KATH appeals to gov’t to complete 37-yr old paediatric unit

Doctors at the Paediatric Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, have pleaded with government to see to the completion of the abandoned Maternity and Paediatric block.

The Paediatric Unit, which has limited equipment, has over time experienced congestion and seen relatives of patients sleeping on the bare floors beside their children on admission.

Dr. Victoria Kofie, who spoke with Citi News, lamented that “it gets very bad.”

“What you’re seeing here is just one in a lifetime thing. Some of the mothers would have to sleep on the floors; you see the size of the beds, cots, so where will the mothers sleep? It is either they are sitting in chairs or sleeping on the floor. We have people coming all the way from the North, with a family, let’s say, mother, father, a child who is sick, and another child, so if you come here at night, you’ll see people sleeping on the floors.”

What the hospital needs, Dr. Kofie said, was a “better, bigger place and also space for the parents to also stay especially for those who are coming from outside the region, so this block will do us a lot of good.”

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has assured that the abandoned Maternity and Paediatric Block will be completed as soon as possible.

The Regional Minister made this known during a courtesy call on him by the management of KATH, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joseph Akpaloo.

The hospital management was there to congratulate the regional minister on his new appointment and also brief him on the state and operations of the hospital.

Simon Osei-Mensah revealed an investor’s interest in taking over with the construction of the project, “notwithstanding its subjectivity to documentation review and further discussions for work to commence in earnest.”

Simon Osei-Mensah

Simon Osei-Mensah

He said, “I really recognize the crucial role KATH plays in ensuring quality health care delivery, and I will therefore make sure the two abandoned projects come alive to augment efforts by the hospital to serve the people better.”

The 1000-bed Maternity and Paediatric block at KATH, which started in 1974, has been left abandoned for the past 37 years.

Ministers of Health;  Alban Bagbin, Sherry Ayittey,  Kwaku Agyemang Mensah and Alex Segbefia, had all promised the completion of the project during their tenure of office, stating the Ex-President, John Dramani Mahama’s commitment to its completion.

Government in 2012 secured a loan of $240 million to complete the KATH maternity and Paediatric block in addition to the GH¢12 million government had budgeted towards the project in that same year.

In 2016, the project consultant Nana Boamah, stated that $70 million was required to complete the project.

The then Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, said the Ministry of Finance had approved a proposal sent to it by the ministry of health for money to be released to work on the facility, and added that the amount which remained undisclosed required the approval of cabinet and parliament.

By: Lauretta Timah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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