A research conducted by a group of researchers at the West Africa Centre of Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at Legon and Nougochi Medical Institute, found two children in Accra reporting to the LEKMA Hospital in Teshie Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly, to have dengue virus serotype 2, which was reported in a 2016 outbreak in Burkina Faso.
Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses.
The viruses are related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever.
The research, titled “Detection of Dengue Virus among Children with Suspected Malaria, Accra, Ghana” sort to obtain a description of the pathogens causing febrile illnesses in Ghana.
The researchers chose a hospital-based cross-sectional study among children between the ages of 1-15 years, in Kintampo, in the Brong Ahafo region, with a population of 42,957 and Teshie in the Greater Accra region that has 171,875 residents.
The attending clinicians at the 2 sites screened a total of 10,234 children, and 700 were enrolled for the study on the basis of the inclusion criteria and two out of the 700 had dengue virus serotype 2.
The Director of WACCBIP, Prof. Gordon Awandare, told Adom News that though the children are now fine after further treatment, there is a cause for Ghana to be alert as more of such cases may be occurring in other hospitals since they present the same symptoms as Malaria and other infectious diseases.
He insists dengue fever should now be in the picture for testing at hospitals and also be absorbed by the National Health Insurance Scheme.
“…they looked like they had malaria when they came to the hospital, but further testing showed the two had Dengue virus. Though the children are now fine; there will be the need for alertness and inclusion of dengue testing in the hospitals and the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health must champion this and put measure in place to increase surveillance in the hospitals”, he said.
Prof Gordon Awandare also expressed worry about the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) not taking the findings serious even though it has brought to their notice months back.
He wants the MoH and GHS to take the findings seriously.
“Policymakers must engage more with research centres and take information serious rather than the delay tactics; it has been more than six months these findings were made available to them and they still have not responded”, he noted.