9 January 2019

Ghana: Court to Hear Korle-Bu Driver's HIV Case Today

An Accra high court will today, hear the case, in which a staff of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Edward Ghunney, sued Dr Justina Ansah, the Director of National Blood Service, over allegations that he tested HIV positive.

The case was scheduled for hearing yesterday at 11a.m. but had to be adjourned because the Presiding Judge, Eric Kyei Baffour, was attending a meeting.

Mr Ghunney, the plaintiff, denies the allegation he tested HIV positive and is demanding a GH¢200,000 compensation from the Blood Service boss and a letter of apology with copies pasted on the notice board of the service.

The defendant denied any wrongdoing in her response to plaintiff's affidavit.

The plaintiff, who used to be the official driver of the defendant, and now with the Disease Surveillance Department, said the wrongful imputation has made him a subject of public ridicule and contempt as he continues to suffer stigmatisation from relatives and friends.

In his affidavit, Mr Ghunney said he has donated blood to the Service for more than 24 times.

He said that after his last donation on July 25, 2014, Dr Ansah invited him on December 29, 2014, and told him that he was HIV positive.

The plaintiff averred that he denied the allegation and the defendant challenged him to take another test at the Reference Laboratory at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital which he obliged.

Mr Ghunney said a week later, the defendant told him that she received a call from the Reference Laboratory, and that she doubts the authenticity of the result.

Thereafter, the plaintiff said the defendant stopped him from carrying out his duty as her official driver.

Following from that, the defendant again asked him to undergo another HIV test at the Central Laboratory but the test result showed the plaintiff was HIV negative.

The plaintiff said, "I became traumatised and scornfully looked upon by my working colleagues who avoided me like a plague infested person."

According to him, four months after the receipt of the report from the Central Laboratory, he further undertook HIV tests at the Fevers Unit of the Korle-Bu Hospital which result proved negative.

The plaintiff said that as a result of the stigmatisation and scorn he suffered, he requested a transfer to another department (the Disease Surveillance).

Mr Ghunney stated that he later instructed his lawyers to write to the defendant demanding an apology and compensation.


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