The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has voiced deep concerns regarding the recent spillage at the Akosombo and Kpong Dams, highlighting the potential health challenges it poses for affected residents.
In a press release dated Thursday, October 19, 2023, and jointly signed by David Annor Kwasie and Solomon Dzidzornu Yao Kwashie, Volta Regional Chairman and General Secretary of GAMLS, the organization has called upon the government to declare a state of emergency in the affected areas.
GAMLS believes that such a declaration will enable the government to marshal resources, coordinate efforts, and allocate funds effectively to respond to the crisis. The organization emphasized that this would facilitate the prompt implementation of emergency measures, including the provision of clean drinking water, medical supplies, and support for the agriculture and fishing industries.
The spillage at the dams has raised significant public health and safety concerns for the residents of the Volta region and Ghana as a whole. Water sources have been contaminated, posing a serious threat to the well-being of communities along the Volta River. The spillage has also severely impacted various aspects of life, including school activities, healthcare, and the economic activities of the affected communities.
The GAMLS statement emphasizes that, as Medical Laboratory Scientists, they understand the potential health risks associated with exposure to contaminated water and the contamination of food sources, which may lead to the spread of waterborne diseases.
Therefore, the organization calls upon relevant health authorities, including the Ministry of Health, to take immediate action in addressing the potential public health implications of the spillage. They suggest conducting thorough water quality assessments to determine the extent of contamination and implementing remedial measures to ensure the safety of drinking water sources in the affected communities.
GAMLS also urges the government and relevant agencies to provide necessary support and resources to healthcare facilities in the affected areas. This includes ensuring the availability of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, and trained personnel to effectively manage potential health crises resulting from the spillage.
In addition to these measures, the organization stresses the importance of public awareness and education regarding the potential health risks associated with the spillage. They call on the government and relevant agencies to engage in comprehensive public health campaigns to inform communities about necessary precautions and the signs and symptoms of waterborne diseases.
GAMLS’s statement expresses their commitment to collaborating with the government, healthcare institutions, and other stakeholders to provide expertise and assistance in water quality monitoring, disease surveillance, and public health interventions. The organization concludes by underlining the importance of learning from this incident to prevent similar occurrences in the future and to protect the health and well-being of communities.