From recent happenings in various senior high schools across the country, it is apparent that the prevailing health conditions in Ghana second cycle schools needs to be seriously questioned. The latest occurrence is that of Damongo SHS in the West Gonja District of the Northern Region where one student has been reported dead and about 12 others hospitalised.
It happened that the deceased, Nangtongma Failatu fell ill and was given some medications at the school’s sick bay on Friday and Sunday respectively. Her condition however, was said to have deteriorated on Monday, leading to her unfortunate death yesterday’s morning [Tuesday, December 12].
The family of of the deceased Damongo SHS student had wanted to bury her immediately in accordance with Islamic traditions but they were pleaded with to exercise patience for autopsy to be conducted on their daughter’s remains to ascertain the cause of her death.
Some health officials who spoke to Joy News said they suspect it is meningitis but were quick to add that they will not make a public pronouncement on the issue until the exact cause is discovered through series of tests. District Chief Executive of the area, Saeed Muhaza Jibril also indicated that those on admission are experiencing varying symptoms but have been administered with antibiotics to bring the situation under control.
This was very necessary considering the outbreak of viral and infectious diseases in various high schools across the country in recent times. Recall that four students of the Kumasi Academy in the Easter region recently lost their lives to what has been discovered to be Swine Flu. Over 30 others have also been hospitalised.
In a similar development, a male student of the Koforidua SECTEC died of a suspected case of meningitis on Friday, December 8. Following his death, 20 ailing students of the school were confined to strict supervision to forestall a possible epidermic.
Students in various senior high schools as well as parents are now driven to a state of panic and hysteria at any slightest news of sickness even when it turns out to be nothing serious. This was exactly what happened at the St. Martins SHS in the Eastern Region when over 20 students were reported to have collapsed and hospitalised between Sunday and Monday this week.
Doctor’s report on the development however, revealed that St. Martins SHS case has no serious medical condition attached to it. It was rather suggested that the students may be suffering from exam phobia, considering the fact that it is a repeated occurrence.
Meanwhile, one of the students who lost her life to Influenza Type 1 at the Kumasi Academy,. late Clementina Konadu was laid to rest yesterday, Tuesday 12th December. Her funeral which was laden with deep sorrows and tears was well attended by KUMACA students and staff.
While some have attributed the poor condition of high school health in Ghana and its increased resultant effects to the newly introduced free senior high school education program, others are arguing that the menace have been in existence long before the free education policy was implemented.
Whatever be the case, Ghanaians especially parents are sincerely hoping that government looks into the matter to bring about significant changes that will put a stop to the problem.