Nana Ama Asiamah Dokua with Francis Luguniah
Nana Ama Asiamah Dokua, a Deputy Minister of Information who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akropong in the Eastern Region, has set ‘Save Tetteh Quashie Hospital’ fund, aimed at refurbishing the Tetteh Quashie Memorial Hospital in Mampong from its dilapidated stage.
The minister’s gesture follows the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo’s initiative to raise fund to build a new maternity ward for the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
The Tetteh Quarshie Government Hospital was built in February 1961 by the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board (GCMB) in honour of Tetteh Quashie – the man credited for bringing cocoa to Ghana.
However, 56 years down the line, the hospital has not seen any major improvement in terms of infrastructure, and rehabilitation of the existing few ones has not also been forthcoming, leaving the hospital in a sorry state.
On Mothers’ Day, Nana Dokua within whose constituency the hospital falls visited the maternity ward to celebrate the day with mothers at ‘the pot of their motherhood’.
However, the situation at the hospital compelled her to look beyond a request made to her by the hospital’s authorities to rehabilitate the maternity ward to ‘refurbishing and revamping’ the entire hospital.
The MP, speaking to DAILY GUIDE, said, “After visiting the facility, we realised that the issues here are much bigger than me just refurbishing the maternity ward. So thinking through it and walking through the hospital, we thought it will be wise to set up a fund known as ‘SaveTettehQuarshieNow’ to save the situation.”
According to her, “This hospital has saved a lot of lives, lots of our bosses and leaders may have had history with the hospital, so if anybody can hear me, we’re asking that they should get interested in our ‘SaveTettehQuarshie’ fund and donate any kind of thing be it goods or services that you can for us to be able to put Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital back into shape.”
Speaking on the plans for the fund, Hon Dokua said it is meant to completely refurbish and revamp the entire hospital.
She added that though she could appeal to the government for support, the country has 216 metropolitan, municipal and districts which invariably “means we are talking about 216 district hospitals with several other challenges and any attempts to rely solely on the government cannot give the needed speed with which they would want to put the hospital back to full life.”
“So as a people, we are supposed to complement the government for government to complement us. So if something is there and something is not happening, we don’t have to wait till the government is not doing it before we do it. We have to be as proactive as possible as a people and then come together with what we have and what we can contribute, contribute it and do our bit and then the government one would be the icing on the cake,” the MP explained.
The fund will be managed by representatives from the hospital, representatives from the office of the MP and a reputable accounting firm in the country who will be hired.
On his part, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Akuapem North Municipality, Dennis Aboagye, charged the hospital to improve on their services.
Mr Aboagye said, “We as a government will do our bit, but we have reports of they not giving the best of services to our constituents and the hospital themselves agree to this and so we charge them to up their game.”
The administrator of the hospital, Francis Luguniah, in an interview with the journalists outlined some of their challenges which include dilapidated infrastructure, broken down of machines, delay of release of funds from NHIS, poor internal road network, among others.
When asked as to whether the hospital continues to enjoy some support from the GCMB, Mr Luguniah said although the hospital does enjoy support once in a while from them, the support has been woefully inadequate.
FROM Daniel Bampoe, Mampong