The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have attributed the recent spate of deaths in the Tema East Municipality to different medical conditions rather than spiritual curses as alleged by the chief priest of the community…
The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have attributed the recent spate of deaths in the Tema East Municipality to different medical conditions rather than spiritual curses as alleged by the chief priest of the community.
In a joint statement released on Friday, 9 November 2018 after some investigations, the MoH and GHS said: “A total of 16 deaths have been recorded from two communities; Tema Harbour Electoral Area and Awudum Area within the Tema East Municipality, between the period of 29th October and 7th November, 2018.
“The persons died from different medical conditions that are not linked and are not infectious.”
The statement said the possible causes of deaths “included the following: knife wounds, severe head injury, acute alcoholic intoxication, cardiac failure, lymphatic filariasis with cellulitis and ectopic pregnancy. Majority of these listed causes of death are actually lifestyle related.”
It further continued to say: “Investigations have started and are ongoing. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in the Municipality while we urge the general Ghanaian population to be wary of the increasing number of Non-Communicable Diseases including Hypertension, Diabetes and cancers which are largely life style related and call for adherence to healthy life-styles”
The team visited “houses of the deceased, interviewed their relatives and community members and took part in a community meeting. The team also visited Tema General Hospital and Naval Base Clinic, interviewed health workers (clinicians and nurses) and reviewed medical records” the statement added.
The stool elders of the Tema Traditional Council have been meeting to find solutions to the mysterious deaths, which have compelled residents there to be taking spiritual baths at the beach to avert a supposed curse.
The baths are being taken on the directives of the chief priest to reverse an apparent “sakawa” curse, which, he suspects is the cause of the recent unexplained deaths, especially in the Tema Newtown area.
The frightful residents are charged GHS1 each for spiritual fortification at the hands of the chief priest who takes them through certain rituals to pacify the gods.
But the Stool Secretary to the Tema Traditional Council, Nii Armah Suponu, has entreated the general public to disregard the orders of the chief priest.
According to him, the stool is equally worried about the deaths and will find a better solution to the problem.
The Council, he said, “Has never asked anybody to pay a dime to anyone”.
In his view, the situation is being used to fleece the residents. He has condemned it and promised the people that the Council will deal with the matter.