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28.12.2005 General News

Govt owes Saint Martin's Hospital ¢280m

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Manso-Nkwanta (Ash), Dec. 28, GNA - The government owes the Saint Martin's Catholic Hospital at Agroyesum in the Amansie West District of Ashanti a total of 280 million cedis for buruli ulcer treatment. Mr John Bawa, the Hospital Administrator, who disclosed this said, this situation was one of the major frustrations facing the management of the hospital.

Speaking at a day's workshop on the early detection of buruli ulcer for 40 basic schools teachers in the Amansie West District at Manso-Nkwanta, he said the locked up money was hindering the operations of the hospital.

Mr Bawa explained that the hospital credits drugs for its work for payment to be made at the end of the month and as such, if the bill for the treatment of buruli ulcer, which takes a chunk of its expenditure were not paid promptly, it destabilizes the hospital's work. "Buruli ulcer patients occupy the greater number of beds in the hospital, since it serves as a referral hospital for the treatment of the disease. This therefore takes a greater portion of the hospital's expenditure".

Therefore, if at the end of the month, he said government did not pay the bills, it would put the hospital in danger of not being able to buy drugs for its operations and appealed to the government for the prompt payment of bills for the treatment of the disease. Another area of concern to the hospital Mr Bawa said, was the lack of doctors, stating that presently there was only one resident doctor and described the situation as disturbing in view of the volume of work at the hospital.

Mr Ben Kwakye-Adeefe, the District Chief Executive, called on teachers to team up with the Community-Based Volunteers Surveillance Groups in the district for the early detection of the disease to reduce its occurrence.

He said as a result of the increasing number of buruli ulcer patients, who reports at the hospital, some of the patients and their relatives sleep on the floor.

To solve this problem therefore, the DCE said, the assembly has built a buruli ulcer ward complex at the hospital.

Mr Kwakye-Adeefe commended ANESVAD, a Spanish NGO for its immense support to the hospital in particular and the district in general. Mr Joseph Adomako, the District Director of Health Services, said the disease, which starts has a painless nodule, if not treated early enough leads to massive ulceration resulting in debilitating deformities.

He said 34 out of the 35 buruli ulcer patients on admission at the hospital, were mostly children between the ages of 12 and 15. Dec. 28, 05