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Panic in Ghana as COVID-19 undertakers suspend burials, begin strike

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Environmental health practitioners made up of the Environmental Health Officers Alliance-Ghana (EHOA-GH) in charge of the burial of COVID-19 dead bodies in the country have laid down their tools, the Daily Guide of Ghana reported.

The Environmental Health Practitioners in the 260 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are aggrieved over lack of needed resources to discharge their duties.

According to them, they have stopped to perform their duties until the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) provide them with the needed tools.

“This has become necessary since over one year now, all COVID-19 dead bodies buried by Environmental Health Practitioners all over the country in some MMDAs lack the needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), hearse and other incentives.

“It saddens our hearts at this critical moment on why the government of Ghana, specifically President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will neglect the only Public Health Law Enforcement Agents who are mandated by Section 14 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (ACT 936) with Amendment (ACT 940) and E. I. 4 of 1976 in discharge of our mandated duties or job descriptions.

“We EHOA-GH want to state on record without any fear or favour that we have withdrawn our services as enshrined in the Section 50 clause (c) of the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT 851) with immediate effect,” a statement issued on August 18, 2021 and signed by Yaw Akwaa Lartey, Acting District Environmental Health Officer, said.

The EHOA-GH cautioned all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and any other person in the MMDAs who will try to victimise any of its members on all COVID-19 burials agent will have the full forces of the association descending on such a person without any fear or favour.

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