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Pantang Hospital grapples with rising insecurity as squatters, criminals take over premises

Pantang Hospital, once envisioned by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as a Pan-African mental health village, is currently facing an alarming surge in illegal activities, lawlessness, and insecurity within its premises.

The 344-acre health facility, which encompasses nursing and midwifery training institutions, basic schools, and other state facilities, has become a breeding ground for criminals, social misfits, and squatters.

Reports indicate that on a daily basis, hordes of individuals engage in acts of violence, theft, destruction of property, and even prostitution, right under the noses of law enforcement authorities.

These activities pose a significant threat to the safety and well-being of staff, patients, students, and other visitors to the hospital.

The management of Pantang Hospital, in collaboration with the La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly (LaNMMA), is taking decisive action to restore order and rid the premises of illegal structures and criminals.

Efforts are underway to clear the land and ensure the safety of the hospital community.

The construction of Pantang Hospital, initiated by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was intended to provide specialized mental healthcare services in Ghana and beyond.

However, following Nkrumah's overthrow, the facility was left unfinished and neglected, making it vulnerable to encroachment and occupation by squatters.

A recent monitoring exercise conducted by the Daily Graphic revealed that squatters had completely taken over the hospital's entrance, erecting makeshift wooden structures as homes and shops.

This dire situation at the entrance reflects the sense of hopelessness that has permeated the entire facility.

Despite the presence of a police post in front of the hospital, incidents of theft and unruly behavior persist.

Valuable items such as water meters, computers, air conditioning units, and medical equipment have been stolen.

Furthermore, personal belongings of staff and students have been frequently targeted by robbers.

Surrounding the hospital, areas that serve as hideouts for prostitutes, weed sales, and mechanic shops contribute to a general sense of unease and jeopardize the safety of the health center.

Dr. Frank Baning, the Medical Director of Pantang Hospital, expressed deep concern about the prevailing insecurity and its impact on healthcare delivery.

He stressed the urgent need to address the presence of illegal structures and the associated security risks.

The hospital has commenced collaborative efforts with LaNMMA to formulate strategies for the eviction of squatters and the removal of their structures from the premises.

Jennifer Dede Adjabeng, the Chief Executive of LaNMMA, affirmed the joint commitment of the municipal assembly and Pantang Hospital to restore sanity to the facility and its environs.

While certain parts of the premises have already been cleared, the frontage remains occupied due to an ongoing legal dispute over land ownership.

The assembly is actively engaging with the claimants and the hospital management to find a resolution and create a safe environment.

The plight of Pantang Hospital serves as a stark reminder of the need for decisive action and investment in healthcare infrastructure.

The hospital's restoration and protection will not only enhance the provision of mental health services but also safeguard the well-being of patients, staff, and the surrounding community.

It is imperative that swift measures be taken to reclaim the facility from criminal elements and ensure a safe, secure, and supportive environment for all. 

Story by: Ewura Ama



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