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18.01.2005 Regional News

Winneba Hospital Laundry manually washed

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Winneba (C/R), Jan 18, GNA - Workers of the Laundry Section of the Winneba Government Hospital have been washing bed sheets, pillow cases and other items manually following the break-down of the washing machine two years ago.

A spokesman for the workers speaking to the Ghana News Agency on Monday noted that "washing with hands is very hard and risky" and appealed to the authorities to provide the hospital with a washing machine to prevent the laundry staff from contracting communicable diseases.

Mr. Larry Kumassah, the hospital Administrator when contacted confirmed that the workers used their hands in washing the items but said that they had been provided with materials including gloves that would protect them from contracting diseases.

He said before washing, the items were soaked in disinfectants and other chemicals to kill bacteria.

According to Mr. Kumassah before the washing machine broke down, the hospital was sending its laundry to Cape Coast, Accra, and Agona Swedru hospitals for washing.

"Considering the implication in washing your dirty linen outside and its associated problems, and also to keep the hospital running, the hospital authorities met with the laundry workers and they (workers) agreed to wash them manually but with incentives".

According to him though it was not the best since no help was coming from any place despite several letters to the Ministry of Health and other quarters, they accepted the workers decision to wash the items manually.

Mr. Kumassah said a washing machine without a drier would be suitable for the hospital considering the huge cost in purchasing a multi-purpose washing machine.

Alhaji Ishaq Asuru, Awutu-Effutu-Senya District Co-ordinating Director, told the Ghana News Agency that though the Hospital is a decentralized department under the District Assembly, no written information had been sent to the Assembly about the broken down washing machine.

"Even if the assembly would not be in a position to buy them a new one, it could refer their request to the appropriate agencies for assistance".

Alhaji Asuru said that about two weeks ago the hospital approached the Assembly for an assistance of 6.5 million cedis to take delivery to an X-ray machine from the Tema harbour, which the assembly did.

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