Dr Eric Ngyedu, CEO of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, addressing the annual performance review and 25th anniversary celebration launch
Dr Eric Ngyedu, CEO of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, addressing the annual performance review and 25th anniversary celebration launch

Interbeton - Providing for the health needs of Central Region amid challenges

When Peter Awortwe, a businessman was taken ill and sent was to the emergency unit of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) he was skeptical about the services he would receive.

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He had heard some bad stories about the hospital and did not want to be taken there.

Nonetheless, it was not his decision to make. His friend with whom he was, sent him to the CCTH when he developed a health issue.

“At the emergency [unit] the staff received me so well I was amazed. They run tests on me very quickly. The results came out and indicated I had ulcer.

“I was admitted at the male medical ward. I was happy about the services. Drugs and care were good. The doctors and the nurses were nice to me and I think it was a pleasant experience,” he stated.

The hospital, which is popularly known as “Interbeton” the name of the contractors that built it, is clean. Its usually beautifully mowed lawns and hedges give a patient a warm refreshing welcome. 

On a normal day it’s a buzz of the young and old seeking health and wellbeing.

While some patients to the facility have some unpleasant experiences, many others see the hospital as one that has significantly impacted the provision of health care services for the people of the Central Region.

CCTH

The CCTH has for the past 25 years been instrumental in the provision of quality healthcare services for the people of the Central Region and beyond.

The referral hospital, which started as a 226-bed capacity facility now has more than 450 beds.

Out patient visits to the hospital in 2022 was 170,441, an increase from 152,364 in 2021, with a daily average of 467.

The hospital began full operations on August 12, 1998.

It, however, metamorphosed into a teaching facility in 2014 to serve as a practical teaching hospital with the establishment of the University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences.
Since then, the hospital has trained 564 doctors.

Accident, emergency 


Front view of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital

The hospital serves the accident and emergency needs of the people plying the Accra-Abidjan corridor road and the Cape Coast-Kumasi highway due to its strategic location.

The hospital serves as a teaching and practical site for the training of various categories of nurses from the nursing colleges and other health professionals.

At its performance review last Thursday, which was also used to launch activities to mark its 25th anniversary ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr Eric Ngyedu, said CCTH would continue to mainstream the quality of care, infection prevention and occupational health and safety into all its activities as enshrined in the national quality strategy.

The anniversary would be celebrated on the theme, “25 years of quality health care: Repositioning for excellence”.


Some dignitaries at the ceremony

Himalayan Cataract project

He stated that to enhance eye care services and reach, the hospital together with a USA non- governmental organisation engaged in restoring the sights of people with cataract, and had since 2019 supported the hospital in screening more than 75,690 persons for cataract and other eye conditions from all over the country.

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Those identified with various eye conditions, he noted, were transported to the hospital free of charge for free surgical operations to restore their sight.

To date 7,174 sights have been restored under the project.

According to Dr Ngyedu, the collaboration had improved the equipment base for eye care at the hospital.

He said it had also resulted in the commencement of the construction of an ultra-modern eye surgical training centre costing about $1 million.

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Also, a Czech Republic-based medical mission had partnered the CCTH since 2020 in the area of orthopedic and plastic services, and had so far performed free complex surgeries and treatment for 106 people who had various bone-related conditions but could not afford the operation and treatment.

Dr Ngyedu indicated that the University of UTAH was also supporting the hospital to perform surgical operations for people with complicated ear, nose and throat cases identified within the poor rural communities, who under normal circumstances, would not be able to afford, for free.

He said the hospital was working to gradually bridge the gap in the number of specialists through training, adding that seven doctors had passed out from the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, with 10 nurses also completing their training.

Challenges

Dr Ngyedu said the hospital was confronted with several challenges including the high institutional maternal and neonatal deaths.
 

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In 2022, the hospital recorded 39 maternal and 185 neonatal deaths.

“I wish the case was different after putting in a number of interventions directed at reducing these numbers,” he stated.

He stated, however, that the hospital’s management continued to engage key partners, including the Ghana Health Service to support peripheral referring facilities, through training of medical officers and nurses by the hospital’s maternal health and child health specialists, to improve their ability to manage maternal and neonatal cases.

Dr Ngyedu said the hospital lacked critical equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging machine, anaesthesia equipment and endoscopy equipment.

The CCTH also does not have a neonatal intensive care unit to provide comprehensive neonatal services for its clients.

Other units that require expansion, he observed, included its accident and emergency unit, the oncology centre and renal centre.

Other issues impacting negatively on the facility, he said, included inadequate accommodation for staff, inadequate and strung equipment including generators and the encroachment of the hospital’s lands.

Legacy projects 

The hospital, Dr Ngyedu said, hoped to complete some legacy projects as part of the anniversary celebration including the Infectious Disease Centre, the patients’ relatives hostel, NICU complex, eye centre, trauma centre, oncology centre and a reproductive endocrinology and fertility centre.

Activities planned for the celebration include lectures, donations to special homes, fund raising activities, open day and press soirée, health walk, blood donation exercise, grand durbar and a dinner and awards night.

The Board Chairman of the hospital, Ahunabobrim Pra Agyensiam, who together with Dr Ngyedu launched the anniversary activities and cloth, commended the hospital for its contribution towards health delivery.

Collaborate with others 

The Deputy Minister of Health, Mahama Asei Seini, said government understood the needs of the various health institutions and would ensure that human resources were distributed to all health facilities to positively impact health service delivery.

He urged all health institutions to work collaboratively, saying together they could achieve more.

The Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, in an address read on her behalf commended the management of the hospital for helping to improve health outcomes in the region.

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