SAVING KORLE-BU FROM IMMINENT DISASTER

AS reported in our last Thursday’s issue, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, has not replaced its electrical wirings for the past 90 years.

This is, despite the fact that most of the wirings are obsolete and have outlived their lifespan and need replacement.

According to the Chief Fire Officer, Dr Albert Brown-Gaisie, the situation poses a great danger to the hospital and needs to be rectified immediately, to avoid disaster.

The Times is startled by this revelation, primarily because until it was made known, it was unthinkable that the nation’s foremost teaching hospital, would default to change its electrical wirings for the past 90 years. That is incredible to say the least!

Apart from the danger staring at the hospital, staff and patients, the neglect is also against the law that requires that electrical wirings in hospitals and other sensitive facilities should be changed at least every 10 years, apart from regular routine maintenance.

As a matter of fact, the Electrical Wiring Code FDGS 1009 which deals with distribution of electrical energy in and around houses, business premises and public buildings among other dwellings, is meant to ensure strict enforcement of the standards and safety against electrical fires.

Indeed, if the assertion by the Chief Fire Officer is anything to go by, then the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is a disaster in waiting

We are shocked by the revelation, because as indicated by Dr. Gaisie, hospital fires are difficult to deal with, because of the sensitive environment.

It is unacceptable for the hospital authorities to shirk their duties of routine checks of all the electrical systems, and also ensuring that these obsolete wirings are replaced to avoid imminent disaster, which would be a major blow to the nation’s tertiary health facility.

The recent spate of fire outbreaks in the country, have not taught many of the authorities supervising our state institutions a lesson to take proactive measures to safeguard their facilities against fire.

We suggest that as a matter of urgency, the National Fire Service should be mandated to make a fire audit and take inventory of all public buildings and institutions in the country, to enable them to draw up safety measures for their properties.

This compulsory exercise would also enable the Fire Service to identify all institutions that have not complied with fire safety measures for their establishments, to encourage them to do so as a matter of urgency.

It is a fact that most public buildings, have disregarded fire safety measures and are paying dearly for their inactions.

Korle-Bu and all such institutions which have not done rewirings for a very long time, should be compelled to do so immediately before any disaster strikes.

We commend Dr. Gaisie for the revelation, and urge him to use the statutory laws to compel all Ghanaians to abide by fire safety laws.

 

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