Health News of Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Wenchi Methodist Hospital makes strides

Mission hospitals play a very critical role in health service delivery in the country, particularly in the rural areas.

Many of the hospitals are found in the northern parts of the country and in very remote areas where public health facilities cannot meet demand.

In all, there are about 183 mission hospitals in the country, and the Methodist Hospital at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region is one of them.

As part of efforts to improve efficiency and effectively deliver on its mandate, the hospital is putting up additional infrastructure and also acquiring more equipment to augment the existing ones.

Currently, the hospital has completed expansion works on its maternity ward at a cost of GH¢148,173. At present, the hospital can accommodate mothers who arrive as in-patients to deliver and those who have to stay for long periods because they have pregnancy-related problems and as such need to be admitted to recuperate.

The maternity ward now has six large rooms for women who want to have their privacy after delivery.

The project was funded through the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF). In addition to the expansion exercise, the facility has been furnished with 25 new steel beds that come with steel bedside cabinets, as well as with mattresses, all at a cost of GH¢66,000.

The old maternity ward has 25 beds, bringing the total number of beds at the maternity ward of the Wenchi Methodist Hospital to 50 beds.

Among other things, the hospital is also to set up a neo-natal intensive care unit at the maternity ward where freshly born but underweight babies would be kept in incubators for observation.

In its bid to become a centre of excellence in urology, the Wenchi Methodist Hospital has acquired and installed a set of equipment that allows for endoscopic management of various urological conditions. The equipment was bought at a cost of 54,845 euros.

They include lights, cameras and tele-systems with LCD monitors and an electro-surgical unit. (Endos copy refers to looking inside the body for medical reasons, using an instrument known as the endoscope).

With the aid of these equipment, the hospital could diagnose and treat endoscopically such conditions as enlargement of the prostrate and hyperplasia, an abnormal increase in number of cells, diseases of the structure of the urethra and cancer of the bladder, among others.

Last year the hospital recorded a total of 1,959 births. It did not record any maternal death cases.

There were 1,527 by normal delivery and 376 by caesarean section. Fifty six twins were born within the period.

During the period also, the hospital registered 228 abortions, 38 of them were induced and 12 were still births.

Between January and March this year, a total of 444 deliveries, inculding 97 by caesarean section, one by normal birth and eight still births were registered. There was no neo-natal death.

The Wenchi Methodist Hospital serves the Wenchi Municipality, as well as the Tain and Banda districts, which haveda total population of about 173,000.

The hospital also serves as a referral centre for all major accidents that occur between Wenchi and Wa in the Upper West Region, a distance of 296 kilometres.

Last year, 86 accidents were recorded on that stretch of the road, injuring 299 people, who were brought to the hospital. There were 94 accidents in 2012. The injured victims of the accident who numbered 295 were brought to the hospital; while in 2011, there were 68 recorded, with 203 injured victims.

The Administrator of the Methodist Hospital, Mr Bernard Clement Kwesi Botwe, commended the district assembly for responding promptly to the hospital’s request for assistance towards the expansion of it’s maternity ward.

He said the hospital had organised a training workshop for traditional birth attendants (TBAs) at Wenchi but encouraged them to refer complicated cases to the hospital for a fee of GH¢10.

Mr Botwe said between October and December last year, 30 pregnancy cases were referred to the hospital and some of the women had to undergo caesarean section to correct complications.

He expressed worry over the absence of a national ambulance service at Wenchi. According to him, the absence of an ambulance is disturbing because the hospital’s ambulance is over 13 years old.

The administrator, therefore, appealed to the government to turn its attention to the hospital and provide it with further infrastructural development.

The Wenchi Methodist Hospital was established in 1952 by the chiefs and people of Wenchi under the auspices of the then Irish Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church, Rev. John Dixon.

It began as a wound dressing station in a small room where the Wenchi Police Station is currently located.

The hospital is a referral centre for 19 other health establishments, including clinics, health centres, health posts and traditional birth attendants (TBAs).