17 January 2013

Ghana: KATH Maternity and Children Block Takes Shapes

Kumasi — The long cherished dream and aspirations of many residents in the Ashanti Region, particularly members of the management body of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), to see the successful completion of the age old Maternity and Children Block, appears to be gradually coming into reality.

Work on the 38 year old facility has, in recent times, seen relatively steady progress, much to the relief of the board and management body of the hospital.

The completion of the 900-bed capacity facility will provide a major boost to the operations of the hospital, as it will go a long way to significantly reduce congestion and overcrowding, which have been the bane of administrators of the hospital.

So far, the roofing and plastering of the block are almost complete, and the construction firm executing the project, CYMAIN Construction Limited, is busily fixing plumbing and other electrical works to get the facility into shape.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, information gathered by The Chronicle indicates that the facility will be completed and handed over to authorities of the hospital by the end of the year.

The Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Prof. Ohene Adjei, told the paper in an interview that the management of the hospital was leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the speedy completion of the facility.

"We have always been in constant touch with the contractor to make sure he completes the work on time. There is no time to waste, because we need the facility to run our operations. The congestion here is becoming overbearing and we can no longer contain it," he lamented.

Prof. Adjei said his information indicated that funds for the construction of the facility were readily available, and that it was up to the contractor to present the certificates and other necessary documents to access the money from the Ministry of Health.

He said management had initially proposed that the funds be lodged in the account of the hospital for easy access, but this did not materialise, stressing that this would have facilitated the progress of work, since it would have been easy for funds to be released towards construction works.

The CEO of KATH, however, expressed little hope that the completion of the facility would solve the problem of congestion in the hospital, if the capacity of other peripheral hospitals in the city were not improved.

According to him, so long as people continue to report cases which, otherwise, should have been attended to by minor health facilities to KATH, it would be extremely difficult to solve the issue of congestion at the facility.

"It is important for people to know that KATH is a referral centre, and that only emergency cases should be brought here, otherwise the menace of overcrowding will never be solved, besides minor hospitals at Suntreso, Manhyia, Agogo, Chirapatre, Tafo, amongst others, must also improve upon their services, in order to reduce the strain on the limited resources at Komfo Anokye," he pointed out.

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