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General News of Monday, 11 February 2008

Source: GNA

Korle-Bu Medical block to be ready by July

Accra, Feb. 11, GNA - The Medical block of the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital will be ready by the end of July this year when renovation of the building, which began five years ago would end as the first major work on it after its establishment 60 years ago.

The five-storey building, which saw delay in work due to lack of funds and pro-long procurement process was rescued by the Ministry of Health last year with 1.8 million Ghana Cedis. Briefing the Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), and his team, Dr Ben Annan, Acting Chief Executive Director of the Hospital said the delay in renovating the building had been a severe burden on the hospital.

The building, when completed will house Intensive Care Unit (ICU), VIP wards, pharmacy, a conference room, laboratory, endoscopy, utility and a corpse bay.

He said funds were also being sought for the provision of equipment and other needed machines.

Dr Annan complained of the non-functioning of the lifts in the building because the parts were not available on the market and pleaded that the Ministry provided funds for new ones. "We will also want to add that all the 16 lifts in the hospital be changed to ease movement of patients and health workers". The Minister also visited the Gynaecology theatre, which was commissioned by President J.A Kufuor in 2005 but was not in use due to the absence of some accessories of the equipment meant for the theatre. Out of the three gynaecology theatres in Korle-Bu, only two are currently functioning. The renovated theatre operates on 10 to 18 cases a day with most being emergencies, electives and minors. Major Quashigah said the renovation was meant to reduce the high maternal mortality rate in the country, which is 214 deaths per 100,000 live births.

The Minister also visited the SSNIT flats, which was meant to provide accommodation to doctors and other health workers. The project involving 16 blocks with two and three bedroom apartments was initiated by the hospital and SSNIT in 1992 but the work came to a halt when SSNIT opted out.

Dr Annan explained that the Ministry, in 2006 provided funds for the completion of the buildings out of which seven were completed. The rest of the building would be completed by the end of the year. He noted that 1.4 million Ghana cedis would be needed for the completion of the buildings and added that application had been sent to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for approval.

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