Bimbilla clashes: Medical staff abandon posts

Some medical staff at the Bimbilla district hospital in the Northern Region has abandoned their posts for fear of their lives in renewed chieftaincy clashes in the area.

About eleven people were killed and 17 others were severely injured in a renewed chieftaincy dispute between two factions in Bimbilla.

According to the medical superintendent of the Hospital, Dr. Osman Abdulai, most of them the staff have refused to be at post because of the insecurity in the area.

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“Today is the third day of the conflict and most of the staff are running away, we tried to persuade them, but they feel that they are not secured and as you know we do not have accommodation in the hospital. We have rented houses within the community and that is where most of the staff stay and from what is happening, they feel that they are not secured, so they have indicated to us that they want to leave,” he told Citi News.

According to the Dr. Abdulai, several persuasion to keep them at post have proved futile.

“As we speak, a significant number of our staff had left, we just have a skeleton staff around taking care of the patients,” he added.

Dr. Osman was particularly worried about pregnant women in labour who are rushed to the facility since to him all the anesthetics in the hospital have left.

“We have to refer most of the pregnant women to Yendi for various complications which we could have handled in the hospital.”

The Bimbilla district hospital, which is a hundred bed capacity hospital serves almost seven other districts along the eastern corridor of the northern region including the two districts in the Volta north, namely, Nkwanta South and North districts.

On a normal day the Out Patient Department (OPD) records between 300 and 350 patients daily but as at 1:45pm on Sunday afternoon only 5 patients visited the hospital, two of them in labour.

At the labour ward, only three women delivered safely and were on admission and 10 women were referred to Yendi for various complications which otherwise could have been handled in the hospital.

Two out of five midwives were on duty to handle the cases that are brought to the facility.

The two midwives are accommodated within the premises of the hospital.

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The male ward which usually admits an average of 10 patients a day was empty not a single patient was on admission.

The female ward was not different only 2 women were on admission . The children’s ward which usually was busy all the time and normally admits close to 70 children daily was virtually empty.

Only five children were on admission in the ward. The children’s ward has a total of 15 nurses, only 4 nurses were around to take care of the children day and night.

The hospital also lacks ambulance services.

Nine of the victims of last Thursday’s clashes were were brought to the Bimbilla district hospital. Two of them were later referred to Tamale but according to the medical superintendent, one later died in Tamale bringing the death toll to eleven.

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Five were discharged from the hospital and one person still on admission, but is responding to treatment.

Dr Osman, however feared that any further gunshot in the community will likely force authorities to shutdown the hospital in order to save lives of the medical staff.

By: Mohammed Aminu M. Alabira/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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