An Infectious Diseases specialist at the Pediatric Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has urged the public to help de-congest the Maternity Ward where a newborn baby shares a cot with seven others.
At a joint session of Joy News’ AM Show and Joy FM’s Super Morning Show in Ashanti regional capital Kumasi, Dr. Anthony Enimil said his unit launched a ‘one baby, one cot’ campaign in 2016 to help ease the situation.
Congestion in the wards contributes significantly to the death of at least four babies a day at Ghana’s second largest hospital.
Photo: Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital
Paediatrician Dr. Gykua Plange-Rhule has revealed at least two babies died yesterday at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
The Associate Professor. School of Medical Sciences said the two died in the day; she could not confirm if there were any more fatalities during the night shift.
A father who lost two babies at KATH has testified seeing bed bugs in baby cots.
While pointing to over-crowding at the Mother and Baby Unit as contributing to the deaths, the specialist and lawyer Dr. Gyikua Plange-Rhule said other factors like abnormalities can be cited as causes of death.
She said some babies die because they were pre-mature while others die because ‘they are just too tiny’.
She explained pressure on facilities at the maternity ward began ‘certainly more than 10 years ago’.
The current Mother and Baby Unit is an old labour ward not specially fit for its current use. She complained that severe pressure on facilities is affecting hygienic practices at the ward.
A lack of basic hand washing can cause an infection on a baby, she explained. A bottle of handwashing gel for mothers can get finished in just two hours and there is a need for more sinks.
There has been many occasions when authorities have considered turning away expectant mothers and other patients because more admissions pose a hazard to the babies in the cot, she said.
‘But if you turn them away where do they go?’, Dr. Gyikua Plange-Rhule revealed the frustrations of decision-makers at the largest hospital in the Ashanti region.
Officials explained that when a nurse or doctor has to see three babies at a time, the chances of death due to inadequate healthcare increases.
A Joy News Special Assignment documentary by Seth Kwame Boateng titled ‘Next to Die’ has highlighted shocking state of affairs at the largest hospital in the Ashanti region.
It has led Multimedia brands Joy News TV and Joy FM to begin an advocacy to help complete a spacious but abandoned hospital block that can take nearly a 1,000 beds.
Dr. Gyikua Plange-Rhule has said the block when completed will boost enthusiasm and morale of professionals at the hospital.