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Regional News of Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Source: Senyalah Castro

Kassena-Nankana West health director lauds district’s Agender 111 hospital project

Kassena-Nankana West District health director, Hypolite Yeledour Kassena-Nankana West District health director, Hypolite Yeledour

The sod-cutting ceremony for work to begin on a hospital project for the Kassena-Nankana West District, under the government’s Agenda 111 initiative, was met with praise as residents thronged the project site at Paga-Zenga to witness the ceremony.

Residents, heads of directorates and departments, and representatives of the Paga Traditional Council gathered on the site in their numbers that day to also witness the District Chief Executive, Gerard Ataogye, break the ground for the contractor who was already busy clearing the site.

The Kassena-Nankana West District now has an estimated population of nearly 920,000 people. Despite its long existence and being a district with one of the busiest border towns in Ghana improved health care services for the residents still remains a huge challenge.

Aside from the Paga health center, which was recently elevated to a district hospital status and which serves as a major health caregiver, there is also the reliance on smaller community-based health facilities by residents for their health care needs.

But even with all of that, there are still deficiencies in accessing improved health care services in the district as the few health facilities are overburdened.

Construction of district hospital.

In April 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised Ghanaians the Agenda 111 initiative. The initiative, aimed at constructing hospitals in some districts across the country, was to resource the country’s health sector in the face of the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The initiative, per the words of the government, covers the design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of 101 district hospitals and six regional hospitals for the newly created regions, among others.

In the Upper East Region, the Kassena-Nankana West District was among eight districts to benefit from the initiative, namely; Builsa

south, Pusiga, Garu, Binduri, Bolgatanga East, Nabdam and the Tempane districts.
The government wants to eradicate the challenges Ghanaians in these districts face in accessing improved health care services.

The DCE assures the government’s commitment

when the DCE broke the ground for the project, he told the pressmen government would work in concert with the contractor and all other stakeholders to see to it that the project is completed within schedule.

He noted that the project on completion would give residents access to improved health care services in line with President Akufo-Addo’s vision for Ghana’s health sector.

Ataogye, who was appreciative of his own government for the inclusion of his district, reiterated the determination of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to gift the people of the district a modernized hospital.

He said, “The project is strategically placed to enable the rural folk to benefit. For them to commute from far distances to get health care is not good. So, when complete it would reduce some of these challenges. Also, the health facilities in the district are mostly congested. When this particular project is completed, health care will improve.”

He added that “the President is bent on delivering this project to the people of the district. So, the project by His Grace will be completed in 18 months. Projects of this nature need money and the President has done that.”

Ataogye said the hospital would come with accommodation for staff, be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, and manned by doctors, nurses, and other health personnel for the betterment of residents.

The health directorate welcomes the project

Among the many distinguished personalities who witnessed the sod-cutting was the district director of health services, Hypolite Yeledour. Yeledour has served as director for the district for nearly four years.

As it had to do with health, Yeledour was there with a team from the district health directorate to familiarize himself with the project.

Yeledour speaking in an interview commended the government for taking steps to improve the challenges in the health sector such as the lack of infrastructure which stood in the way of caregivers in providing quality health services to the populace.

Yeledour said health care delivery in the district was fraught with many challenges which made it extremely difficult to cater to the health needs of the growing population of the district.

He was hopeful the completion of the district hospital would help reduce the pressure on the few health facilities in the district.

He, however, expressed worry over the delay of the project. The delay of government projects is characteristic many government projects have suffered leading to abandonment.

Yeledour said the completion of the project on time was good for the district, adding a delay could further deepen the woes of the directorate in discharging its duties despite that the number of staff in the district has improved significantly.

He, therefore, urged authorities to expedite efforts to ensure that the hospital project is completed within schedule to address some of the challenges.
Yeledour assured the government and the district assembly maximum cooperation from the health directorate to see the completion of the project.

“They should complete it on time so that it relieves us of the numerous challenges having to do with accommodation for staff, service space and we having to refer people because we don’t have some equipment.

It’s going to serve a very huge population of over 90,000 people. So, we are going to give them all the necessary support and guidance that are required to get it completed.”

Akofis Engineering is the contractor handling the construction of the district hospital. Checks are done to show the contractor moving equipment to the site.