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Berekum hosts 3rd Health Association COVID-19 facility

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The HDU COVID-19 facility at the Berekum Holy Family Hospital

People in the Bono Region with severe cases of COVID-19, especially those in Berekum and its environs, would no more have to be transferred to the national treatment centres miles away in the southern part of the country.
This is because the region now has a 10-bed High Dependency Unit (HDU) facility at the Berekum Holy Family Hospital to handle such cases.

The Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) last Tuesday inaugurated the facility in Berekum, which makes it the third of such amenities that have been established by CHAG in the country. The other two are sited at Bawku and Akwatia in the Upper East and Eastern regions respectively.

The HDU facility was put up under the CHAG COVID-19 Response and Institutional Capacity Building (CRIB) project in partnership with the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FUCO) and UKAid.

The centre, which has been equipped with a PCR COVID-19 test machine and other high definition health machinery to monitor and treat severe cases, was established through the rehabilitation and upgrade of an existing facility at the hospital.

Inauguration

During the inauguration of the facility, the Executive Director of CHAG, Dr Peter Yeboah, said it was estimated that about six per cent of infected COVID-19 patients would develop a severe form of the disease.

According to him, while people in the cities could have access to advanced case management centres, the same could not be said at the district and sub-district levels, while referrals to these advanced referral centres in cities left families with the economic burden of transport, accommodation and feeding.

“In addressing these gaps, HDUs have been established to enable district hospitals to manage very severe COVID-19 cases in rural areas without sending them to the national treatment centres,” he explained, adding that the centres were intended to serve and provide for case management in the northern and middle belts of the country.

Dr Yeboah said the proximity to Cote d’Ivoire and accessibility to adjoining regions made the Berekum Holy Family Hospital a special national asset in terms of serving as a buffer for case management and other future outbreaks.

He added that the modest contributions of CHAG at the community, district, regional and national levels continued to complement government’s health delivery efforts at all times.

Dr Yeboah, therefore, gave assurance that CHAG remained committed to harnessing its infrastructures, access to social spaces and trusted assets in promoting fruitful partnership towards strengthening the country’s health system to be responsive, robust and resilient.

For his part, the Bono Regional Director of Health, Dr Kofi Amo-Kordie, stated that 2,111 COVID-19 cases had been recorded in the region as of November 2, 2021, out of which 89 had died because of challenges in taking care of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

He said at the beginning of the pandemic, 43 per cent of the infected people were health workers, explaining that currently the percentage had been brought down to 20 per cent.

While advising Ghanaians to continue to observe all the COVID-19 protocol, Dr Amo-Kordie expressed concern about the attitude of the majority of people who thought that the disease was no more, and called on them to have a rethink to help the country in its fight against the disease.

Vaccination target

In her address, the Development Director, British High Commission in Ghana, Ms Elizabeth Ashley Cadman, said there was the need for coordinated efforts to achieve President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s target of vaccinating 20 million people in the country.

“We must work together to ensure that all adults and the vulnerable among us – including persons with disability and living with health conditions – get the protection that vaccines provide, because no one is safe from COVID-19 until we are all safe.”

She said globally, the United Kingdom had pledged up to £1.3 billion of UK aid towards global actions to contain the pandemic, which included support for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and an array of diagnostic tests and effective COVID-19 treatment.

Ms Cadman advised Ghanaians to get vaccinated as the December festive period approached and comply with all the safety protocol to help lower transmissions, protect health services and put the country’s economic recovery on a firm footing.

The Health Service Administrator of the Berekum Holy Family Hospital, Reverend Sister Reena John, said the hospital had received GH¢600,000 worth of personal protective equipment and other consumables from CHAG as part of the CRIB project, revealing that the PCR machine for COVID-19 test alone cost about GH¢300,000.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Berekum East, Mr Nelson Kyeremeh, thanked CHAG for the establishment of the centre, saying that the gesture would help save lives.

The Bono Regional Minister, Ms Justina Owusu-Banahene, who chaired the function, commended health workers in the country, who had helped the government to implement measures to contain the pandemic, for their dedication and commitment.

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