The Executive Secretary of Forever True Friends Foundation (FTFF), Victor Owusu, has appealed to Ghanaians to help them raise $300,000 to purchase theatre equipment and provide aftercare wards for inmates at the Pantang Hospital.
According to him, inmates are transferred to other hospitals for caesarian sections due to lack of surgical equipments required for the necessary operations.
He made the appeal at the launch of the renovation of the Pantang Hospital Project yesterday, in Accra.
FTFF is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which seeks to provide a social support system pivoted on friendship and voluntary services to organisations and institutions while empowering members and the society as a whole.
Mr Owusu observed that the Pantang Hospital was in a very deplorable state and needed public attention, saying, "Buildings are in bad state, ceilings are leaking, there are inadequate drugs and some inmates sleep on the floor.
"Most inmates are not treated well anytime they are sent to other hospitals for treatment. Due to their conditions, some are neglected by family members for a long time, with some having been abandoned by parents and relatives for as long as forty years," he added.
Cudjoe Awudi, Chairman of the foundation, said lack of maintenance of the buildings and replacement of hospital equipment over the years had led to the rapid deterioration of the facility and the almost broken down state of the mental health system in the hospital.
"If swift attention is not given to the current situation at the hospital, it will lead to the collapse of the health system and the closure of the Pantang Hospital because a visit to the hospital in September last year by the foundation revealed a gloomy and an unhealthy condition in some of the wards and the administration block. Since the construction of the facility 40 years ago, the administration block with a concrete roof has countless cracks and often leaked whenever it rained and walls of majority of the buildings appear not to be painted.
"Some of the toilet facilities in the wards have broken down, bath water gushing out, several beds need mattresses, while some window nets are torn allowing mosquitoes to feed on the helpless inmates. The hospital lacks timely government subventions, massive support from society and corporate entities to guarantee its existence and full services to all mentally-ill patients," Mr Awudi lamented.
Mrs Jane Gerbs, the founder of the Foundation, stated that the rise to refurbish the Pantang Hospital was due to the challenges it was facing, adding that "the foundation, over the years, have been providing the hospital with drugs and food items, but have realised it was not enough and so we have decided to help with the renovation of the wards and provide theatre equipment.