Medical revolution needed in Ghana - Social media to lead the way

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh

Son needs blood for mum on admission at a private health facility. The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) blood bank official allegedly sells blood to him.

Son takes the blood to the private facility, which runs a test and says the blood turns out positive for HIV/Syphilis.

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A doctor on duty rejects the blood and gives him a written response indicating why, and it is to the effect that the blood was not wholesome.

Social Media

Alarmed son takes up to social media to rant. His rant, as expected gets media attention.


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National Blood Transfusion Service and KATH have issued statements indicating the rigorous processes under which blood samples are taken through before they are transfused.

Media reports say tests conducted on the sample at the KATH laboratory in the presence of some journalists, the complainant, police and other officials turned out negative for HIV/syphilis.

It has also emerged that further tests would be conducted on the sample in Accra.

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Issues

I am not surprised with the turn of events but what amazes me is how some friends and followers are taking the young man to the cleaners for posting the first results on Facebook.

Some are accusing him of causing fear and panic for no reason. Others are saying he should have gone back to the KATH with the rejected blood for action to be taken. People are now dictating how others should GRIEVE! Interesting.

Questions

Instead of crucifying the poor youngman for simply expressing his displeasure on facebook, pause and ask yourself the following questions:

Do individuals purchase blood at hospitals?

If yes, is that the standard procedure? If no, why was the blood handed over to him? Is that what pertains in hospitals?

Would you have folded your arms if you were in his shoes?

Experience

I have had terrible experiences with some health facilities but I managed to resolve them because I knew who to contact

What happens to the ordinary Ghanaian who doesn’t have anyone but social media to express a concern?

I have on numerous occasions seen mothers carrying babies supposed to be on admission to laboratories to either pick up results or hand over blood and other samples to laboratory technicians.

I witnessed one less than a month ago where a group of nurses sat round a big table playing on their phones while a mother with a patient (baby girl) asked permission to check on the status of lab results at the laboratory.

The nurses, as I expected, said she could go ahead to pick the results. This is a hospital that has upgraded its system and inputs data online. I held myself up and reported the incident to their boss later.

Social Media

I would have ideally preferred to link up directly with authorities anytime someone comes up with a complaint via my Facebook Messenger. However, I have observed that while some act quickly to resolve issues, others don’t act until I post the problem here.

A friend’s company recently funded the surgery of a youngman and I was sent to Korle-Bu to hand over the cash to the woman. The poor woman had gone to the laboratory earlier to run some tests for her son.

The laboratory technician took 120 cedis or so from her and claimed she would have paid more if he gives her a receipt.

Meanwhile, the results showed the total cost of the test would not have been more than 80 cedis. Meanwhile, the other departments she went directed her to pay the bills at designated points at the hospital. She had receipts for those ones. I immediately called one of the officials of the hospital and reported the matter.

Don’t kill the Spirit
I have used social media to get: a whole new school for a village, justice for several people, employment for unknown youth, medical interventions for many people and several other interventions that inure to social good.

It is so wrong to abuse a youngman, who expressed alarm on social media. He is not a laboratory technician. He only acted based on information given him by professionals. I get justice for some of you here based on information you supply me.

It is impossible for the media to turn itself into the investigator, the prosecutor, jury and the judge. The media only acts based on information supplied it.

It publishes developing stories as and when they emerge.

Positive Change

The information put out by the youngman will surely shake the laboratory industry in this country. I see a lot of changes occurring in the near future. Just look at how the KATH and the National Blood Transfusion Service, the Police and the FDA acted with speed.

It appears we live in a country where officials become proactive when issues emerge through social media or traditional media.

Until authorities act professionally in the dark, social media and traditional media should and must be used to expose rot.