The Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) in the Ashanti Region, will be closed down latest by Friday, November 8, following the multiple cases of ‘mysterious’ health-related deaths in the school over the past week.
Before the closure happens, the Ashanti Regional, Minister Simon Osei Mensah, told NEWSMEN the students and staff of the school would have to be screened to make sure that none of them has an ailment that is infectious.
This decision was taken after a meeting with the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate, the Ghana Education Service, and the school’s Parents and Teacher Association.
On the screening and treatment, the Minister said “we will give doses to all the students, teaching staff and non-teaching staff. I am told it is going to be a three-day exercise.”
Mr. Osei Mensah explained that, the screening was necessary to minimize the risk posed by the supposed ‘mysterious’ illness.
“Immediately after the exercise, we will close down the school and ask all the students to go home. The reason why we don’t want to close the school now is that, we don’t want a situation whereby if the disease is infectious and some students have already got the infection, they are going to infect their whole family with it. That will be a serious risk” he said.
Six students have so far been discharged from the KNUST hospital, while 18 others are still on admission.
Four students died earlier in 2017, whilst three died just last week. Another died on Tuesday morning, prompting parents to raise concerns about the safety of their wards in the school.
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research is expected to present a report on the cause of deaths on Wednesday. The deaths have so far been suspected to be meningitis-related.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, has also been summoned to Parliament over the death of students.
Some of the parents stormed the school on Tuesday morning and took their wards home despite the fact that they are about to start examinations next week. Later on Tuesday, some parents were seen running about on the school premises in search of their wards.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, was addressing the school following a meeting with the Regional Security Council on the health crisis, when two female students of the school collapsed sparking the action from some parents.