressing Covid-19 data particularly deaths related the imfection from the regions.
The GHS said reporting on data including deaths and recoveries at the national level goes beyond just numbers and includes epidemiological and clinical states of the cases.
” It requires a bit more time to verify and validate, ” it said.
It further noted that all laboratory reports are released to the districts within which the organization operates or where samples were taken.
The test results are communicated to the individual concerned by the district and not to the organization in line with the ethics of medical practice.
The district health management team will then inform the organization of any risks and actions that needs to be taken, said the GHS.
“In that context, the health authority indicated that the Regional-level data will normally be higher than the National data at any given time,”it said.
Again, the GHS explained that reported Covid-19 related data including deaths are reported through our reporting channels (facility- district- region- national).
All deaths reported from treatment centers in the districts are thoroughly reviewed by the National Case Management Team with regions to validate cause Of death, presentation of the case, care and treatment given and lessons learnt and also eliminate any possible double counting.
It is after this certification that the numbers are added to the national data and published.
Going by this norm, the region will first report through their Situational Report to Director General and other partners.
“We must remember that the Regional Health Administration is part of the Ghana Health Service and as such if there is a grand scheme to massage the figures on deaths as is being alleged, the region will not report such figures through its situational report. “
The GHS, however acknowledged the worrying trend of the daily new positive cases over the past few days, but said the trends represented more of isolated spikes in localized institutions and localities and does not represent generalized diffused community spread.
” It is worth noting that in the last one week, 3 regions and 176 districts out of the 260 districts have not reported any new Covid-19 case.”