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General News of Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital turned into sand winning site by encroachers

The Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Coast has now been turned into a sand winning site by encroachers on the lands of the facility.

Hospital authorities say they are at their wit ends as they fear the wards and other major installations at the hospital might soon be sold off by the encroachers.

The land for the hospital, one of the major psychiatry in the county, was acquired by the country’s first president Kwame Nkrumah in the late 1960s.

But the facility has now been reduced to a sand winning site where the hospital has is being used as an access point by the encroachers.

The Health Services Administrator of the facility told Joy News’ Richard Kwakwo Nyarko that the encroachers pass through the hospital gate to the winning sites and they have reported this to the police on several occasions.

“Some of them have now created alternative routes but most of them use the main hospital gate,” he said.

“This is a sewerage pipe which has been destroyed leading to water being spilt all over the place. The stagnant water here becomes a breeding place for mosquitoes,” he added.

Dr Kwakwo Marfo Obeng, the Director, Acting Hospital Director of Ankaful Hospital, told Joy News said the situation is going out of hand as some of the encroachers are developing next to hospital’s wards.

“They are developing right next to our wards, school and the morgue. People are now interacting very close to the hospital structures where the patients and doctors are which has become a security threat,” he explained.

According to him, the encroachers recently started demarcating the land between the hospital buildings.

“For a general hospital it will be bad but because it is a psychiatric hospital, it is even worse,” Dr Marfo Obeng described what he said is a disturbing situation.

“Not all our patients come here willingly and every once in a while, one of them breaks away from their family members before we get a chance to begin the treatment.

“So if you are having people running into the road and heavy-duty construction trucks speeding on the roads, anything could happen. We are lucky no one has died so far,” he said.

The management of the hospital argues that if the encroachment is not halted, it would impede the congenial environment needed to support the rehabilitation process of the patients.