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01.11.2006 General News

Power Outage Damages Hospital Equipment

Power Outage Damages Hospital Equipment
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Medical equipment at the Nkwanta District hospital, including a mortuary refrigerator and a diathermy machine costing 40,000 and 5,000 dollars respectively have been damaged by frequent power outages and surges. Some other equipment lost as a result of the situation included vaccine refrigerators, suction machine, air conditioners, operating lamps, a decoder and a microwave, according to Dr Koku Awoonor-Williams, the District Director of Health.

"It is very pathetic," he told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Nkwanta. Dr Awoonor-Williams said the outages were so frequent that it has become very dangerous to undertake surgical operations and that the cost of fuelling the only generator at the hospital had become too much for the hospital to bear.

He said lights could go off for between 10 and 15 times in a day without any apologies or explanation from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and that at the time he was speaking to the GNA, the lights had gone off nine times already.

"There were situations where light could go off for two or three days and these are never reflected on the electricity bills of customers", Dr Awoonor-Williams said.

The GNA also found that many residents have had their electrical gadgets damaged as a result of the power outages and surges. A source at the ECG at Nkwanta told the GNA that the situation was beyond the control of the district ECG office, which depends on supplies from Kpando, Hohoe and Jasikan.

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