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Regional News | May 13, 2004

OPEC Fund contributes 1.2 million dollars towards improving Nkwanta

GNA

Hospital

Nkwanta, (V/R), May 13, GNA - The Nkwanta District Hospital has witnessed tremendous infrastructure transformation lately, growing from a zero bed hospital to its present 113 bed capacity with 30 more in the offing with funding to the tune of 1.2 million dollars from the OPEC Fund.

It still, however, lacks the requisite manpower strength and communication back-ups to enable it to cope with the high demands. Dr Koku Awoonor-Williams, the sole medical doctor and District Director of Health made this known at a staff durbar during a visit to the hospital by the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Andrew Arde-Acquah on Wednesday.

Dr Awoonor-Williams said though the hospital now had a blood bank, it lacked technical staff to operate it, which coupled with unreliable power supply and reluctance of people to donate blood for fear of testing HIV positive posed a difficult challenge to the management of the facility.

For the lack of technicians, the hospital's new X-ray machine was also lying idle, he said.

He said the phenomenal physical growth of the hospital required that a Hospital Administrator be posted to assist in running the hospital to save the new infrastructure from collapse.

Dr Awoonor-Williams, who for more than 15 years single-handedly nurtured the hospital from scratch, however, cautioned that though it required some critical staff, only those who were committed and had opted to work there should be given the opportunity to do so.

He expressed regret that doctors had persistently shied away from the hospital and was happy that two Cuban doctors and a local doctor would be posted to the hospital soon.

Regarding incentive packages for staff he said personnel of the hospital had been provided with adequate rent-free accommodation and free water supply, while the hospital had from its own resources procured three vehicles for use by the staff.

Dr Awoonor-Williams said the hospital would soon be supplied with a new ambulance.

Dr Arde-Acquah commended the staff of the hospital for rendering such dedicated service under very challenging conditions.

He said three cars had been allocated to the hospital for some of its staff while a number of motorcycles would also be made available in the near future.

Dr Arde-Acquah urged the workers to continue to sympathise with the people of the district with the assurance that the Regional Health Directorate would always champion their interests.

Some of the issues raised by the staff included late communication of invitations for in- service training and suggested that some of the training programmes be run in the district.

They also complained of undue delays in promotion, pressure of work, delay in the payment of Additional Duty Hour Allowances (ADHA), poor communication, and road network and menace of black flies, which though were no longer a health hazard, had become a nuisance.

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