THE Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, has inaugurated a GH¢36,000 maternity, surgical and children’s wards for the Jaman North District Government Hospital at Sampa in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The construction of the facilities was financed by Mr Matthew Essieh, a citizen of Sampa based in the United States of America (USA).
The maternity ward has been named after his wife, Mrs Ella E. Essieh, while the general ward has been christened “Matthew Essieh Ward”.
The ceremony was part of the inauguration of the new site for the hospital where the wards are also located to mark the beginning of expansion works to enable the hospital befit the status of a district facility.
Until the inauguration of the new site, the hospital was housed in a smallpox immunisation centre which was upgraded into a health post in the 1960s and later turned into a district hospital when the district was carved out of the then Jaman District in 2007.
With the inauguration of the new site, the hospital will benefit from some additional infrastructure to enable it to serve the people of the district and those from the northern part of neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire which shares a border with the district.
The new site for the hospital was donated by the Sampa Traditional Council.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Dr Kunbuor expressed his gratitude to Mr Essieh and his family for the gesture and expressed the hope that the facility would impact on the lives of the people in the area.
He gave the assurance that the ministry would provide the hospital with medical equipment and an ambulance to replace the old one which was donated to it by Mr. Essieh about 10 years ago.
He added that the district assembly was also collaborating with the ministry to provide the hospital with a theatre as part of the expansion works.
The Minister of Health, in response to an appeal by the acting President of the Sampa Traditional Council, Nana Kwadwo Maasah 11, for the establishment of a nursing training school at Sampa, said the district would definitely have one due to its geographical location.
He disclosed that over the last few months the government had started a number of initiatives to revamp health infrastructure through a well-planned programme of rehabilitation and construction of new hospitals and clinics across the country aimed at ensuring that every Ghanaian had reasonable access to basic health services, no matter his or her location, origin or socio-economic background.
Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, in his address, commended Mr Essieh and his family for giving back to their community and called on other citizens of the region to emulate their example.
He, however, appealed to the MoH and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to investigate the circumstances under which the number of registered clients under the NHIS in the district was higher than the total district population of 78,192 as against the 94,956 NHIS card-bearing members.
Dr Aaron Offei, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services, for his part, called for better rapport between members of the community and staff of the hospital and appealed to the local FM stations in the area to desist from misinforming the people on health issues which had often led to confrontations between staff of the hospital and some members of the public.
Mr Essieh expressed the hope that the facility would help inspire the youth of the area and generations to come to contribute their quota to the development of their town .
He appealed to the people of the district to continue to co-exist in peace, since that was a prerequisite for the accelerated development of the area and expressed the hope that the facility would go a long way to improve health delivery in the area.
Nana Maasah 11, the Adontenhene of Sampa and acting President of the Sampa Traditional Council, who chaired the function, thanked Mr Essieh and his family for the gesture, and urged the government to complement the efforts of the people to enhance health delivery in the area.