An 18-bed COVID-19 isolation ward and treatment centre meant for patients with psychiatric conditions has been inaugurated at the Pantang Hospital in Accra.
The COVID-19 National Trust Fund funded the facility for GH¢806,600, which enabled the hospital’s management to renovate and equip Ward 8 at the hospital for the purpose.
It becomes the first of such Covid-19 isolation and treatment centres in the country for patients with psychiatric conditions.
The facility is equipped with patient monitors, laryngoscopes, nebulisers, pulse oximeters, digital B.P. apparatus, suction machines (double bucket) and autoclaves.
It also has consulting rooms, isolation and treatment wards, a nursing station, waiting and triage section/area, offices and stores.
The Chairperson of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, Justice Sophia Akuffo, said the centre affirmed the fund’s complementary role in the government's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
She said the decision to set up the facility was taken in July 2020 when the board of trustees, in response to the threat that COVID-19 posed to patients of psychiatric hospitals and the lack of isolation centres to manage any potential outbreak, approved the budget for it.
“This was also intended to help the hospital achieve its objective of helping people to recover from mental and physical illness, thereby providing treatment that allows inmates to lead full and productive lives,” she said.
Ms Akuffo commended the Pantang Hospital management for assisting the project with GH¢16,000 from its internally generated funds.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Frank Banning, commended the COVID-19 National Trust Fund for providing the facility.
He said since March 2020, the hospital had received and treated a total of 26 COVID-19 patients, out of which two were referred to the COVID-19 treatment centre for further treatment because of the lack of adequate space and equipment.
“Though our centre does not have an intensive care unit, with the presence of oxygen concentrator, nebulisers, suction machine and well-trained personnel, we shall be able to treat any COVID-19 patient who will be referred to the centre.
“The centre can take about 22 patients. Hence, its operationalisation will serve the health needs of Ghanaians who need COVID-19 treatment,” Dr Banning said.
He indicated that with the surge in COVID-19 cases of the Delta variant in the country, it was anticipated that the number of cases that would be referred to the centre would increase.
In that respect, Dr Banning said, the hospital would need support in the area of regular supply of oxygen and other essential medical consumables for COVID-19 management at the centre.