An indigenous oil and gas service company, Seaweld Engineering Ltd, has presented medical equipment and accessories to 23 hospitals in five regions across the country to enhance medical delivery in those facilities.
The equipment valued at more than GH¢4 million was sourced free of charge from the Geneva Cantonal University Hospital through Madam Gertrude Nimako-Boateng, an international trade lawyer based in Geneva, Switzerland, who arranged with the hospital to send the equipment to Ghana.
The items include digital automatic patient monitor, ophtalmometre de javal 900, Pump iv Infusion Pilote, Refractometer, external ultrasound probe ust 990 5, Ophthalmic pendulum table, Sphygmomanometer and Ziehm vista c-arm monitor cart.
The rest are electronic chair, separation mobile, Cardiotocography, gynaecological chair, ultrasound, electrocardiograph, incubators for intensive care, giraffe Omni beds and microscopes.
The accessories included scrubs for nurses, patient clothing, laboratory jackets, bed sheets, baby towels, hair mesh and napkins.
Seaweld Engineering Limited facilitated the freighting of the goods from Switzerland to Ghana as part of its corporate social investment programme. The company also paid the custom duties after frantic attempts to get a tax waiver proved futile.
The Chief Executive Officer of Seaweld Engineering, Mr Alfred Fafali Adagbedu, said the move was to support the health needs of the people.
“What we are doing in partnership with the donors is to support the government’s efforts in ensuring conducive ambience and equipment availability for the hardworking medical personnel of this country,” he said.
“To us at Seaweld, giving back to society is not a matter of choice, but a call to duty to lend a helping hand to those who need it; we will solicit the support of our donors such as Geneva Cantonal University Hospital and well-meaning Ghanaians such as Madam Gertrude Nimako-Boateng to do this,” he said.
Mr Adagbedu, however, appealed to the government to take a second look at the tax waiver system on such equipment meant for the country’s hospitals, many of which did not have the full complement of equipment, questioning; “if the donor of these expensive brand new and slightly used equipment gave them out for free, why should the beneficiary country levy taxes on them.”
Ghanaian in Geneva
His call for a waiver was further re-echoed by Madam Nimako-Boateng, who urged the government to consider providing waivers for such imports since they went into improving the health and well-being of the citizenry and also motivated the donors to always consider Ghana.
She recounted that she was on admission at the Geneva Cantonal University Hospital, a teaching hospital, in 2015 when she chanced on the opportunity to make a case for the equipment for Ghana.
Madam Nimako-Boateng said she had already presented wheelchairs donated by the same university to the St Joseph’s Hospital in Koforidua.
On this second occasion, she said, she had to reach out to Mr Adagbedu, a former schoolmate, to help with the freight and customs duties, since it was a larger consignment.