The Ghana Health Service says the health practitioner who administered the injections that are suspected to have led to three deaths at the New Senchi Health Center in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region, had been operating illegally.
According to the Service, the man, who has been identified as James Yeboah, had not been authorised to offer such healthcare, and has been ordered to stop practising.
Speaking to Citi News, the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie, said his outfit was still investigating the incident with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
“Indeed, he [James Yeboah] has been stopped from practising as he was not authorised by the Ghana Health Service at the national, regional or district [level] to conduct this activity in the facility. So he has been stopped from practising in that facility to make sure that he doesn’t put other people at risk,” Dr. Badu Sarkodie said.
Over the weekend, James Yeboah was arrested along with the manager of the facility, Simon Takeramah, who has since been granted bail.
The matter of suspected negligence resulted in the death of a 31-year-old man, a 42-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man.
The FDA has said its preliminary investigations indicate that the deaths may have been caused by contaminated medication.
The FDA noted that the deceased persons suffered adverse reactions described as injection site abscess, skin necrosis and ulcers leading to the deaths.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that these reactions may be due to contaminated 0.9% Normal Saline, the solution which was used to reconstitute (mix) the Benzathine Penicillin Powder for Injection. The 0.9% Normal Saline Solution was reported to have been opened and used repeatedly for several days which might have resulted in the contamination,” a statement from the FDA explained.
Since then, the District Health Directorate has ordered the centre to stop all injections at that facility until further notice.
Samples from the deceased patients have also been taken for investigations at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical research.