THE mortuary of the Kintampo North Municipal Government Hospital has not been functioning properly for the past three years.
The hospital does not serve the people of the municipality and its environs alone but also attends to emergencies, especially people in transit from the south to northern Ghana and vice-versa, as well as those from the country’s landlocked neighbouring countries.
Kintampo, which is reputed to be the geographical centre of Ghana, is also an accident-prone area; within a week, the municipality records at least one major fatal road accident, a development which places a lot of pressure on the malfunctioning mortuary of the hospital.
The refrigerators at the mortuary also break down intermittently as a result of inadequate power supply to the hospital, compelling the facility to use a chunk of its internally generated funds to repair the fridges any time they break down.
The hospital authorities have, therefore, made a passionate appeal to the government, corporate institutions and prominent citizens from the area to help the hospital to overhaul the existing system of the mortuary and also rehabilitate the facility to attend to emergencies, especially fatalities from road accidents.
According to the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Damien Punguyere, the facility had it tough in October, last year, due to many fatal accidents that occurred on the Kintampo-Tamale road, which claimed the lives of about 21 passengers.
He said what the hospital did at that time was to bring out some of the dead bodies already in the fridges onto the floor before they could attend to the dead from the accidents.
Dr Punguyere said that was unhealthy, hence the appeal for assistance to help overhaul the system so that it could attend to some of those emergencies since the hospital’s internally generated funds were inadequate to maintain the mortuary.
Apart from the malfunctioning mortuary, the hospital is faced with inadequate ward facility as a result of an increase in the number of in-patients.
He said the hospital authorities, therefore, had no other alternative than to put patients on the bare floor when the existing beds were full.
At the hospital’s annual awards and staff get-together ceremony on the hospital’s premises at Kintampo last Saturday, Dr Punguyere expressed concern about the inadequate in-patient facilities.
He, therefore, appealed to the municipal assembly to consider using part of its development funds to construct additional wards for the hospital.
Another issue raised by the Medical Superintendent was lack of accommodation for health personnel.
He appealed to the Member of Parliament for the area, benevolent individuals and organisations to assist the hospital to put up residential facilities to enable the hospital to attract more key health professionals such as doctors and nurses.
Touching on some of the achievements of the hospital, Dr Punguyere said the hospital had used part of its IGF to fence the facility to prevent stray animals, hawkers and other intruders from entering the facility.
He said the hospital had been receiving assistance from the Kintampo Health Research Centre to improve on its storage facilities for keeping records.
Dr Punguyere said the hospital had also embarked on tree and flower planting activities to beautify the hospital premises.
According to him, during the year under review, the hospital, with support from the Columbia University of the United States of America, the Regional Health Directorate and other development partners, organised capacity building programmes.
The programmes involved coma and convulsion, circulation, dehydration, hypertension, accident and emergencies, obstetric emergencies and malaria in pregnancy.
Dr Punguyere said one of the key developments which could also be counted as an achievement was the establishment of an emergency unit to respond to emergencies, mainly accident cases which are rampant in the hospital catchment area.
He said due to strict adherence to the free maternal care policy introduced two years ago, the hospital recorded an increase in supervised deliveries from the previous figure of 1,045 to 1,519.
He added that the hospital had stepped up its maternal health care delivery and child welfare to reduce maternal deaths.
Dr Punguyere called for improvement in road network in the municipality since most of the maternal deaths were as a result of lack of transportation.
A nurse at the hospital, Madam Lardi Kunolah, was adjudged the 2009 overall best health worker and was presented with a double door refrigerator as her prize, while Mr Edward Oppong Yeboah was adjudged the best worker for support services.