2 Babies die over hospital power cut: 3 Others in critical condition
Two babies have died while three others are in a critical condition at the St Anne's Hospital in Damongo in the Savannah Region following the disconnection of power supply to the facility by the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo).
The newborn babies are said to have lost their lives due to the hospital’s inability to test for compatible blood to transfuse them.
The Head of Communications and Clinical Coordinator of the Hospital, Dr Gbeadese Ahmed, who confirmed the incident, said the situation was biting hard on healthcare delivery because the hospital was the main referral facility in the area.
He indicated that the hospital had also suspended deliveries and surgeries due to the power disconnection.
“We lost a baby the first time they disconnected the hospital and the second time we lost another. As we speak, there is another one in a critical condition and the reason is that we couldn’t transfuse blood to them,” he noted.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, officials of NEDCo cut power supply to the hospital over a GH¢4 million debt but it was later reconnected after the intervention of the Savannah Regional Minister, Saeed Muhazu Jibril.
However, due to the hospital’s inability to pay the outstanding debt, the power distribution company disconnected the facility for the second time last week.
Following the development, out-patient and administrative services were heavily affected, which further impacted healthcare delivery in the area.
The hospital is a member of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG). According to officials of the hospital, the government was responsible for the facility’s electricity bills.
For some time now, the facility had not paid the bills, leading to the accumulated debt.
The Out-Patient Department which used to record not less than 80 patients daily is now empty following the power cut, the Daily Graphic gathered.
The Accountant of the Hospital, Rashid Damba, lamented that efforts to prevent the disconnection had been in vain.
“We have done everything humanly possible to prevent NEDCo from disconnecting power supply to the hospital but our efforts have not yielded the desired outcome,” he stated.
When contacted, the Corporate Communications Manager of NEDCo, Maxwell Kotoka, said he was aware of the hospital’s disconnection due to debt owed the company, but declined to comment further.
The NEDCo is embarking on a revenue drive to collect some GH¢1.2 billion debt owed the company. The exercise which started on Thursday, April 13, 2023 is targeted at households, companies and government institutions.
According to the company, the exercise would also be used to clamp down on illegal power connections in the area.