Dr. Zakpalah Dery Emmanuel, Acting Medical Administrator of the Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital, has said it it is regrettable that since the hospital’s establishment in 1955, the facility, the most patronized health centre in the Dormaa Central Municipality, operates without an incubator used for diagnosing Cholera and other non-viral diseases.
As a result, he stated: “our laboratory has to liaise with the municipal directorate of health, to take samples to Sunyani for testing, because we don’t have an incubator to test for microbiology, even though we have bio-medical scientist here”.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Dormaa – Ahenkro, to answer questions on speculations from the local media on cholera outbreak in the Municipality, he stated that he could not ascertain whether or not there was an outbreak of cholera in the Municipality because “the hospital has no equipment to carry out the test on the disease on its own”.
He pointed out that the 18 people, who were brought to the hospital for treatment about a fortnight ago, were suffering from diarrhoea and not cholera, as widely held by a cross – section of the public.
“Moreover, our laboratory has no facility for microbiology. Under normal practice, when we take blood, stool or urine samples, we place them in a special medium under appropriate temperature and cover them. Afterwards, they are placed in an incubator for the organism to multiply to be able to proof if it’s a particular disease. But we do not have the facility to do the test in Dormaa – Ahenkro here, except Sunyani where the equipment is available”, he added.
Dr. Dery appealed to the people to visit the hospital facility immediately they sensed of having diarrhoea, else the slightest delay in seeking for treatment could endanger their lives.
He expressed concern about the non – payment of insurance claims due the hospital by the National Health Insurance Authority, stressing since March this year when the last insurance claims was made, to date the hospital has still not received its insurance claims from the National Health Insurance Authority for payment to service providers.
He appealed to the Authority to ensure prompt payment of claims to the hospital, to enable it continue to render services to members of the public.
The acting medical administrator, called on all and sundry to come to the assistance of the hospital in financial and material terms, to keep it in business.
“Currently we are using an obsolete generator, and it’s not strong in the face of power fluctuation, it consumes a lot of fuel incurring huge debts for the hospital”, he added.
Madam Florence Iddrisa, Municipal Director of Health, said the samples had to be taken to Sunyani to test for cholera, because the Hospital has not got a reference laboratory for testing for cholera cases, adding, “not all public health facilities have this laboratory”.
On speculations and rumours of a possible outbreak of cholera in the Municipality, she said investigations were on-going, and therefore it could not be confirmed whether or not there was any case of the disease.
She stated however, that her outfit had already taken delivery of some cholera drugs, and that they had been distributed to the various health facilities within the Municipality.
Madam Iddrisa urged the people not to panic, but rather visit hospitals to seek for treatment on their ailment, adding, “even if it’s cholera they will treat it”.
“You see it’s the panic we want to control people from. We don’t want people to panic to the point that they will shudder in bringing invalids for treatment in hospital ”, she stated. GNA