The usual busy and serious atmosphere at the Children’s Department of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra has virtually ceased following the strike by doctors.
During a visit to the hospital Tuesday, the Out-Patients Department (OPD) was virtually empty and most of the chairs on which parents and their sick children normally sat were seen packed at a corner.
The usual spectacle of medical personnel busily moving around, particularly nurses carrying wrapped-up babies in their arms or the folders of patients, was totally absent.
While some parents and guardians who had sent their children and wards to the hospital were seen standing at the entrance to the OPD, others sat some metres away from the department.
Those with whom the Daily Graphic spoke claimed that they were only waiting for the nurses to tell them what to do, since no doctors were available.
A 37-year-old trader (name withheld) said her ward had been attended to by some nurses, adding that since the doctors were not available, the only health personnel to look after her daughter were the nurses.
When contacted, the Head of the Public Relations Unit of the hospital, Mr Mustapha Salifu, attributed the situation at the Children’s Department to the ongoing strike by doctors.
He was, however, quick to add that “the situation is the same at all the departments of the hospital”.
“Work at the various OPDs, including the Children’s Department, has been affected since the strike by doctors began two weeks ago,” he said.
Asked how the authorities at the Children’s Department were handling new cases, Mr Salifu said patients were asked to report on a later date.
However, a senior nurse at the Children’s Department said although the ongoing strike had affected activities at the department, “children brought to the hospital are being attended to”.
She said any time nurses’ attention would be drawn to the plight of a sick child, they would attend to that child if only they had the capacity to handle that case.
The Korle-Bu Children’ Department is a tertiary referral centre for children under 12 years with medical and surgical problems.
Story: Dominic Moses Awiah
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