LEKMA Hospital to construct Child Resource Protection Centre

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
• Dr Juliana Ameh, Medical Superintendent of Lekma Hospital speaking at the press conference. Picture:ESTHER ADJEI
• Dr Juliana Ameh, Medical Superintendent of Lekma Hospital speaking at the press conference. Picture:ESTHER ADJEI

High fees charged on forensic medical report needed by the court to prosecute defilement cases have prevented victims and their families from reporting abusive cases to the LEKMA Hospital.

According to a Gynaecologist Specialist at the LEKMA Hospital, Dr James Clayman, victims, together with their families, until last year often reported abuse cases to the hospital as no fee was charged for a forensic medical report.

However, in 2017, the hospital management introduced a GH¢200 fee with the aim of formalising a standard fee to be charged by medical doctors.

He explained that after the implementation of the legal payment, only 15 defilement cases were recorded in 2017, as compared to 31 and 52 defilement cases recorded in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

“This means that the numbers only represent a fraction of what is happening as some cases are never reported to the facility,” he added.

Dr Clayman was speaking to the Daily Graphic after a press conference to inform the public of the hospital’s intention to construct a Child Resource Protection Centre next year and to solicit for funds.

 Protection centre

 The centre, estimated to cost GH¢1.8 million and to begin next year, is to serve as a place where children will receive a comprehensive adolescent reproductive health and life skills education.

 He added that the centre would focus on the treatment of traumatised children where they would meet with a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses and social workers.

They will also have the services of the police and legal practitioners to address their medical, psychological and legal needs at no cost.

“It will also serve as a training place for medical doctors who have difficulties in tackling abuse cases and drafting out accurate forensic medical report for prosecution,” he added.
 
Domestic Violent Fund

 Dr Clayman also said the Domestic Violence Fund stipulated in the Domestic Violent Law, which mandates the government to set aside funds to be given to hospitals to cater for the need of domestic violent victims, must be made operational.

 The law allows victims to be treated free of charge by the hospital and reimbursed by the fund.

 He said if that was fully implemented, victims would be encouraged to report their perpetrators.
 
 Support

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mrs Evelyn Twum-Gyamrah, in a speech read on her behalf, expressed her commitment to ensuring the establishment of the centre to reduce the rampant incidence of sexual abuses.



 The Municipal Director of Health at the Ledzokuku Municipal Health Directorate, Madam Jacqueline Sfarijiani, appealed to organisations and individuals to support the project.