KATH COVID-19 Lab ready

Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), has disclosed that a Coronavirus (COVID-19) special laboratory at the hospital opens today.

This follows over three weeks of preparations of all the necessary physical infrastructure, equipment and consumables, and very good test runs validated by the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research (KCCR), he revealed.

According to the KATH CEO, the facility will form part of national efforts to help achieve same-day delivery of COVID-19 test results.

It will also help relieve the KCCR of some workload, and also facilitate prompt delivery of results for all samples taken at KATH and those to be received from other facilities.

“I am happy to announce that management has facilitated the Laboratory Services Directorate here to complete the set-up of a COVID-19 testing laboratory.

“This follows over three weeks of preparation, with all the necessary physical infrastructure, equipment and consumables and very good test runs validated by the KCCR. Full operations of the special lab will start on Monday.”

Mr Owusu-Danso made this known at a ceremony to mark the reactivation of works on the maternity and children’s block project held at the hospital last Friday.

In attendance were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, the Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, the clergy, contractors and the media.

The CEO used the opportunity to thank President Akufo-Addo for his great leadership in leading the country in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are, indeed, grateful for the major supplies received for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and also the special financial packages granted staff in the health sector to motivate us in the resilient management against the pandemic.”

Dr Owusu-Danso also used the occasion to appeal to the government to intervene in the release of land to the hospital for its critical projects, to enable the facility realise its full potential as an excellent health destination.

The appeal is premised on the fact that KATH has the least land size among all the teaching hospitals in the country.

The KATH CEO said the hospital is losing a number of opportunities in some prestigious collaborations and partnerships due to lack of land for new projects.

Dr. Owusu-Danso indicated that the facility is in dire need of land for pending projects, such as a Cardiovascular Centre, Renal Transplant Centre, Psychiatry and Addiction n Rehabilitation Centre, Infectious Diseases Centre, Central laboratory and Diagnostic Centre, Car parks and Staff Village, among others.

According to the KATH CEO, almost every available space, including green lawns, have been turned into car parks in response to the needs of the over 1,450 Out-Patient attendants to the facility daily, and the staff strength of 4,430, which has translated into heavy human and vehicular traffic at the facility.

As a result, Dr. Owusu-Danso, on behalf of the board and management of the hospital, specially appealed to the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, for support in the release of part of a parcel of land adjoining the military land to KATH for its expansion projects.

He said the last piece of land at the premises is what had been used for the Maternity and Children’s Block project, hence, the release and acquisition of the said military land to the hospital for critical development has become even more pronounced.

The Chief Executive Officer mentioned that as it awaits a positive response, KATH needs about GH¢3 million to raise another structure on top of the current 12-bed Psychiatry Unit serving the region, and the entire Northern belt, for acute and emergency mental conditions and the training of specialists and other clinicians in mental health.

Meanwhile, the board and management of KATH has extended their commendation to the President for providing finances and supports for the reactivation of the maternity and children’s block project.

They indicated that apart from the hospital being able to boast of one of the most modern women and children’s medical facilities in the world when completed, it would revolutionise the provision of maternal and paediatric care in this part of the country, and make the hospital a formidable centre of excellence in the training of specialist health professionals in Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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