The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on Friday expressed its sorrow at the passing of Richard Kisser, one of Ghana’s best-known surgeons. Dr Kisser succumbed to COVID-19 while receiving treatment for complications from the respiratory disease at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) in Legon, Accra.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Ernest Yorke, chairman of the Greater Accra division of the GMA said: “We learned with sadness the passing of Dr Richard Kisser on Thursday 2 July 2020 at the UGMC. He was a proud member of the Greater Accra division and contributed his part to the activities of the GMA.
“He will be remembered as a fine doctor by his patients and also for training many doctors and specialists.
“Our hearts are with the wife, children and the family for their untimely loss. The Greater Accra GMA has, indeed, lost a valued member. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”
Over 100 doctors infected
The public relations unit of the Trust Hospital, where Dr Kisser was a consultant surgeon, announced his demise in a bulletin on Friday. It confirmed that he had been receiving treatment for COV1D-19 complications.
Kisser’s death brings to three the number of doctors who have died from complications arising from COVID-19.
Jacob-Plange-Rhule, Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, passed in April. And Harry Owusu Boateng, medical superintendent of the Kwadaso Seventh-Day Adventist Hospital in Kumasi, died in June.
More than 100 doctors in Ghana have tested positive for the virus, the GMA says. Although it is uncertain whether they were infected in the line of duty or not, the World Health Organization (WHO) says health workers are on the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak response, and are therefore exposed to hazards which put them at risk of infection.
The WHO in April put the global proportion of infected health workers at 10 per cent. In May, the Geneva-based International Council on Nursing put the raw number of nurses infected with the new coronavirus at more than 90,000, based on data gathered from 30 countries.
State shows appreciation
President Akufo-Addo announced a three-month extension of the incentive package paid to frontline health workers fighting the novel coronavirus in Ghana.
In his latest televised address to the nation on COVID-19 on Sunday night (28 June), the president said that all frontline health workers will pay no income tax in July, August and September.
“All frontline health workers, as defined by the Ministry of Health, will continue to receive the additional allowance of 50% of their basic salaries for the three months,” he announced.
As of 4 July Ghana has 19,388 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 14,330 of those found to have the disease have recovered and/or been discharged from hospital. The number of active cases is 4,941 and there have been 117 deaths.