A lead investigator with the Covid-19 Modelling Team at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is concerned about the inadequacy of data needed to analyse the pattern of the pandemic.
Dr Emmanuel De-graft Johnson Owusu-Ansah says the lack of adequate data from health authorities makes socio-economic impact assessment of the disease difficult.
“We know the Ghana Health Service has the data but they wouldn’t share [it] with the public so any regression analysis on the impact is impossible,” he laments.
Dr Owusu-Ansah says this has not helped in protecting Ghanaians, especially, socio-economically active women against the disease.
“If it’s done, specific government policies can be directed towards gender-sensitive issues,” he indicated.
The ultimate purpose of the team is to build a data model to inform decision-making. At the moment it has been involved in the modelling of resource allocation for various hospitals at the local level.
Dr Owusu-Ansah bemoans what he calls the aggregation of data where all the information has been lumped together.
“One of our drawbacks is that our model is aggregated: we’ve combined everything for Ghana. So if you ask me what Ghana’s R knot is, I’ll say 1.2, but that’s an aggregated data. But Western region may have 0.9,” he explained.
Dr Owusu-Ansah believes “disaggregated data will help develop different mitigation measures” specific for each region.