Continuity in governance key to development – President Akufo-Addo

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has inaugurated the new Upper West Regional Hospital at a colourful ceremony in Wa.

The $52-million hospital project was initiated after Parliament had approved the loan agreement in 2008 and gone through two general elections until its completion.

Continuity in governance

Inaugurating the 160-bed hospital, which will also serve as a teaching facility for students pursing various courses in the medical sciences, President Akufo-Addo said continuity in governance was very important if progress and growth were to be achieved, adding that the hospital was one of such monumental evidences of what continuity could do.

Tracing the history of the health facility, he said it was started by President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration and was not abandoned by successive governments until its completion now.

He said he was grateful to past Presidents for keeping the flame ablaze to ensure the successful completion of the project.

He also lamented the unnecessary delays at the ports in clearing goods which led to delays in projects.

The President also commended Euroget de-Invest (EDI) for the good work it had done.

That, he said, was a tribute to the good relationship established between the two countries when the first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, married Madam Fathia, an Egyptian.

Now that the hospital has been inaugurated, President Akufo-Addo called for a good maintenance culture to be employed by the staff and clients to ensure that the facility was properly maintained.

Ceremony

The ceremony, which attracted politicians, traditional rulers, heads of departments and some residents of Wa, saw the President unveil a gold-plated plaque, amid cheers that summarised the general expectation that the 160-bed edifice would usher in an era of improved health delivery in the Upper West Region.

The health facility is one of nine hospitals being constructed by Egyptian company, Euroget De-Invest, in the country.

Referral facility

Primarily, it is going to be a referral facility for health facilities in the region and other nearby regions, including some communities in Burkina Faso, to treat complex health conditions and accommodate a string of surgeries, deliveries and emergencies.

It has 12 clinics, including Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Urology, Neurology, Dental and Ear; Nose and Throat.

Others are Orthopaedic, Dermatology and General Surgery, with seven operating theatres for surgeries, deliveries and emergencies. The hospital also boasts seven different theatres: four surgical suites, two gynaecology and obstetrics theatres, and an emergency and casualty surgical suite.

Until now, the region’s ‘Referral Hospital’ was a simple health centre, where personnel sometimes improvised and were compelled to even transfer cases to other districts because of the lack of capacity in terms of medical equipment and critical personnel.

Physical structure

The edifice features a combination of single-storey and high-rise structures on a 133,000 square metre land, and connected by a fine network of disability-friendly walkways, with grass on the outside of the walls in between the drainage system.

The hospital also has a pharmaceutical department that has a storage space fitted with refrigerating equipment. The facility comes with its own equipment sterilisation unit, storage system and a synchronised digitised system meant to reduce paper activity in its operations.

Other strings of sophisticated installations include an oxygen-generating system that feeds relevant sections of the facility with gas, a centralised and computerised air-conditioning mechanism and a multiple-source water system.

Technical support

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of EDI, Dr Saied Deraz, said as part of the contractual arrangements regarding the project, the company would stay on for three more years to offer technical support, particularly for the handling and operating of the equipment, most of which were highly sophisticated, as a kind of warranty.

He said the project engineers had projected that the oxygen-generating system could supply other health centres within the neighbourhood in a major step to overcome one of the biggest challenges that confronted health care in the region.