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Health Minister Summoned Over ‘Mysterious’ Kumasi Academy Deaths

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, has been summoned to Parliament over the recent deaths of students at Kumasi Academy.

Joe Osei Owusu, serving as the Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday, directed the Health Minister to brief the House on his preliminary findings from the crisis at KUMACA on Friday, December 8.

The directive came after the Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, requested that Mr. Agyemang-Manu be summoned to speak to the ‘mysterious deaths’.

Before the summons, the Minister, speaking in Parliament today [Tuesday], said he is now gathering details on the incident.

“Some of these investigations are scientific. They take some time… until I consult with my technical people, it will be naive on my part to sit here and give time deadlines. Mr. Speaker, I can get you informed after I meet with technical people on how quickly we can come to the House to brief the House,” Mr. Agyeman-Manu stated.

The Kumasi Academy, which is within the Asawase Constituency, has so far recorded eight deaths since the beginning of 2017 from ailments suspected to be meningitis-related.

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.

Some of the parents stormed the school on Tuesday and took their wards home despite the fact that they are about to start examinations.

One parent said he would rather have his ward fail the exams than stay in the school and die. Police personnel were dispatched to the school according to Citi News’ Hafiz Tijani, to maintain law and order.

Before the 2017/2018 academic year, the school’s authorities had said it had adopted measures to prevent meningitis-related deaths.

Asawase worried

Mr. Mubarak stressed that, people in his constituency are extremely worried about the lack of clarity on the issues.

He said he wanted the Health Minister to come and give “the official position on what was happening, what measures they are taking to nip this in the bud, and what measures are being put in place to prevent this from reoccurring.”

“Mr. Speaker, my fear is that, if we are not careful, that school will be empty with all the infrastructure that it has because you will hear people in Kumasi saying it is occultism, it is spiritual, it is some demons that are in the school. All manner of things are being said,” the legislator added.

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