General News of Saturday, 9 February 2013
Source: Joy Online
The ongoing rationing program announced by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL)is taking a toll on the operations of health centers in the affected areas.
It is now becoming common in hospitals for paramedics to use sachet water to cleanse newborns and their mothers of blood and other mucus because there is no water flowing through their taps.
But that's not all there is to the story.
Joy News investigations have revealed laboratories are also beginning to churn out questionable or even flawed medical reports which have resulted in misdiagnosis and possibly needless fatalities.
On the average, the Kaneshie Polyclinic records between eight to ten deliveries daily. For the past seven days, the Polyclinic has been in crisis as a result of lack of water and frequent power outages.
25-year-old Alimatu Sharifu delivered her baby at 12 midnight on Thursday February 7. She experienced what is medically termed postpartum haemhorrage. Meaning, she bled excessively after delivering her baby. In her case she lost about 1,000mls of blood, equivalent to a whole jar of blood.
Women in her condition, according to health experts, need a lot of water to clean up, in order not to infect herself and her baby.
Interestingly, as of 12:15pm Friday afternoon, 24 hours after delivering her baby, Alimatu is yet to take her bath because there is no water.
She says “Midwives here had to use Dettol to clean me up. There has not been water. Everyone who delivered here from yesterday and today, have not taken our baths.”
The clinic relies on a nearby well as the only alternative source of water. However, the well water is said to be contaminated and can only be used to flash the toilet and clean the hospital floor.
To compound the problems of the polyclinic is the challenge of power outages. The only Generator in the Clinic is not reliable. The generator powers some portions of the Clinic during outages but midwives insists; it is not stable.
This clinic has a small laboratory which serves the entire hospital. Here, basic tests are carried out on patients to ascertain their conditions before treatment is administered. Immediately power goes off work at the department grinds to a halt and treatment is either delayed or wrong diagnosis are made because of interference in the process.
The X-ray department suffers a similar fate anytime power goes off. Everyone is concerned about this situation including the security personnel for the clinic, Ishmael Mills who says, his work becomes difficult in the event of a power outage.
The clinic’s labour ward is also deficient.
It has no single incubator for premature babies so, all premature babies are referred to other hospitals. Whether they'll survive the journey to the nearest incubator is also a different story.
Delivery beds are inadequate, the cabinets are old and rusty and most of the machines are old fashioned.
This is just one of several hospitals in Accra faced with such challenges.
JOYNEWS will continue to follow situations in other hospitals and keep you updated.