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Regional News of Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Nakolo-Kuliya CHPS compound in deplorable state, condition affecting healthcare delivery


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Correspondence from Upper East

A CHPS compound that serves the health needs of the people of Kuliya, a community in the Kasena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, has become deplorable and unsafe for staff and the clients who visit the facility.

The building, which has not received any facelift since it was built in 2011, has developed deep cracks in the walls and several of its windows and doors have either fallen off or have been munched by termites.

The ceiling of the facility has been taken over by wild bats and the stench from their faecal matter, dropping from the roof has forced staff to abandon the rooms and have moved out onto an open space in the veranda, where they serve clients.

Aside the lack of electricity, the facility also lacks basic amenities such as furniture, water and some other crucial equipment needed to effectively run a Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compound.

Again, a bore-hole that was sunk to provide water for the operation of the facility has broken down for over two years and no efforts have been made by authorities to get it fixed.

A staff, who refused to be identified, told our Upper East Regional Correspondent, Senyalah Castro, in an interview that the deplorable state of the facility is negatively impacting their work as many clients are discouraged from visiting for healthcare.

He said when clients come and they see the poor state of the facility, including the unavailability of important equipment, they go and never come back another time. He added that the situation has resulted in a low record of the number of clients they used to serve.

The staff said working in the facility has become uncomfortable, risky and frustrating, and they sometimes feel the urge to abandon their duties.

“the facility needs urgent attention. I am not a technical person in buildings but when you look at it, you will notice that the structure is fundamentally weak. When you move inside, you will see bats and their faeces and in fact, it doesn’t encourage anyone of us to come to work.

“when you look at it (the poor conditions at this facility) it discourages a lot of our clients from coming, especially when they come and see what is here, it always discourages them from coming again. So, I think for better service to be offered to our clients and community at large, there is an urgent need for the place to be renovated”. The staff urged.

Residents appeal for swift action.

The residents, who are concerned that the condition of the facility will deteriorate if nothing is urgently done about the situation, say all their pleas to authorities have fallen on deaf ears.

They said their former Assemblyman has on several times raised the issue in meetings at the assembly but authorities have yet to respond to their cries.

The residents are particularly concerned about their health in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) considering the closeness of the community to the Ghana border with Burkina Faso.
They have questioned if the facility in its current state will be able to deal, should there be a case of the disease in the community.

The residents, recounting the number of times they have raised concerns about the poor state of the facility, have accused the Ghana Health Service and the District Assembly of not prioritizing their concerns.

Addiyire Peter, an opinion leader in the community, described the facility as a death trap waiting to collapse, which has exposed the staff and community members to serious health risks.

He lamented the inability of the facility to handle basic health conditions of people due to the lack of equipment, forcing them to travel far distances to seek care in other facilities.

Mr. Addiyire appealed to the District Assembly, government and all concerned authorities to act swiftly in dealing with the situation to reduce the suffering of the people in accessing healthcare.

“The facility is a dilapidated structure. It is a death trap and if I was a nurse and I am posted here, I don’t think I will agree to come and sit under this place and work. The whole place is cracked and you don’t know when it will fall down. Apart from that, if you go inside the room, you will not find any better equipment for the nurses to use to handle any case, particularly in this period of COVID-19. When you enter inside, you won’t believe that people come here to work”.

“We have reported this issue to the assembly on several occasions. In fact, our former assemblyman, Hon. Anthony Togeyiga has written several letters to the assembly. We have also been following the district assembly to see what can be done about the situation but all our efforts have been fruitless- we don’t get the support”.

“So, I am once again appealing to authorities, philanthropists and NGOs to come to the aid of the people of Kuliya and renovate our CHPS compound for us”. He pleaded.

He commended the staff for their continuous discharge of duties despite the unfavourable conditions in the dilapidated structure, assuring that the community would continue to push till authorities come to their aid.

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