COVID-19: Gov’t To Construct 88 Hospitals In Districts Across The Country
President Akufo-Addo has announced that his Government will this year be constructing Eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts across as part of measures at combating the deadly Coronavirus Pandemic.
According to him, the hospitals when completed will each be equipped with one hundred bed hospital, with accommodation for doctors, nurses, and other health workers.
In his 8th address to the nation on measures taken against the spread of Coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo said “There are eighty-eight (88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have 5 infectious disease control centres dotted across the country, and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals”
Explaining the breakdown of the 88 hospitals across the country, President Akufo-Addo disclosed that Ten (10) will be situated in the Ashanti, Nine (9) in Volta, Nine (9) in Central, Eight (8) in Eastern, Seven (7) in Greater Accra.
He further added that Seven (7) will be in the Upper East, Five (5) in Northern, Five (5) in Oti, Five (5) in Upper West, Five (5) in Bono, Four (4) in Western North, Four (4) in Western, Three (3) in Ahafo, Three (3) in Savannah, Two (2) in Bono East, and Two (2) in North East Regions.
President Akufo-Addo also noted that his Government has also put in place plans for the construction of six (6) new regional hospitals in the six (6) new regions, and the rehabilitation of the EffiaNkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region.
“We are going to beef up our existing laboratories and establish new ones across every region for testing. We will establish three (3) infectious disease control centres for each of the zones of our country, i.e. Coastal, Middle Belt, and Northern, with the overall objective of setting up a Ghana Centre for Disease Control” he noted.
President Akufo-Addo hinted that the recent, tragic CSM outbreak, with over forty (40) deaths, has reaffirmed the need for ready access to such infectious disease control centres, even though, in our time, nobody should die of the disease.
He appealed to Ghanaians to make early reporting a requirement adding that the citizenry must do well to heed this call.
President Akufo-Addo also explained that Government is bent on making such investments in the healthcare system not because it is going to be easy, but because it is self-evidently necessary to serve the needs of 21st century Ghana.
He said “The three (3) Development Authorities, the Zongo Development Fund, and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies will be tasked to place health infrastructure amongst their highest priorities in the coming years”
Speaking on the strict measures at the various borders in the country, President Akufo-Addo warned unpatriotic citizens to refrain from their unacceptable behaviours and activities.
“We cannot continue to allow a few persons, who are motivated by their own selfish, money-making interests, to endanger the lives of the rest of the population. Not only will persons who enter our country illegally be strictly dealt with, but so will Ghanaians who facilitate their entry” he said.
He reminded citizens that being a Ghanaian must mean that we look out for each other adding that just as the virus has disrupted our daily lives, it has also exposed the deficiencies of our healthcare system, because of years of under-investment and neglect.
He further explained that whilst maternal, new-born, adolescent health and nutrition remain Government’s top priorities, it will pay much attention to chronic, noncommunicable diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, and asthma, which have proved to be the common risk factors for the eleven (11) deaths we have recorded from the virus.
He highlighted that it also important to address mental health issues, and the crucial role of emergency services, to which new fleet of ambulances and drones are responding.
He said “We must emphasise preventive and promotive aspects of health, in addition to care for the sick. The virus has also revealed the unequal distribution of healthcare facilities, as we have tended to focus our infrastructure on Accra and one or two of our other big cities. But, as we have seen, epidemics and pandemics, when they emerge, can spread to any part of our country”
President Akufo-Addo says he is confident that the country will succeed in its fight against the deadly Coronavirus Pandemic.
Story by Joshua Kwabena Smith