General News of Monday, 11 February 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

KATH Eye Centre on hold due to smoke from barracks

The Eye Centre of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is on hold because of smoke and other sensitive materials generated from 10 structures being occupied by relatives of soldiers at the Fourth Battalion (4BN).

The centre can not be used now unless the structures are demolished. The project which was initiated by the hospital 2010 and was completed late 2012.

The Chief Executive of KATH, Professor Ohene Adjei told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi that “until the adjourning structures close to the newly constructed Eye Centre are completely demolished, we cannot start operations,” he said.

The soldiers have relocated from the 4BN, near the KATH, to their new site at Nyankyenerase near Asuoyeboa but some of their relatives are still occupying some of the houses very close to the Eye Centre of the hospital.

The centre was constructed at a cost of GH¢1.6 million to serve as a referral facility for the needs of patients in the northern sector and those in some parts of the West African sub-region.

The project was funded through internally generated funds of the hospital. Additional funding was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Himalayan Contract Project.

According to Professor Adjei, he had held initial discussions on the challenge with the new Minister of Health who had also given an assurance of the commitment of the ministry to hold discussion with the Minister of Defence to find an amicable solution to the problem.

He said the construction of the centre had been completed and all the requisite medical equipment and facilities were being installed but the fear was that some of the machines were sensitive to smoke.

However, Professor Adjei said, the centre would not be able to function now because smoke and other sensitive substances emitted from some of occupants of the houses at the 4BN and the adjourning structures were likely to affect the effective operation of the facility.

Professor Adjei said efforts by the hospital to have the structures demolished had not been successful.

The Vice President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur inspected the project in December 2012 during which he was briefed by the hospital authorities about the challenge.

According to Professor Adjei, the Vice President assured that he would collaborate with the various sector ministries for them to demolish the structures.