A 10-bed High Dependency Unit (HDU), established to cater for severe and critical COVID-19patientswas yesterday inaugurated at the St. Dominic Hospital, Akwatia in the Eastern Region.
Funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the facility, equipped with ventilators, monitors and infusion pumps among other intensive care equipment, is expected to complements every case management in the region.
It falls under the COVID-19 Institutional Capacity Building (CRIB) project, being implemented by the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), to augment government’s efforts at effectively responding to the pandemic and ensure continuity of routine healthcare services, particularly, in deprived areas of the country.
In all, three HDUsat an estimated cost of GH₵800,000are being established under the CRIB project, to serve the Northern, Middle and Southern belts of the country.
British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson,who inaugurated the facility,expressed the UK’s continued support to Ghana’s COVID-19 response measures to reduce infection and death rates.
She said there were too many COVID-19 related deaths in the country for which projects like “CRIB” was initiated to help reduce.
According to Ms Harriet Thompson, the UK had so far committed £6 million to the country’s fight against the pandemic in areas of capacity building, risk communication, purchase of essential logistics and vaccine distribution.
Commending Ghana for a successful handling of the pandemic so far, the Ambassador cautioned that efforts are stepped up in addressing non-compliance to safety protocols and vaccine hesitancy to reduce transmissions and achieve herd immunity.
She said “As we enter the festive period, we all have our part to play in averting yet another surge in cases. Maintaining appropriate social distancing, wearing face mask and frequent handwashing remain key in the fight against COVID-19.”
Ms. Thompsonurged management of the St. Dominic Hospital to ensure proper maintenance of the equipment to provide quality care to patients.
“The skills and equipment we are providing are useful not just for treatment of severe COVID-19 but also for other diseases needing critical care. We must prepare for the future while addressing the now,” she urged.
The Executive Director of CHAG, Dr Peter Yeboah, indicated thatthrough theCRIB project, six testing sites have been adequately resourced in the Upper East, Bono, Ashanti, Central and Eastern regions to conduct Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19.
“So far a total of 21,158 tests have been conducted in the 40 participating districts of which 4,419 were conducted in CHAG facilities usingPCR with 1,264 positive cases,” he said.
In terms of contact tracing, DrYeboahsaid, 14,247 people have been traced through the project, adding that, over 6,000 health workers have been trained and 40 isolation units’ establishedso far.
The Executive Director assured of CHAG’s commitment to “harness infrastructure, access to social spaces and trusted assets in promoting fruitful partnership towards strengthening our health system to be responsive, robust and resilient.”
TheAdministrator of St. Dominic Hospital, Rev. Father Ebenezer Abban, expressed gratitude to CHAG for establishing an HDU at the hospital, which has recorded 355 positive COVID-19 cases since April 2020.
“We have done about 788 tests so far and the establishment of the HDU will help us better treat and manage severe cases instead of referring them to other tertiary facilities,” he said.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH,