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Ghana: Broken down escalators at KATH impedes maternity healthcare delivery

The lives of pregnant women in need of emergency attention at the

Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital are in danger as they are compelled to

climb staircase to access the Maternity Ward.

Five out of eight elevators at the old 'G' Block have broken down,

exposing patients to danger.

Doctors at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Directorate say more

pregnancy-related complications are being recorded due to the present

situation.

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The nineteen-year old elevators have been down for about two months now.

Nhyira News checks reveal management of the hospital spends between

90, 000 and 100 thousand annually to maintain the lifts; with each

elevator breaking down again at an interval of two weeks after repair.

Some operators have suffered the scary and unpleasant risk of being

trapped in the elevator.

Pregnant women endure effects of the broken down equipment as they

seek emergency services.

They have had to put their lives on the line, as they delay in

reaching care givers.

Thirty -eight year old Stella Mensah went through pain when she was

referred to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital from the Suntreso Hospital.

Unluckily for Stella, she had no option but to use the staircase after

had endured the agony of waiting for several minutes for an ambulance.

Thanks to doctors, the visibly shaking Stella who struggled to speak

to Nhyira News on her hospital bed has had her condition classified as

emergency case saved.

Doctors at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Directorate have had to work

extra hard to safe emergency situations which developed complications

having delayed before reaching caregivers.

Their lucky patients have to rely on elevators at the B- Block or

D-Block before they are brought before them, a situation which delay

healthcare service delivery, the resultant effect being some patients

developing complications.

Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Directorate, Professor Archer Turpin

who is worried the situation wants prompt action to address the

challenge.

" People coming to the department most of them are pregnant; most of

them are in labour. Some of them have been referred from other

hospitals with emergencies like ectopic pregnancies, ruptured uterus,

people who are bleeding and people with pregnancy complications. And

these women cannot use the staircases to get to the wards. If the

lifts are not working, it means they have to access the lifts in other

departments in order to get to the A-Block and imagine that you need

minutes to intervene to save the lives of these individuals.

Some of the cases that come, we label them as near misses".

Worried Prof

But it appears there is no solution in sight, at least, not

immediately as hospital relies on philanthropists for support.

Head of Technical Services, George Tetteh appealed to government and

philanthropists for support.

"Even though we are trying to maintain them [elevators] by replacing

some faulty parts, when they are replaced, maximum two to three weeks

they break down again and we need to spend money in repairing them".

Mr Tetteh lamented.

Credit: Myjoyonline

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