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Health News of Thursday, 21 May 2020

Source: GNA

Health workers desert death-trap quarters at Sumbrungu

Sumbrungu Health Centre Sumbrungu Health Centre

Resident health workers at the Sumbrungu Health Centre in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Upper East Region, have deserted dilapidated quarters, they described as a death trap.

They presently commute from their various houses to the Health Centre whenever they are on duty, creating stress and adversely affecting service delivery in the area.

When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the facility, it observed that the quarters were not only too small to house all the health workers posted to the facility but it was in a very deplorable state thereby, posing danger to those who were staying there.

It had several cracks and a part of the roof was ripped off while some part of the ceiling was rotten with water seen collected in the rooms.

Mr. Raymond Azalbila Adoganga, the Principal Physician Assistant of the Health Centre told GNA in an interview that the Sumbrungu East Sub Municipality had seven health facilities in addition to the Health Centre and with the exception of the Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) Compound at the Bolgatanga Technical University, staff accommodation of the remaining facilities were in a bad state, posing health risks to the staff.

“We had a resident Midwife, a resident General Nurse and two resident Community Health Nurses who were staying in the quarters but just last week, they had to park home due to the bad nature of the accommodation,” he stated.

Mr. Adoganga said the staff accommodation in the various facilities harboured reptiles and bees, thereby, compelling the health workers especially those who worked at the Health Centre to park to their houses in Bolgatanga.

“The Midwife at Azorebiisi facility, on two occasions, killed a snake on her bed and the resident community health nurse also killed a snake in her room and at Aguusi CHPS compound, on two occasions, I was chased away by bees. So almost all the health facilities have serious staff accommodation challenges,” he lamented.

He said although the health workers practised shift system, they usually offered back up services to those on duty especially on days and periods when the facility recorded higher attendants and emergencies.

He said the Health Centre alone averagely records about 40 to 60 attendants daily but during the third quarter, July, August and September, it records about 80 to 100 attendants each day due to the usual increase in malaria cases during the rainy season.

It serves over 13,000 people each year and it also challenged when it comes to office space.

The facility is a single structure with five rooms and has about four units working in one room while the waiting area is exposed to direct sunlight.

Mr. Adoganga said “the only consulting room is about 10 by 10 metres, the counts unit is sharing space with the records, dressing and claims departments. When you go to the next room, we have the dispensary, the laboratory and a detention area in that single room. In the third room, we have our reproductive and child health services, family planning, prevention of mother and child transmission and cold chain management while the fourth room also has four units.”

He said several appeals including written letters had been sent to the appropriate authorities including the Municipal Health Directorate and the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly but nothing had been done.

When the GNA contacted Mr. Joseph Amiyuure, the Municipal Chief Executive for the area, he admitted that the Assembly was aware of the situation of the Health Centre but refused to comment on whether or not something would be done especially on the staff accommodation at the Health Centre.