Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, has expressed displeasure about the poor ventilation at some dormitories of the Kumasi Academy (KUMACA), as the health workers seek to unravel what infection may have killed four students in the school in just a week.
Mr. Osei Mensah, who toured dormitories and other facilities in the school, said ventilation is very poor in some of the dormitories.
“If you realized, ventilation is quite poor; we have so many people, the windows are small and there are no fans so you could tell the room is very hot…If there is any contagious disease or you have any disease that is infectious, it could affect people very fast so we need to do something about the dormitories.”
The Minister also said he was not impressed about paintings of the interior of the dormitories. He also raised concerns about the nature of the mattresses, and directed school authorities to ensure they are fumigated.
Some parents have called for intensified prayers into the recent deaths at the school as they suspect the happenings, could have spiritual undertones.
The parents also want Watch Night Services to be organized in the school to seek God’s intervention as authorities work to find a lasting solution to the matter.
Health officials in the Ashanti Region have ruled out Meningitis as the cause of the recent deaths at the school. The officials, however, suspect a bacterial infection in the school.
Speaking to journalists, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, said “we have done all the tests for meningitis. They are negative, so it shows that the condition is not meningitis.”
Some of the parents stormed the school on Tuesday morning and took their wards home despite the fact that they are about to start examinations next week.
The students and all staff and non-teaching staff, are also expected to be screened before the closure of the school on Friday, December 8. Later on Tuesday, some parents were seen running about on the school premises in search of their wards.
Simon Osei Mensah was addressing the school following a meeting with the Regional Security Council on the health crisis, when two female students collapsed sparking the action from some parents.
Some of the parents, who spoke to Citi News after a meeting with the Ashanti Regional Minister and other stakeholders, said the matter will require prayers since they believe it has spiritual connotations.
One of the parents said “It is true because it can be that physically it is not any disease, but it is spiritual. So if we are thinking about the disease, we should also think about the spiritual aspect too, so that we can organize prayers as Muslims and Christians so we can find a lasting solution to this problem.”
Another parent also said “I support what they are saying because since we don’t know the cause whether it is a disease or not, it could be a spiritual or anything, prayer is very good.”
The deaths so far
Six students have so far been discharged from the KNUST hospital, while 18 others are still on admission.
Four students died earlier in 2017, whilst three died just last week. Another died on Tuesday morning, prompting parents to raise concerns about the safety of their wards in the school.
A medical team from the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to partner personnel from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to administer antibiotics to students and teachers for three (3) days.
Meanwhile, the result of test conducted by the Noguchi Memorial Institute on the possible cause of the recent deaths is expected to day [Wednesday].