[ 2017-02-14 ]
KATH is one of Ghana's best hospitals
5 die in 7 days at KATH emergency centre over oxygen shortage- Doctors allege
The emergency centre of the Komfo Anokye Teaching
Hospital in Kumasi which is described as the
"centre of excellence" is now a death trap,
killing five people in seven days, senior doctors
at the facility have suggested.
A letter written to the Chief Executive of the
Hospital and intercepted by Myjoyonline.com
indicates the facility is lacking basic logistics,
including oxygen needed to efficiently run the
So dire is the situation that the doctors have
become "shells of horror," who are "unable to
endure the constant psychological assault they
Dr Michael Leat Chairman of Komfo Anokye Doctors
Association (KADA) who wrote the letter to Chief
Executive stated that the facility is no longer
fit to accommodate patients including family
members of the doctors in the likely event of an
The doctors would not want to be used as
"instruments of morbidity and mortality" because
of an ill-functioning emergency ward which once
used to be the Centre of Excellence.
The state-of-the-art National Accident and
Emergency Centre, with a helipad on the roof, was
built at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH)
in Kumasi in 2008 to serve as the nation's main
referral facility for accident management.
The Centre with its four other components
including a modern pathology unit with
laboratories; a 280-individual-cubicle mortuary;
comprehensive expansion and refurbishment of the
Specialist Out-Patients-Department (OPD); supply
and installation of modern equipment and spare
parts and consumables for maintenance; was funded
wholly by the Government at a total cost of about
75 million euro.
This was done through proceeds from the Highly
Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund and the
National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Some eight years later the facility is said to be
reeling under a depressing culture of maintenance
and begging for basic logistics to save lives.
The complaints about the debilitating nature of
the facility is not coming from patients but from
doctors who could no longer endure the long
suffering of a bad maintenance culture at the
In the letter headlined state of emergency
services in the accident and emergency centre said
the "once touted flagship of our centre of
excellence is fast becoming a death trap for all
Detailing some of the challenges the facility is
going through, Dr Leat said there is "lack of
readily available and sustainable oxygen.
Oxygen is inextricably linked with life hence, its
absence speaks of the stench of death. "Just a day
ago, five patients in the unit of the emergency
department died because their oxygen supply was
cut off suddenly."
"A health centre without a constant and reliable
supply of oxygen is very worrying and dangerous."
The doctors also raised issues about the cash and
carry system and hitches with the blood
transfusion which are killing patients even faster
than the pain from the accidents.
"Cash and carry system of emergency drugs: the
status quo currently is for patients [to pay]
upfront for all services in the hospital including
emergency drugs and laboratory investigations."
The doctors find this particularly worrying
because most victims some of whom are transiting
to other regions may not have their relatives on
hand to pay for drugs which unavoidably will lead
to their deaths.
The doctors say the patients are also made to pay
upfront for blood transfusion which they find
"As doctors we are sick and tired of presiding
over deaths," Dr Leat said in the letter
The doctors hope management will, without delay
address their grievances and save lives.
When Myjoyonline.com contacted the Public
Relations Officer of KATH Kwame Frimpong, he said
he was not privy to any such letter by KABA.
He would not speak to the content of the letter
except to say that as a hospital they face some of
the challenges all hospitals face.
He however denied the assertion that facility
lacks oxygen, stating that there is a private
supplier of oxygen to the emergency.
Mr Frimpong said he would have to check with
management about the existence of the letter and
would officially react to the matter.
Source - Myjoyonline.com
... go Back