Short Report - Special Collection: COVID-19

Incidental finding of COVID-19 infection amongst staff at a primary care facility in Ghana

Priscilla Vandyck-Sey, Gordon Amoh, Akye Essuman, Henry Lawson
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2669 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2669 | © 2020 Priscilla Vandyck-Sey, Gordon Amoh, Akye Essuman, Henry Lawson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 July 2020 | Published: 09 October 2020

About the author(s)

Priscilla Vandyck-Sey, Faculty of Family Medicine, Korle Bu Polyclinic and Family Medicine Centre, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Gordon Amoh, Faculty of Family Medicine, Korle Bu Polyclinic and Family Medicine Centre, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
Akye Essuman, Family Medicine Unit, Department of Community Health, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana
Henry Lawson, Family Medicine Unit, Department of Community Health, University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana


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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every country worldwide and all African countries. The issue of healthcare workers (HCWs) contracting the disease is a growing concern in Ghana, because of the risk of spreading infections amongst themselves and to vulnerable patients in their care. This article illustrates how 14 staff at the Korle Bu Polyclinic/Family Medicine Department were incidentally found to be Covid-19 positive with most of them being asymptomatic. This observation led to a modification of the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by clinical staff when attending to patients. Furthermore, this finding suggests that a different criteria or guideline may be needed for testing of HCWs during a pandemic where a significant proportion of infected people are asymptomatic. We conclude that in the primary care setting HCWs must be ready to see all the following cases safely: routine patients, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and suspected COVID-19 patients.

Keywords

COVID-19 infection; healthcare worker; staff; Ghana; incidental finding; modified PPE

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