Patients at the Savelugu-Nanton hospital in the Northern Region are compelled to share wards with dead bodies in a testament to deplorable state of its infrastructure.
The hospital’s morgue is dysfunctional and the entire facility is overcrowded, forcing managers to divide the limited space between the living and the dead.
Describing the state of the hospital during a visit, Joynews Hashmin Mohammed said the facility looks good outside, but you will be disappointed when you get in.
The ceiling of the roof is torn, exposing naked wire in some parts of the hospital. Rusty nails cannot longer hold firmly together leading to severe leakages which destroy patients’ files.
There is also inadequate space and beds, making children and adults share beds in the wards while others lie o the bare floor.
Yakubu Alhassan who has been using the facility with his children described a recent visit there after his child two weeks ago explains the conditions patients had to contend with.
“There were no beds. My child had to be treated on the bare floor. We stayed here for three days and we were discharged.
“On getting home, I realised my child was having other skin diseases which I suspected was contracted at the hospital.
“So we returned and the child was treated of the skin diseases,” he said.
But the lack of space and inadequate beds is the least of their problems.
The facility lacks toilet and urinal facilities and patients engage in open defecation. The morgue is dysfunctional, and patients are worried about the problem.
Yakubu Alhassan said when a patient dies, the body is left on the bed next to other patients while the hospital waits for the family of the dead to come for the body.
“The stench and the frustration in patients watching this is not easy,” he said.
The hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr. Samson Bankwaa who confirmed the situation to Joy News’ Hashmin Mohammed noted working conditions are dangerous to the health of staff and patients.
“When they finish treatment and you have a dead body just by the corner there, you will not feel comfortable…it is a problem”
The health center was upgraded to a municipal hospital but no rehabilitation or expansion works were done to complement the upgrade.
The upgrade is just on paper.
“Though it is functioning as a hospital, most of the facilities here were meant for health centre,” the Medical Superintendent said.
The hospital which serves a growing population of about 139,283 said congestion is a major headache.
“Anywhere you go you see that people are making do with small spaces”.
“If you go to the lab the whole place is congested…it is virtually impossible to handle stool and urine samples in a small place.
The Accident and Emergency shares the same facility with Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) which could compromise the effectiveness of the sterilisation.
Member of Parliament for Savelugu Abdul Samed Mohammed Gunu who toured the facility with the District Chief Executive Hajia Ayishetu Seidu told Joy News he is overwhelmed by the state of the hospital.
“This is not a hospital. It is just a clinic,” he expressed disappointment.