Health Korle-Bu loses its only DNA machine; leaves patients frustrated

The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has been without a DNA machine since 2015, leaving persons to seek for the service elsewhere.

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Dr Felix Anyah CEO of Korle-bu Teaching Hospital play

Dr Felix Anyah CEO of Korle-bu Teaching Hospital

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The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) is currently without a DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) machine to serve persons looking to conduct paternity and other forms of tests.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the Hospital has been without a DNA machine since 2015, leaving persons to seek for the service elsewhere.

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The machine was reportedly taken away after management of the hospital failed to fulfil their side of the contract signed with the supplier of the equipment.

A source who spoke to the Ghanaian Times on condition of anonymity said the Hospital was supposed to pay for the DNA machine in installment, until it becomes theirs permanently.

However, the source said, the management of the Hospital later stopped honouring their part of the agreement, leaving the supplier with no choice but to take the machine away.

 

“When the supplier brought in the machine, the hospital was expected to pay the cost of it in installments to have complete ownership but along the line, management failed to honour their part of the deal so the supplier took the machine away,” the source is quoted as saying.

“We actually received lots of cases when the facility was in operation especially from the courts and embassies with a few walk-ins. At least in a day, two people come to the centre for enquiries and in a month, we receive about 20 cases to handle.”

The source further stated that the unavailability of a DNA machine at the Hospital has left many patients frustrated.

Persons seeking to conduct paternity tests upon arrival to the centre are referred to either the Trust Hospital, Spintex Community Hospital or the Forensic Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department under the Ghana Police Service.

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Meanwhile, a €178,000 molecular biology laboratory used for conducting DNA tests at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) is also no longer in operation.

The facility which was established in 2010 made Ghana the first country in the West African sub-region to have the capacity to carry out DNA tests.

 

However, the facility is now in a deplorable state, with some rooms converted into waiting rooms whiles others have completely ben shut.

Public Relations Officer of the Hospital, Mustapha Salifu, told the Ghanaian Times that services at the DNA Centre had been suspended.

“We created a new unit, a cell biology unit where we provide DNA tests but for now, it has been suspended but we are working on revamping the place and the service will soon be available.  We do not want to tackle individual logistics, we looking at the service,” he said.

He, however, refused to confirm if a new DNA machine was being bought to replace the old one, saying if “the service is not there, it doesn’t mean, it is linked to the machine.”

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