Ghana needs to introduce sentinel approach for Covid-19 testing – Global health expert

Senior Research Fellow at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) says that government and health authorities need to employ a sentinel approach to testing the population for Covid-19.

Dr John Amausi told Kojo Yankson, host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that should the Ghana Health Service (GHS) introduce a sentinel approach to testing, the country would have a target set which can help health authorities determine the bigger picture of Ghana’s Covid-19 situation.

His comments come as the Ghana Health Service (GHS) announced that they would be prioritising testing of symptomatic cases during the weekly press briefing on the management of Covid-19 cases in the country, Tuesday.

“It may look like we are throwing away money because we are not focusing on people who are sick by just looking at a limited mass testing in selected areas but it’s the only way we can have a true measure and coupling this with antibody testing to measure the degree to which people might have been exposed,” he stressed.

According to the researcher, following a sentinel approach would also help authorities to make decisions, boldly and comfortably, protecting the public health of the country in the long run.

“This would be the single measure which can give us some degree of comfort regarding how much this infection can spread,” Dr Amuasi added.

Despite the lack of knowledge on how long antibodies present in an individual who has been exposed to the virus will keep the person immune, Dr Amuasi encourages the GHS to use a sentinel approach in the fight against the virus.

He stressed that this is really the only way we can know the true state of the country regarding COVID-19 and be able to make projections into the future.

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