10:07, 30.Oct 2018
Work on the 120-bed district hospital at Fomena in the Adansi North District in the Ashanti Region has been abandoned.
The project, located on a 35-acre land, is part of a $175-million contract for the construction of six district hospitals across the country.
The six hospitals that were captured in the loan agreement were to be located in Kumawu, also in the Ashanti Region, Sekondi in the Western Region, Abetifi in the Eastern Region, Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region and Tempane in the Upper East Region.
The sod for the construction of the hospital at Fomena was cut on August 12, 2014 for NMS Infrastructure Limited, a British project management consortium, to execute the contract within five years.
For the special aide to the Adansihene, Nana Akwasi Yentumi Asante, and the more than 110,000 residents of Adansi North who go through thick and thin to access health care, the commencement of work on the hospital was good news to them.
“There is no hospital in the entire district.
All we have is the Fomena Health Centre and other clinics which cannot provide some health services. People die from simple sicknesses because there is no ready access to quality health care.
Until recently, there was no resident doctor in the whole district and this is troubling because we need our people to be fit to work,” Nana Asante said.
He said it was their hope that the days of transporting pregnant women on motorbikes on pothole-riddled roads to health facilities in other districts would become a thing of the past.
However, almost five years down the line, he said, their hopes had been dashed, as the huge edifice had become a white elephant, following the evacuation of NMS Infrastructure Limited from the site two years ago for lack of funds to continue the project.
A visit to the facility last Tuesday revealed buildings that were supposed to house various departments of the hospital, including 26 wards, two operating theatres and their recovery units, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), an accident centre and an outpatients department (OPD), engulfed in weeds.
The buildings have become the habitat for rodents and reptiles.
The laboratory, mortuary, paediatric and radiology units, as well as the maternity, obstetrics and gynecology wards, have also been overtaken by weeds.
At the eastern side of the 35-acre facility is a 100-unit staff accommodation that has also been left to waste away.
The Daily Graphic team also observed that some walls of the buildings had developed cracks, while some of the roofs had been ripped off.
The integrity of some installations, such as air conditioners and oxygen plants, that were fixed before the abandonment of the project, cannot be vouched for.
But for a volunteer security team, led by Mr George Agyekum, which had kept watch over the abandoned facility, the rate of deterioration and damage to the buildings would have been massive.
The chiefs and the people of the district called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Health Ministry and other stakeholders to, as a matter of urgency, facilitate the completion of work on the project.
Nana Asante said the abandoned project was a huge investment to improve health care and the local economy.
“The greatest asset of every country is its human resource, but we cannot build a strong country with a sick workforce,” he stressed, adding that the people had suffered for far too long and needed relief.
When contacted, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Mr Eric Kwaku Kusi, said: "Since I took over as the DCE about two years ago, I have written letters to the Ministry of Health.
I was directed to Capital Investment and I went there but I was told that the document had been forwarded to the Ministry of Finance, so we are still waiting for financial approval for work on the project to start again.”