COVID-19: Health Lapses at St. Martins SHS (SMARTS) in Nsawam as Students are Exposed to Risk

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A group call Youth Advocates Ghana(YAG) has observed with concerns lapses in  Covid-19 preventive protocols in St.Martins Senior High School in Nsawam in the Eastern region exposing students to health danger.

The observations were made when the group in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and Ghana Health Service in the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality visited the school on its first day of re-opening to assess the situation on the ground as part of “I AM AWARE” Project supported by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).

The YAG Committee of experts stated in a report released that,St.Martins SHS though has  established a 7-member health committee to provide overall coordination of their response to Covid-19 prevention, education and management, social distancing protocol was not properly being  adhered to as students were seen gathered in groups.

Again,current arrangement of the schools to have 30 students sleeping in one dormitory is problematic as ventilation is hugely affected especially in the girl’s dormitories. 

YAG also observed that ,”majority of students were seen wearing the nose masks especially when they are outside of their dormitories. Unfortunately, some students remove their nose masks when they are inside their rooms and dormitories”. 

The committee also observed that the National Identification Authority was using the school’s assembly hall for the Ghana Card registration exercise which allows visitors access to the school which could endanger the lives of students and members of the school community.

Due to the reduce class and dormitory size, the school is experiencing inadequate facilities in adherence to the President’s directives and the Covid-19 protocols.

Bellow is the full report 


REPORT ON THE VISIT OF YOUTH ADVOCATES GHANA (YAG) COVID-19 MONITORING TEAM TO ST. MARTINS SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, NSAWAM ON MONDAY 22ND JUNE,2020.

BACKGROUND

Following the directives of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to partially re-open schools in Ghana, Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) through the “ I AM AWARE” Project with support from Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and Ghana Health Service in the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality paid a working visit to St. Martin’s Senior High School on its first day of school re-opening.

The purpose of our visit was to assess the school level preparedness towards the re-opening of the school in the midst of Covid-19 health crisis. The committee was received and taken round the school by the following officials: 1. Rev. Father Benjamin Ohene, Headmaster, St. Martins Senior High School 2. Mensah-Aborampa Ayim- Assistant Headmaster for academics 3. Gideon Asare- Assistant Headmaster for domestic.

STUDENTS ENROLMENT AND STAFF INFORMATION

St. Martins Senior High School is expecting a total of 1,202 students to report to school. The break of the expected students and non-students is as follows: Form 3:671 students (344 boys and 327 girls) Form 2 Gold class: 531 students (271 boys and 260 girls) 2 students are persons with disabilities (1 physically challenge and 1 mental illness) The school also has about 150 staff (103 teaching staff and 47 non-teaching staff)

GENERAL OBSERVATION A

AVAILABILITY OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPES)

The school has taken delivery of the following PPEs from the Eastern Regional Ghana Education Service:

Nose masks: 3039 (2 for each students and staff)

Thermometer Gun: 12 Hand sanitizers: 30 Veronica Buckets: 14 Liquid Soap: 60

B. ADHERENCE TO THE COVID-19 PROTOCOLSThe committee made the following observations:1.

The school has established a 7-member health committee to provide overall coordination of their response to covid-19 prevention, education and management.

2. The social distancing protocol was not properly adhered to as students were seen gathered in groups.

3. The current arrangement of the schools to have 30 students sleeping in one dormitory is problematic as ventilation is hugely affected especially in the girl’s dormitories. 

4. The committee also observed that majority of students were seen wearing the nose masks especially when they are outside of their dormitories. Unfortunately, some students remove their nose masks when they are inside their rooms and dormitories. 

5. The committee observed the unhygienic conditions of the dormitories and classrooms with heap of rubbish scattered in the rooms and in the dormitories.

6. The committee also observed that the National Identification Authority was using the school’s assembly hall for the Ghana Card registration exercise which allows visitors access to the school which could endanger the lives of students and members of the school community.

7. The committee also observed that the school barber was not exercising proper hygiene after barbering students who patronised his services.8. Due to the reduce class and dormitory size, the school is experiencing inadequate facilities in adherence to the President’s directives and the Covid-19 protocols.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

The committee would like to recommend the following for the consideration of the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipal Covid-19 Response Team, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service and the authorities at the St. Martins Senior High School.

1. The services of Zoom Lion Ghana or cleaning company should be sought for urgently to disinfect the dormitories and the classrooms.

2. The school authorities should appoint students’ leaders to monitor and remind their colleagues of the necessary protocols including washing of hands, proper wearing of nose masks and to observe social-distancing.

3. The Ghana Education Service/Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality should urgently relocate the Ghana Card registration exercise being undertaken in the premises of the school.

4. The school authorities must ensure the school barber adheres to the proper hygiene protocols e.g. washing of hands and sanitizing his hands after finished barbering each student.

5. The Ministry of Education should assist the school with extra classrooms, expedite actions on the uncompleted ongoing construction of classroom blocks.

6. Call on the government and benevolent groups to supply the school with adequate PPEs such as nose masks, sanitizers, soaps etc. to meet the current demands for the school.

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

1. Stephen Dugbatey-Coordinator, School Health Education Program (SHEP), Ghana Education Service

2. Abigail Wayo-High School Coordinator, Ghana Education Service

3. Emmanuel Ametepey- Executive Director, Youth Advocates Ghana

4. Moses Tengey-Examination Coordinator, Ghana Education Service

5. Dora Attasuah-Social Action Group, Youth Advocates Ghana6. Hayford Ankrah-Social Action Group, Youth Advocates Ghana.

7. Justina Blankson- Health Promotor, Ghana Health Service

8. Bright Tettey, Nurse Ghana Health Service9. Samuel Yaw Adu, Environmental Officer

THE END.

Source: ghgossip