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25.11.2009 Editorial

Gushegu Hospital needs urgent attention

Gushegu Hospital  needs urgent attention
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The Gushegu District Director of Health Services, Mr. Mark Bugri Ayaba, has called on the Ministry of Health to post at least 103 additional health personnel to facilitate quality healthcare delivery at the ultra-modern Gushegu Government Hospital, and also to ensure maximum utilisation of the facility.

The Gushegu Government Hospital Complex, which was commissioned in 2008 by the past government, has all the modern health facilities. However, it cannot fully meet its target of ensuring quality health service for the over 60,000 people in the Gushegu District, because it has only 56 personnel and one medical doctor, out of the 259 staff required.

According to Mr. Ayaba, out of the 56 personnel, 38 are Health Extension Officers also known as “Zoom Nurses” under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), one medical doctor, three midwives, one laboratory technician and 13 nurses.

He indicated that almost all the departments, including the OPD, the laboratory, the theatre, maternity ward, emergency ward, dispensary and the ICT centre are lacking staff.

The hospital currently requires about six laboratory technicians, four medical doctors, seven additional midwives, and at least, sixty more nurses, to ensure the full operation of the facility.

What strikes The Chronicle most, about this pathetic story, is the disclosure by the medical doctor in charge of the facility, Dr. Azaaro Nsoh, that he alone attends to more than 200 patients a day, as a result of which he has no time to go for break, or travel out of the district.

The unfortunate situation, he noted, could result in preventable mistakes during surgical operations, and therefore, appealed to the government to critically look at the situation.

It is instructive to note that the Gushegu Hospital is not the only health facility suffering from the lack of health personnel problem. Though the Gushegu situation is common to most deprived areas of this country, it appears to be an exceptional case, looking at the large number of health personnel it needs to make up the numbers.

Readers would agree that Gushegu has been one of the flash points in the Northern Region, and under such circumstances it would be very difficult for health personnel to accept postings to the town. This is one of the reasons why Ghanaians have been calling on the people in Dagbon and Bawku, as well as other violence-prone areas, to give peace a chance, because in the long run, they are the same people who are going to suffer from these disputes.

It is the hope of The Chronicle that the opinion leaders in these conflict-prone areas will take a lesson from the worrying experiences of Gushegu, and bring an end to their conflicts. Meanwhile, we appeal to the Ministry of Health to use its administrative powers to send health personnel to Gushegu, to help ensure quality healthcare delivery in the area.

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