Five months after the Western Region recorded its first COVID-19 case, the region has now been provided with a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit for the management of critical cases.
The eight-bed capacity unit fitted with four ventilators was provided to the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital by GIZ, a German development agency
Handing over the Unit fitted with German technology costing over GHS 1 million, GIZ’s Country Manager for Governance for Inclusive Development, Raphael Frerking, said the facility was originally built and funded by GIZ at the onset of the Ebola Crises.
“The COVID-19 outbreak made it necessary to refurbish and execute additional work that enables the Unit to function at the highest medical standards in the handling of severe infectious diseases,” he noted.
The eight-bed Unit boasts of:
• Eight (8) state-of-the-art ventilators and accessories – four (4) of which have already been installed and the remaining expected soon. It needs mentioning that at the onset of the pandemic, there were not more than 30 ventilators across all hospitals in Ghana. Hence you can picture the critical importance of the provision of these eight (8) ventilators for the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital;
• Three (3) months supply of consumables for the ventilators – thereafter the Hospital assumes responsibility;
• Hospital Waste Incinerator for the proper disposal of medical waste – thus keeping the community safe from the ill-effects of untreated waste;
• Doctors / nurses changing room and workstation;
• Decontamination room where the medical staff can safely be decontaminated after attending to the patients; and
• private washrooms in each ward for the use of patients while receiving care.
“In addition to the above, a team of 12 critical care staff of the Hospital have received training on the installation and use of the ventilators – with a responsibility to extend the knowledge and skills acquired to other staff of the Hospital. All manuals for the maintenance of every equipment installed have also been included in the hand-over documentation from GIZ to the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital,” he said.
Mr. Frerking also unveiled a planned 28-bed Isolation Unit at the Communicable Disease Unit of Effia-Nkwanta Hospital which would also be financed by GIZ’s Governance for Inclusive Development, GoVID.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, who said the facility is coming after 14 people had already died from COVID-19 in the Western Region was thankful to the German government for the investment made in the refurbishment.
“I am told that the investment from GIZ alone is in excess of GHS 1,000,000, excluding the estimated GHS 500,000 spent on the refurbishment of the Tuberculosis Centre,” he noted.
The total cumulative confirmed cases in the region stand at 2,963.
Two thousand, nine hundred and forty-nine persons have been treated and discharged.
“Thankfully, there are no active cases as at today, and this should be a source of motivation for you and I co-operate by exercising extreme hygienic discipline in order not to bring back the virus, nor invite any other infectious disease of epidemic or pandemic magnitude into our society,” the minister said.
The Medical Director for Effia-Nkwanta Hospital, Joseph Kojo Tambil who said the facility is coming at a time they do not have any active case told Citi News this marks the end of the transfer of critical COVID-19 cases beyond Western Region.
“It has come a little bit too late but we know that there is always the propensity for a second wave. With this project, we are happy to say that there would be no need for any patient to travel outside the region for COVID-19 treatment.”
“Our long term goal is to make sure that this becomes part of an integrated infectious disease centre serving not only the Western Region but Western North,” he added.