93-year-old Sandema Hospital in ruins …community appeals to govt to renovate it

 The Sandema Hos­pital in the Builsa North Municipality in the Upper East Region is in dire need of renovation to fit its status as a referral centre in the municipality.

The 93-year-old hospital established in 1930 to cater for the health needs of residents, was upgraded in 1970, to a health cen­tre and subsequently to a district hospital in 1992, and has since not seen any renovation till date.

Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Health Minister
Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Health Minister

The Builsa North municipality has a population of 56,571,000.

During a visit it was observed that the paint on the walls of the entire facility had peeled off with visible cracks on them, while most of the louvre blades were off.

The wire mesh and doors of the wards had been torn off leaving patients in the wards and staff to the mercy of the weather and reptiles.

“We recently killed a snake at the children’s ward. In fact, if nurses on duty that day had not seen the snake on time, it properly could have bitten anyone on the ward,” a nurse at the children’s ward told the GNA.

The hospital was also sad­dled with obsolete medical and non-medical equipment, broken floor tiles, water closets and hand washing sinks for its lavatories.

At the Out-Patient Depart­ment, the corridor leading to various wards and some specialised units, had exposed electrical cables that exposed staff, in patients and out- patients to danger of being electrocuted while the Medical Superintendent’s office and some other units leaked during the rainy season.

Mr Prosper Amwienko Asandem, outgone Health Service Administrator of the hospital, told this reporter in an interview that “The structures were now very weak with lots of cracks.”

“When it rains, our offices get flooded, the roofs leak badly and we collect water with buckets when it rains. It would have been appropriate to relocate the hospital if there were resources to con­struct an entirely new facility for the municipality,” he said. The admin­istrator, who has been reposted to the Bongo District Hospital, indicat­ed that the entire hospital needed to be rewired, “We are still managing with this old wiring system.

“When we de­tect electrical fault, we get it fixed,” he said.

“The wiring system is develop­

 ing a lot of problems which drains the facility’s Internally Generated Funds (IGF) so the facility needs to be renovated and rewired to make it fit for purpose,” Mr Asandem said.

Mr Danyi Sulemana Gariba, the hospital’s accountant, who earlier showed the GNA round a newly built mortuary facility, said the mortuary built by the Monk Civil Engineering Limited in 2020 as part of its corporate social respon­sibility when the company under­took some construction works in the area was still not in use.

He bemoaned that the lack of mortuary services compels residents within Sandema and its environs to immediately bury their dead relatives or travel to Navrongo in the Kassena-Nan­kana Municipality or the regional capital, Bolgatanga, for mortuary services.

“Currently, what we use is a cubicle where we keep corpses for some few minutes.

“We need a cold system to operate the new structure because the hospital serves five districts in the Upper East, North East, and Upper West regions,” he noted and added that the cold system was capital intensive, which the hospital’s IGF could not bear.

“We want to appeal to individ­uals, corporate institutions, sons and daughters of the Builsa land to support put the mortuary to use,” Mr Gariba said.

When the GNA contacted the Municipal Chief Executive for the area, Madam Vida Akantagriwen Anaab, on the issue of a cold sys­tem for the mortuary, she said the Assembly was concerned about the situation, and had appealed to the Ghana Gas Company which provided a power plant for the facility, to support them with the cold system. — GNA

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