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The Bono Regional Directorate of Health has ended a disease outbreak simulation exercise, to test its strength and abilities to detect and respond positively to outbreaks of public health diseases in the region.

The two-day simulation exercise, organised by the Directorate and centred on cholera outbreak, was conducted in selected public and private health facilities including hospitals, health centres and Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) Compounds in the Sunyani West Municipality.

It enabled the Directorate to identify and tackle gaps, and thereby sharpened its skills of detecting diseases, saving lives and resources.

Giving the outcome of the exercise at a debriefing session in Sunyani, Dr. George Kuma Khumalo, the Bono Regional Biomedical Scientist, said the exercise had improved the Directorate’s ability to detect and respond to diseases.

“The surveillance team also observed case management and other practices at the health facilities and provided on site coaching too,” he stated.

Explaining the rationale behind the exercise, Dr. Khumalo, also the Exercise Instructor, said the Bono Region had been hit with several outbreaks including meningitis and cholera, saying the outbreak of COVID-19 exposed a lot of weaknesses in the health systems in the region.

He expressed concern about the lack of effective reporting and coordination between clinical and public health surveillance teams at the various simulation facilities which “is very bad in disease surveillance and control.”

Dr. Khumalo also recommended intensified training on priority disease detection and reporting, as well as trained clinicians and public health teams on channels of reporting and coordination, which remained critical in disease surveillance and control.

Dr. Prince Quarshie, a Deputy Director in-charge of Public Health at the Directorate and the Exercise Commander, lauded the exercise and expressed the hope that with funding it would be extended and sustained to help improve health outcomes in the region.

Mr. Bernard Danso, a Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) called on the Regional Health Directorate to endeavour to raise more funds locally to fund and sustain the simulation exercise.

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