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The lack of a standby generator at the Apam Catholic Hospital in the Central Region is posing a serious threat to healthcare delivery at the facility.
The hospital, also known as St. Luke’s Hospital, serves as a major referral hospital to thousands of residents not only in Apam but adjoining communities.
However, checks by Class News at the facility reveal it is at the mercy of the Electricity Company of Ghana, as a trip in power supply brings activities at the facility to a halt.
Class News’ Joshua Kodjo Mensah, who visited the facility, reported that sometimes, nurses use torchlights from their phones to take care of patients when the lights from the national grid go off.
Some health professionals were also seen fanning themselves while attending to patients.
The administrator at the facility, Rev. Fr. Oteng Dumfeh, speaking to Class News, noted that the generating plant, which broke down in 2019, has still not been repaired.
He added that calls to the authorities to provide an alternative power source have fallen on deaf ears.
He said: “The plant has broken down since 2019 and attempts to get it repaired have proved futile. We’ve appealed to various organisations to assist but it’s not yielding any fruit. So, when the light goes off, the hospital has no backup [plant] and this hospital is noted for responding to most accident cases on the Cape Coast-Winneba stretch. So, we will continue to appeal for support because the hospital cannot do it on its own”.
Touching on other effects of the lack of a standby power source, Rev Fr Dumfeh noted that the hospital is going paperless but when the light goes off, they go back to pen and paper.
“At the end of the day, somebody’ll have to wait and key in almost everything written on paper when electricity is restored, so, it’s creating a lot of inconvenience for us”, he complained.
“The flow of care is also tampered with: something that you can just send a message for somebody to work on, sometimes you get the patient or staff moving up and down just to make sure they get things right to be able to deliver,” he added.
He further noted that patients who require surgery are referred to other facilities when there is no electricity and “when it comes to emergencies, time is of the essence.”