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08.08.2005 Health

Psychiatric unit unable to cope with volume of work

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Kumasi, Aug 08, GNA - The psychiatric unit of the Tafo Hospital in Kumasi cannot cope with the number of patients who go there for treatment due to lack of facilities and understaffing. Being the only psychiatric unit that serves the whole of the Ashanti Region, it has only seven permanent staff and 22 rotational nurses who come to the hospital on attachment.

Besides the lack of facilities and understaffing, the unit has only one room which houses all documents, equipment and the staff. This came to light when Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, visited the hospital to acquaint herself with progress of work on the unit's expansion.

Mr Eric Frimpong, the Administrator of the unit, said serious cases such as epilepsy, severe headache and people who are rushed there with mental problems are only given first aid and referred to psychiatric hospitals elsewhere in the country.

He appealed to the Deputy Minister for the speedy completion of the expansion work and also urged the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to ensure that mechanics and some residents who had turned the area into a refuse dump do not encroach on land for the project.

Mad Appiagyei shared the concern of the administrator and said it was for this purpose that the expansion work was being carried out. So far, she said, about 150 million cedis had been spent on the expansion project.