The Environmental Health Officers Alliance-Ghana (EHOA-GH) has withdrawn its services as far as the burial of all COVID-19 bodies is concerned across all the 260 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country until the government stops depriving them of the necessary logistics to execute their duties.
The national president of EHOA-GH, who doubles as the acting District Environmental Health Officer for Denkyembour in the Eastern Region, Mr Yaw Akwaa Lartey, indicated in a statement issued on 18 August 2021 that: “This has become necessary since, over one year now, all COVID-19 dead bodies buried in this country by environmental health practitioners all over the country in some MMDAs lack the needed personal protective equipment (PPE), hearses, and other incentives which have already been given to our counterparts in the Ghana Health Service (GHS)”.
“Right from the day Ghana recorded its first COVID-19 case, the environmental health practitioners, who are 100% health workers working under the Local Government Service (LGS) – Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), were exempted from all training and workshops which were organised by the Ministry of Health (Ghana Health Service) in all the 16 regions”.
“It saddens our hearts at this critical moment” about “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 the discharge of our mandated duties or job descriptions,” he lamented.
“We, EHOA-GH, want to state on record without any fear or favour [with] reference to Article 191 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and some sections of the Labour Act, 2003 (ACT 651) that we have withdrawn our services as enshrined in Section 50 clause (c) of the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT 851) with immediate effect,” he added.
Mr Lartey further cautioned Ghanaians who still doubt the existence of COVID-19 in the country to adhere to the safety protocols and properly dispose of used nose masks.