The multi-billion dollar Ghana-China health facility at Teshie named the Teshie General Hospital and Malaria Research Centre is decaying and a far cry from the original vision and project dreamed of and initialed by Ghana.
Almost three and half years into the operations of the Malaria Research Hospital, now strangely christened the LEKMA Hospital, the facility which was intended at serving the whole of the West Africa sub-region, is yet to commence operations.
Owing to the poor services being rendered by hospital staff, most residents in the outlying communities prefer visiting other nearby facilities, some of which are not as esteemed or reputable as the State facility, but which could be relied upon to deliver basic services.
The sprawling hospital complex, situated in the Greater Accra Region has as its core functions of malaria research and control. However, investigations conducted by DAYBREAK into its operations reveals that in spite of the massive resources injected by Government into the project, it still lacks the basic components that would bring it at par with the services of its twin collaborating facility sited in Vietnam – an idea the Chinese wanted replicated in Ghana, and hence the establishment of the facility.
Malaria according to health reports is the most reported cases in almost all health facilities in the country. It is therefore a welcome news when the facility was dedicated to looking into the disease since whatever result is produced would be beneficial to all.
The thinking by the Chinese Government was that whilst the Vietnam facility served the Asian sub-region, the Accra project would cater for the sub-regional communities in West Africa.
Today, however, it has not only reneged on its core functions in terms of malaria research and control, but also not responded to basic health care contingencies even in the populous community in which it is sited.
The facility is beset with glaring deficit in the quantity and quality of health personnel needed to man the facility at full capacity. When DAYBREAK inquired, it found out for instance that full-fledged doctors were only a handful. What was in abundance, however, were an unnecessary number of medical assistants for the hospital complex that was supposed to have a sub-regional flavour and status.
Again, significantly, the facility lacks staff accommodation, which is key to an efficient and effective functioning of a facility that magnitude and scale, in the Memorandum of Understanding sighted by DAYBREAK and signed by then deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Gladys Norley Ashitey, such basic components necessarily ought to be on the ground before basic services commenced.
The MOU, for instance, stated that “the Ministry (Ghana) would have to earmark funding under the 2009 investment budget to provide equipment, furniture and buildings which are required for the full functioning of the hospital on commissioning, but are not included in the current scope of the project.
There was no equipment for the Audiology Room, even though space has been provided for this service,” the MOU added.