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13.05.2008 Health

Bawku conflict: Health care workers flee hospital

By Daily Graphic
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After several days of fighting in the Bawku Municipality, the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital is now being manned by three Medical Doctors — two Cubans and a Ghanaian — and a handful of nurses some of whom are on contract.

The conflict is hitting the hospital so hard that most of the staff have deserted for safety.

When the Daily Graphic visited the facility on Thursday, the three medical officers and a few health aids were seen attending to some patients who had taken advantage of the lull in curfew hours to seek medical attention.

Dr Hector Jesus Delion Lopez said apart from him and his wife, Dr Jesline, there was only one other Ghanaian doctor whose name he gave as Doctor Seidu currently at post working hard to care for the patients.

Dr Lopez said even though the situation in Bawku was frightening they were committed to helping the people and had no intention of leaving the place.

He showed the Daily Graphic team a bullet mark on top of his official car.

According to Dr Lopez the car was hit by a stray bullet while it was parked at his bungalow at the doctors' quarters when the fighting erupted last Monday.

He commended the Bawku Municipal Assembly and the Security Agencies for providing them adequate security and said no matter the difficulties he was committed to work.

He, however, appealed to the people to put an end to the conflict.

At the Male Surgical Ward the place was empty. According to a retired senior nursing officer, madam Alix Balthlilga, who said she was on contract, as of last Monday there were nine people on admission but due to the volatile situation, five of them were transferred to the Regional Hospital at Bolgatanga while the rest were discharged.

A few nurses spotted at the precincts of the hospital said they had called on the authorities and hospital management to shut down the facility and re-post some of them to other places.

“The people of Bawku have shown that they do not need us. If they really needed our services, they will not come after us.

This place is a peace zone. So why would they subject us to such harassment,” said one of the nurses who did not want to be named.

Source: Daily Graphic

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