Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital: Bad maintenance culture syndrome unacceptable

Before I start recounting this carefully calculated tale, I would like to issue a disclaimer that I do not have anything against anybody who might be offended that this story is coming out this way.

However, I deem it fit to use this medium to carry my message across because it is in the best interest of a lot of people given that Korle-Bu is considered the premier health care facility in Ghana.

I would like for us to briefly delve into the history of when and how Korle-Bu was established. I believe this will help put things into perspective and encourage us to advocate for its maintenance and possible renovation.

Korle-Bu is known to have been established in the year 1923 to cater for the needs of the natives. The hospital takes pride in having grown from an initial 200-bed capacity to a 2,000-bed capacity. However, a number of these beds are out of order further reducing the bed-occupancy to a significant amount which contributed to the No-Bed-Syndrome era. This has been an age-old problem from the time I was in my 2nd year in medical school. Till date, most of the beds are not without fault. This is not problem number one but one of the hospital’s many woes.

In 1953, there were recommendations for the government to expand the hospital which it did at the time.

Fast-forward to the 21st century and the buildings themselves are an eyesore. Yet this should serve as a place for treatment, rehabilitation and if ever possible – rejuvenation.

The surgical department which is a 6-storey- building is no exception to this rule. When any of the elevators are faulty, it can sometimes take even months to be repaired. This can be said of one of the elevators at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department which has still not been repaired as at the last time I checked. I do not remember the last time the surgical Block was renovated either. As a matter of fact, parts of the building leak due to some cracks in the walls, most of the louvre blades are broken and coupled with the fact that there are few curtains, mosquitoes have free access and privacy is thrown out the window.

The same scenario can be pictured while walking towards buildings around the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department. Water leaks from the top of these buildings as though they were ‘showers of blessings’.

Aside all these, there are cracks in many walls that have gone unnoticed by the authorities but I do not want to wait till the walls start caving-in or till there is a news-worthy collapse before I begin to write. What then is my use as a journalist if I do so? And what then is the use of the various people in power if they see this article and do not act on it? We all have a role to play. Building on that, I would like to know what the internally generated funds in Korle-Bu are used for.

If it turns out that the government can no longer run the hospital, can it be made a profitable organisation then?

In the interim, is it possible for the management of Korle-Bu to find innovative ways of dealing with its dilapidated facilities before they receive any possible assistance if any?

Being a medical student in Ghana, I have heard a countless number of times that there are certain equipment that are not available to us or the popular saying is “we have this machine but it was only one and that one has even broken down”. Today, I heard from one of my patients that she had to go all the way to another hospital because the X-Ray machine in Korle-Bu had broken-down. I sighed to myself with my hand supporting my chin.

So when will things start working in this country?

The only way possible is to demand that the right thing is done.

It is unacceptable that we have an abysmal maintenance/renovation culture.

It is unacceptable that the authorities we put in power have misplaced priorities.

It is unacceptable that we have money to build a cathedral and think that God will bless us when people are still dying of poverty and hunger.

It is unacceptable that some hospitals do not have ambulances yet our leaders are prioritizing drones because someone needs that drone-contract.

It is unacceptable that we are the only country in history able to find thousands of dollars to fly across continents to footballers during a World Cup(yes, I will never forget) yet anytime a plea is sent for an extra drug to be added under the NHIS, the excuse is that the spine of the NHIS might break.

Lastly, it is unacceptable that you do not find all these things happening. Unacceptable.

GHS420K Fee: Aspirants run to Rawlings

Almost all the flagbearer aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have scheduled a secret meeting for today, Friday, 30 November 2018, to, in a concerted manner with one voice petition the founder of the party, Mr Jerry John Rawlings over the GHS420,000 filing fee for flagbearer aspirants which a number of them have publicly described as “outrageous”.

Mr Stephen Atubiga, one of the flagbearer hopefuls told Kwabena Bobie Ansah on the ‘Citizen Show’ on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, 29 November 2018 that:

“All the aspirants are meeting tomorrow [Friday] at a secret location to determine the way forward, after which we will write to the founder of the party to intervene, and also to other leaders of the party, our collective decision”.

All male flag bearer aspirants of the NDC are expected to pay GHS400,000 as filing fee while female flag bearer aspirants are to pay GHS200,000 and persons with disability aspiring to the same position are to pay GHS150,000.

The nomination form for the flag bearer slot is going for GHS20,000.

Also, the parliamentary aspirants are expected to pay GHS20,000 as filing fees. Female parliamentary aspirants will pay half of that.

The party took the decision at a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday, 29 November at the party’s headquarters in Accra. According to the party, all aspirants have up to 10 days to submit the [properly filled forms].

The power of the woman in leadership

How do you feel when there is this stereotype against the WOMAN anytime she wants to take up position of leadership, be it in Politics, Corporate governance or other places ? How do you explain this phenomenon to ordinary people about the fact that , the WOMAN is not capable of leading any group ? How has our society fought well in advocating for the WOMAN to believe in herself and realize that, she is capable of leading and leading so with much competence that yields positive results?

I , in particular, have been wondering about the fact that , the WOMAN , anytime she brings herself up especially for leadership role, is been looked down upon . The cliche about the fact that , the WOMAN belongs to the kitchen is one that makes me sick and makes me ask : WHO SAYS THE WOMAN BELONGS TO ONLY THE KITCHEN AND THAT , SHE CANNOT LEAD?

I have always being an advocate for a woman to lead because the WOMAN is always determined to cause a positive change . It is my dream to one day to see a WOMAN elected as the president of the Republic of Ghana. It is my dream that , there will be more women in parliament as it is in Rwanda and other countries. It is my dream that , our society will move away from the cliche that ,the WOMAN belongs to the kitchen but that , the WOMAN can lead and lead well to the admiration of the many.

If anybody thinks what I am saying is a lie , let?s look at women in positions of trust in our country and how well they are pursuing the change agenda . The likes of the First Chief Justice, Madam Theodora Woode, who left a good image for the judiciary. We can talk about Ms Sophia Akufo,the current Chief Justice, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, the chairperson for the National commission for civic education, the chief of staff ,Madam Frema Opare and the Hajia Alima Mahama , minister for local governments and rural development.etc

In the corporate world , we can talk about the CEO of Vodafone Ghana , Yolanda Zoleka Cuba , etc All these women , in leadership, have excelled to the admiration of the many because of the positive impact they made whiles leading . Which is why I always advocate for the WOMAN to lead because, I believe, the WOMAN is a better leader.

We can also talk about Yaa Asntewaa of the Asante Kingdom, who lead the Asantes to the war . This is a woman who has taught us that , the power of the WOMAN in leadership can not be underrated and hence, the WOMAN should be encouraged,supported and pushed to take up the mantle of leadership positions in our country.

Even at home , my mum , Hajia Rafa , who happens to be a WOMAN, who has not ever been to school, single handedly lead to look after six (6) children and gave three (3) of us the best of education up to the University level , one (1) to The midwifery school and the other with University of CapeCoast, currently pursuing Diploma in Education. Which is why when i founded Rural Smile Foundation (NGO), I prioritize the empowerment of WOMAN at the center of our operations.

Around the world too , we have seen , Hilary Clinton, Angela Merkel of Germany, Theresah May of Britain , Margaret Thatcher , Queen Elizabeth as well as the first female president of Liberia, Sirleaf Johnson who have all lead with distinction.

In the chest of a woman is not only an extension of breast and a feeble heart but a flaming desire to possess and use power.? Efo Kodjo Mawugbe has stated in his book.This rightly tells us about the fact that , the WOMAN has got the power to lead and rightly so , make a lot of bigger difference in the lives of the people she leads .

In the Akan parlance here in Ghana , it is no wonder the WOMAN is described as ?OBAAPATANPA? which means ? a good mother ? . And so, if the WOMAN is OBAATANPA, why do some people think they can not be good leaders in Politics, Civil Society and other institutions?

Usually, there is this cliche that , the WOMAN in leadership is pompous and rude , which to me , is a fallacy of hasty composition. The WOMAN only need an open space to display her POWER , KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS to serve the many .

The power of the WOMAN in leadership certainly cannot be underrated. Which is why I call on you reading for us to rally behind the WOMAN and inspire her to be bold to take up leadership roles because, the WOMAN , when entrusted with leadership roles , lead well to the benefit of the larger society.

God bless the WOMAN!

God bless GHANA,our motherland and make her GREAT and STRONG .

Writer: Ahmed Abubakar Saddique

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