Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, has assured the people of the region including, the family of the two-year-old boy who died from a snake bite, better health care delivery in the region.
Speaking shortly after receiving a report from a five-member committee set up last month to investigate the issue, Dr Bin Salih said he was optimistic that the implementation of recommendations in the report will lead to a positive change in the health care delivery system.
On November 9, 2019, two-year-old Shahid Ibrahim was rushed to the outpatient department of the then Upper West Regional Hospital, now downgraded to the status of a municipal hospital, after he was bitten on his left by a snake.
Mother of the boy, Nimatu Ibrahim, had told Joy News she was harvesting Bambara beans when she heard her son crying.
“I turned and saw a snake moving towards him, I run quickly to save him but before I could get to him, the snake had bitten him. I managed to kill the snake and pick my son to the hospital," Nimatu told Joy News.
According to her, she had to walk about three kilometres from the farm to the Boli CHPS compound with Shahid strapped at her back.
She was however referred to the Wa Municipal Hospital where nurses at the hospital refused to attend to her son because there was no medical folder to record case.
"We met a male nurse at the OPD and we told him that our son has been bitten by a snake. He told us, there was no folder to write in and that we should wait for the people who are in charge of the folders to come.
"Other relatives came over and we told them what the nurse told us. They also went and asked the male nurse and he said he was aware of our situation but he angrily asked where they were expecting him to write when there was no folder," she added.
Shahid, who was not treated at the facility, died some minutes later. While Authorities at the Wa Municipal Hospital rebutted the claims of the mother of the two-year-old, Ghanaians on social media were outraged, with many calling for the dismissal of the nurses involved.
The Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, subsequently put in place a five-member committee headed by a retired senior nursing officer, Alhaji Issaaka Alhassan, with a two weeks ultimatum to present a report.
But receiving the report after an additional three weeks, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih commended members of the committee for the diligent job, promising that a white paper would be issued in the next few days for an action to be taken.
While applauding health practitioners in the region for working under difficult circumstances, he added that their attitudes leave much to be desired.
“We will issue a white paper in the next few days, those recommendations that are within our means we will try as much as possible to implement; those that are beyond us we shall table them for the appropriate individuals or organizations for implementation. I believe strongly that from this report and subsequently implementing this will lead to a change in the healthcare delivery in the Upper West Region," he said.