Health News of Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), the nation’s second largest referral facility, has renewed its appeal to government to complete the 1,000-bed capacity Maternity and Child Health Block started 40 years ago.
About US$100 million would be needed to finish the project, and its acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Isaiah Ofe Gyimah, said everything should be done to find the money.
He said that had become necessary given the congestion which was fueling maternal and neonatal deaths.
The lack of space has combined with inadequate delivery beds and staff to create a disturbing situation, where expectant mothers at the final stage of labour, literally queue for their turns to deliver.
That, he insisted, was completely unacceptable, and that things would have to radically change to improve the quality of care.
Mr Ofe Gyimah, who was briefing the media on steps taken to overcome some of the operational challenges at the hospital, said apart from the discomfort that the women went through, there were also dire health implications and could lead to fatalities.
“It was worrying to watch projects started with huge government resources with the goal to help save lives, go to waste”.
In a startling revelation to show how bad things were, he said the labour ward currently has just eight delivery beds but records an average of 30 births a day.
That clearly did not fit the status of a referral facility with other multiple roles as a teaching hospital, a primary health care centre and a tertiary health facility.
He noted that the facility’s large clientele and the overstretched working inputs was affecting good customer care, leading to negative public perceptions about the hospital.
To help deal with this, his administration had revised existing documents on Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) that tie in with full customer care training programmes; and additional staff monitoring tools to gauge staff performance were also being developed.
Mr Ofe Gyimah invited the media to partner with the hospital to rebuild its image by sending positive reportage about the hospital.