Health News of 2014-06-23

Rehabilitation of Upper East Regional Hospital begins

The outgoing Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Ayittey, has cut the sod for work to begin on the rehabilitation of the Upper East Regional Hospital at Bolgatanga.

The project, estimated to cost $48 million, is part of the government's effort at providing all the 10 regions with a modern regional hospital. Currently, the facilities at the old hospital are dilapidated and outmoded which make them inappropriate to be used for the provision of health care.

The project will be executed in two phases with the first phase expected to be completed within 18 months.

When the whole project is completed, facilities such as dental, imaging, pharmacy, accident and emergency, intensive care, ear, nose and throat, eye, mental health, public health, herbal medicine units and the various wards will be provided.

A mortuary, a laundry, a laboratory and a blood bank unit will also be constructed.

The project is being funded by the Saudi Fund for Development, while the Berock Ventures Limited is undertaking the actual construction. The Saudi Consulting Services is supervising the project.

Ms Ayittey explained that the hospital was intended to improve access to healthcare delivery.

"We expect the availability of adequate and appropriate space and equipment that should lead to a reduction in institutional death, especially maternal, neonatal, child deaths, including stillbirths", she observed.

Ms Ayittey further announced that the region would benefit from the construction of modern hospitals in five districts. The districts are, Garu-Tempane, Talensi, Nabdam, Kassena Nankana West and Builsa South.

According to the minister, a $12million-US loan agreement was signed in November 2008 between the Saudi Development Fund and the Government of Ghana to execute the project.

Following that agreement, the Ministry of Health signed a contract with Messrs Saudi Consulting Services, a civil engineering firm, on November 4, 2009 to carry out preparatory works for the takeoff of the project.

On December 9, 2013, Messrs Berock Ventures Limited was awarded the contract and work started on January 20, 2014.

The minister charged management and staff to properly maintain the facilities when it was completed and handed over to them.

"I expect the hospital management to commit a percentage of the hospital revenue to rigorous and well thought out maintenance plan for the hospital; take your cleaning and greening of the hospital compound seriously to provide the needed serene atmosphere for healing", she stated.

The Deputy Director of International Division of the Saudi Consulting Services, Mr Ashraf Hassan, said the project was of strategic and humanitarian importance, hence both the consultants and the contractors should ensure that it was completed on schedule.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, commended health personnel in the region for their commitment towards effective healthcare delivery.

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