Health News of 2014-03-21

37 Hospital to lose kidney centre?

The 37 Military Hospital risks losing the establishment of a kidney and renal centre which is being funded by the Christian Council of Ghana, due to the delay of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAFs) in giving its approval for the project.

In its effort to improve access to quality health care, the Christian Council decided to establish a kidney/renal centre at the 37 Military Hospital.

As a requirement for the approval of the project, the directorate of the hospital requested the council to draft a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for their perusal and subsequent endorsement.

While this was done two years ago, the hospital’s authorities are yet to forward a response to the Council.

Consequently, reports reaching The Mirror indicate that majority of the board members of the council are advocating that the funds allocated for the centre be transferred to the Kidney Foundation.

In an interview with The Mirror, Reverend Fred Deegbe, the former General Secretary of the Christian Council, said the council presented the draft MoU to the GAF two years ago but there had not been any response from the hospital.

In view of the apparent feet dragging on the part of the military, Rev. Deegbe said the council could divert the resources for the centre to another health facility, but before such a decision, the council had asked Rev. Deegbe to make an effort to hold final discussions with the Health Directorate of the GAF.

According to Rev. Deegbe, the council had on countless occasions written to the GAF to conclude all legal agreements for the project to begin, adding “our enquiries revealed that the delay of the project has been as a result of the frequent change in leadership at the hospital”.

The initiative of the council inspired Mr Kwami Sefa Kayi of Peace FM, to raise more than GH¢350,000, through his show, the Kokrokoo Programme, for the project.

Speaking to The Mirror, Mr Kayi, who doubles as the Public Relations Officer of the project, said GAF’s lack of interest to facilitate the construction of the kidney and renal centre had mounted pressure on them to redirect the funds to another health facility.

Mr Kayi, who could not fathom the delay of the project, said the situation had now left him with little or no moral right to use his morning show to raise funds for public projects.

“I used my platform to raise this huge sum of money to support the Christian Council’s kidney and renal centre and the delay in commencing the project makes it difficult for me to seek public support again. Everybody knows I have a soft spot for the military because of my background, but the lack of cooperation by the GAF is delaying such a huge project,” he said.

However, the Public Relations Officer of the GAF, Colonel Mbawine Atintande, said the MoU presented by the Christian Council was not in the interest of the GAF and added that the GAF was working to ensure that their interest was also served in the execution of the project.

Col. Atintande said there was a procedure to go through before the GAF could give approval to the construction of the centre, adding that the GAF would exhaust all the legal processes involved in obtaining approval for the project.

He also said the GAF was working on resolving the differences between the two, adding that “we scheduled to meet the Christian Council this past Wednesday, but they were not present at the meeting”.