The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, has commended the media for the support they gave the hospital at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He commended the media for being at the forefront of public education on the pandemic and urged them to continue the same way since the country was not out of the woods yet.
Dr Owusu-Danso gave the commendation last Thursday at a media interaction in Kumasi. He also advised the media to make use of the hospital’s open door policy and always cross-check information they received before publishing it “since the hospital is the only tertiary facility in the entire middle belt of the country”.
The event was held to thank the media for supporting the hospital last year, as well as seek further support in the ensuing year.
Dr Owusu-Danso said the country was experiencing a spike in the spread of the disease and added that it was incumbent on the public, therefore, not to become complacent or drop their guard but to continue observing the safety protocols on COVID-19.
The KATH CEO said the facility had recorded more cases within the first two weeks of this month than it did in the last quarter of last year. He said he believed that celebrations during the Christmas festivities could be the cause of the increase in numbers.
He said there were nine people currently on admission at the COVID-19 treatment centre at the hospital.
“Statistics available does not support fears that the political campaign period and subsequent elections would lead to increase in the rate of infections,” he said.
He explained that if the gestation period of the virus was anything to go by, the numbers of infected persons should have started increasing within two weeks after the elections, “but that is not what is happening”.
According to Dr Owusu-Danso, the hospital had learnt a lot of lessons from the pandemic, key among which was that the country had to stand prepared to deal with the unpredictability of the disease.
He said even though KATH had better facilities as compared to other hospitals, stemming from the outbreak of meningitis at the Kumasi Academy some years ago, it however never anticipated the numbers that came with COVID-19.
Moreover, he said, there was the need for the country to start producing drugs and other medical consumables on COVID-19 locally and not be dependent on foreign sources.
At a point, he said “even with our money ready we could not get items such as face masks to buy in spite of hikes in the prices since most of the producing countries were finding it difficult to meet demands from their populations”.
The CEO said notwithstanding the challenges of the previous year, the hospital managed to chalk up lots of achievements, chief among which were the retooling of the hospital and construction of a 24-hour pharmacy that was stocked with all kinds of medicines, with the aim to reducing the stress patients and their families and relations went through in search of appropriate medicines.
He also cited the establishment of the Lightwave Health Information Management System which has given birth to the paperless system in place at the hospital.
He said the hospital had since August 1,2020 “computerised all clinical operations while it was also no longer using folders for patients’ records.
“This move, through enhanced data capture management, quality patient care and enhanced revenue generation is expected to improve operations at the hospital,” he said.
According to him, the paperless system for years to come was expected to revolutionise operations of the hospital and enhance its capacity for better clinical care, treatment and research.