Construction of new Western Regional Hospital long overdue-Medical Director
Dr Michael Ntodi, former Medical Director of the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital has stated that the construction of a new Western Regional Hospital was long overdue to meet the current health needs of both industries, institutions and individuals.
The Western Region, continue to see growth in terms of population with the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities and other auxiliary businesses and the current state of the referral facility could no longer serve the purpose.
The agitation for a regional hospital started years back and Doctor Ntodi stressed the need for the construction of a new facility to serve as referral across the Region as well as provide improved and modern healthcare services.
Dr Ntodi who chaired the 2017 performance review of the Regional Health Directorate said, “How can a patient climb over 30 stairs from the casualty ward before seeing a doctor… I believe the old building could be used for something else, let’s have a new hospital now”.
The 2017 performance review meeting brought together facility heads and personnel from the 22 districts of the region to take stock of activities and programmes in the area of nutrition, child health, maternal health, breastfeeding, antenatal, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis among other surveillance activities and look for improved ways of service delivery in 2018 and beyond.The regional Directorate would also consider the use of ICT in excellent health care delivery.
Dr Jacob Mahama, the Regional Director of Health said the major referral facility had not seen any significant renovation for decades now, “The roofs badly leak, windows rusted and cannot be closed, washrooms small and lacked ventilation coupled with lack of space in all the departments”.
The Regional Director said the facility also lacked basic tools to work with adding, “The situation serves as disincentive for new medical officers to accept postings to the facility and has led to inadequate number of medical officers to the facility.
“This has also led to the dwindling number of clients seen at the Out Patient department and at times even refusal of referral to the Regional Hospital by patients.”
He however hinted that the Regional Minister had formed a team led by the Deputy Minister to look into the process, “We are confident that things will change at our premier referral centre in the Region”.
On disease control in the Region, Dr Mahama said the year under review had been a bit of a challenge for maternal and child health as targets were not met and improvements chalked in management of acute malnutrition did not meet the rate of 80 per cent.
On the other hand, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs and Malaria were responding to the various interventions being carried out with support from Global Funds.
He mentioned that onsite training and support supervision, intermittent preventive therapy, distribution and use of long lasting insecticide-treated nets had contributed to the reduction of malaria.
“Now the percentage of deaths attributed to malaria has declined from 6.6per cent in 2013 to 1.7 percent in 2017 and under five fatality cases had reduced from 0.45 percent in 2015 to 0.16 percent in 2017.
Dr Mahama said there was a decrease in HIV positive cases from 15.2 per cent in 2016 to 12.6 per cent in 2017, adding that there was also a decrease in mother to child transmission… two percent tested positive in 2016 and one percent for 2017.
The major problem with tuberculosis was still the case notification. There was 75 per cent increase in case notification in 2017 as compared to 2016.
The treatment success rate and the cure rate are on the ascendancy with defaulter rate very low.
Dr Mahama said no major outbreak of epidemic was recorded, however, surveillance activities were bedevilled with numerous challenges such as shortage of records booklets and vaccines devices, broken down vaccine refrigerators, fridge tags and thermometers.