Dumsor chronicles Dumsor affecting healthcare delivery at Ridge Hospital

Doctors and nurses have been depending on mobile phones and candlelight to assist patients at the Ridge hospital due to the ongoing power crisis.

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The current power crisis facing the country is seriously having debilitating effects on healthcare delivery at some of the public hospitals in the country.

According to the Today newspaper, the Ridge Government Hospital in Accra is one of such facilities reeling under the effects of the situation. Even though the hospital has a standby plant to provide power during power cuts, the newspaper says for the past four months management have not been able to buy diesel to power the facility for use.

A visit to the state-owned hospital on the evening of Monday, April 27, 2015 at about 9:00 P.M., was indeed an eyesore as the whole place was in total darkness, except only the VIP Ward which had light.

The development, Today gathered, left the poor on admission at the hospital with no choice but to contend with it.

In fact, the situation was worrying that nurses at the facility were seen using candle light and mobile torchlight to administer medication on patients with instructions from doctors.

Today, for instance, caught up with a nurse who was injecting drip on a patient without any light to aid her to carry out the medication. The nurse, however, in her desperation used her mobile phone torchlight which provided her light to help her inject the drip on the patient. Some of the nurses who agreed to speak to our reporter on condition of anonymity lamented that the situation was getting out of hand.

They pointed out that if the central government did not act immediately about the current energy crisis lives would be lost needlessly at the hospital. They also blamed the situation on bad management of the hospital authorities and the inability of the government to set its priority right by ensuring that the energy problem was fixed.

The nurses could also not understand why a hospital can operate without power as their work depended largely on electricity. “We sit here at night working on human beings without light?

What if someone enters and kills a patient… how can we see? Go to other hospitals, especially the private ones, plants and generators are working 24/7, but here at the Ridge Hospital the situation is different,” the distressed health workers lamented.

Scores of patients who obliged to speak to this paper bemoaned the situation, describing it as “hell and inhuman.”

Apart from the interrupted power supply at the hospital, the patients also complained about the lack of beds for patients on admission. That situation, Today uncovered, forces several of the patients on admission to sleep on benches.

“This is very bad! The kind of situation we face here (at Ridge Hospital) is really terrible and the earlier something is done about it, the better for us all,” Adamu, one of the patients, intimated. “My brother (referring to this reporter) we are joking as a country,” Mr. Adamu averred.

According to him, if even there should be a power outage at the hospital, at least the Theatre Ward must not be affected. The situation at the Children’s Ward was not different when Today got there as the whole place was also in total darkness.

According to a nurse on duty, a mother who had brought her sick son to the hospital had no choice than to wait till the power was restored to enable her son undergo treatment.

“We need light to work. We don’t know what is going to happen if a child uses a syringe to inject himself or herself… we can’t tell, so the authority should provide money for fuel to power the plant”, the worried nurse stressed.

Source: Today Newspaper

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