A team of medical doctors and biomedical engineers from the United States of America last Wednesday toured some communities in the Abuakwa South Municipality of the Eastern Region, to assess challenges of health personnel and the facilities they are manning.
The team, led by the Chairman of the North East University Council, Professor Lee Makowski, also explored how best to offer technical support to health workers in some selected health facilities in the area to improve their knowledge.
The initiative is meant to enhance the quality health delivery system in the selected health facilities.
The team first visited the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, at his Kyebi palace, after which members visited some selected clinics, Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds at Sagyimase, Tumfa, Abompe and Dwenase, where they donated Blood Pressure (BP) testing machines to each of the health facilities.
They also organised a day's seminar for health personnel at the Kibi Presbyterian College of Education, to deliberate on healthcare delivery and the provision of biomedical equipment to health facilities in the area.
The seminar was organised and funded by 4GBI for Ghana Biomedical Innovation, an organisation operated by Ghanaians and Americans.
According to Prof. Makowski, the team identified some challenges in the country’s health delivery system, as a result of which, the team decided to come to Ghana to help government’s efforts to address such challenges.
He indicated that their undertakings would be a continuous process to help achieve the purpose for which they had come to Ghana.
Prof. Makowski, who was addressing participants in the seminar, said the constant break-down of biomedical equipment in health facilities had been a worry to the group, as such they intended to train biomedical engineers in how best to use hospital equipment imported into the country.
He explained that the hospital equipment, if not properly used on patients, tended to be dangerous or might even cause their death.
Prof. Makowski stated that calibrating the hospital equipment was also expensive, hence their decision to assist in that respect. He stressed the need to develop biomedical equipment in Ghana, based on local conditions.
The Medical Director of the Eastern Regional Hospital, Dr Arko Akoto-Ampaw, said handling the cases of patients and biomedical equipment must be of the highest standard.
According to him, maintenance of such hospital equipment had been a challenge, because most of the spare parts were not manufactured in Ghana.
He indicated that often highly qualified personnel were not easily available to handle the equipment.
The medical director cited an instance where an expert biomedical engineer had to be flown into the country to service a CT Scan machine which had broken down at the regional hospital in Koforidua.
He, therefore, lauded the group for coming to Ghana to help find solutions to such problems.
A member of the group, Dr Thelma Asare, said it was unfortunate that Africans, especially Ghanaians, invested heavily in the storage of dead bodies instead of the living.
She said although it was necessary to preserve dead bodies, the living must also be taken good care of, particularly their health needs when they were sick.
Osagyefuo Ofori Panin, who chaired the function, said it was a shame that despite the number of qualified medical personnel and medical equipment, Ghanaians were still dying from minor diseases such as malaria and other preventable diseases.
According to him, the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 could only work if inhabitants in the deprived communities took full charge of the initiatives.
The Okyenhene commended the group for their willingness to support the healthcare delivery system.