103 years: Saltpond Municipal Hospital calls for overhaul
After more than 100 years of existence, the Saltpond Municipal Government Hospital has one operating room and an age-old theatre bed with a faulty adjustable paddle.
The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Michael Gyasi Danso, said the situation, many a time, caused unnecessary delays in the delivery of health care.
The hospital’s five-bed accident and emergency unit has one washroom for both male and female patients.
Also, the facility does not have a standardised store where its consumables are kept after its store was razed by fire some years ago.
Some of the facility's infrastructure has deteriorated which requires urgent and immediate attention.
At the media launch of its 103rd anniversary at Saltpond last Friday, Dr Danso said the hospital was still operating “store under trees", using a makeshift facility to store consumables since the store was destroyed by fire some years back.
On November 3, 2023, the hospital will mark its 103rd anniversary with a grand durbar.
The Saltpond Municipal Government Hospital was established in 1920 by the then colonial Governor, Sir Gordon Guggisberg, to serve as a hospital for Ghana's Navy officers.
It is the second oldest in the country, second only to the Akuse Government Hospital.
The operating theatre
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital was also established by the same governor on October 9, 1923.
In 1951, the Saltpond hospital was renovated and handed over to the government.
It currently serves over 10,000 clients a year.
Dr Danso said although all successive governments had done their bit to improve the facility, there was still a lot to be done.
He added that it was imperative for all to support to improve the state of infrastructure.
"We have clients coming from as far as Agona West, Ekumfi, Abura Asebu Kwamankese and it is important that the facility gets the due recognition that it deserves," Dr Danso stated.
The medical director said the hospital provided outpatient services, accident and emergency inpatient services, antenatal and postnatal care, deliveries, diabetes and hypertension clinics, family planning, eye care and physiotherapy services.
More recently, the hospital has added neonatal intensive care unit, nose and throat unit and a dental unit.
A tour of the facility showed that all the emergency beds were occupied.
The officer in charge of the Accident and Emergency Unit, Kweku Berko Fordjour, said any new emergency case would have to be treated in a plastic chair.
"All our patients are on oxygen now and it means any new case cannot have a bed here," he explained.
The Chief Executive Officer of CEOs Network Ghana, Ernest De-graft Egyir, who chaired the function, said the state of the hospital was disturbing for a facility that had served the people for more than 100 years, stressing that the narrative must change.
He said in reciprocity for its contribution to the total health and well-being of the people of the area, it was necessary for well-meaning citizens to support to improve the state of the facility.
Mr Egyir suggested an adoption policy for the hospital to ensure continuity of support for it.
He promised to build the accident and emergency center if by August 2024 neither government nor any organization had come to the aid of the hospital.
Mr Egyir appealed to benevolent organisations and individuals and to the GNPC Foundation to step in to help improve the state of the hospital.
A native of Saltpond and clinical pharmacist based in the United States, Dr Dominic Maison, used the occasion to present medical consumables, worth GH¢15,000, to the hospital and pledged his commitment to the development of the facility.
The Chief of Saltpond, Nana Kwesi Ankwanda VII, and a spokesperson of the Nkusukum Traditional Area, Nana Kwesi Brebo, pledged to support efforts to develop the hospital into a facility befitting its status.
They appealed to all citizens of the area to come and support the hospital to provide quality healthcare services for the people in its catchment area.