One of the six district hospitals started by the John Mahama government to eliminate disparities in healthcare delivery in the country has been abandoned at the Garu Tempane in the Upper East Region.
In August 2013 the then Health Minister Sherry Ayitey cut sod for construction work to begin on the hospitals under the 175 million-dollar turnkey project at Dodowa, Kumawu, Sekondi, Abetifi, Garu Tempane and Fomena.
Four years on, only the Dodo District Hospital has been completed under the agreement signed between the Ministry of Health Ghana and NMS Infrastructure Limited from the United Kingdom.Construction work on the Garu Tempane District Hospital, which officially started in May 2015, was abandoned a year later by the contractors who left the site without explanation.
The site has been taken over by weeds and roofs of the buildings serving as offices have also been ripped off while thieves have taken advantage of the situation and lack of security at the site to steal building materials meant for the project.The Garu-Tempane district is the largest in terms of land and population in the upper east region but without a hospital. Residents currently rely on clinics and CHPS compounds which cannot handle certain cases.
Cases beyond those hospitals are awalys referred to either the Bawku Hospital or Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.
Youth want action taken
News of the construction of a district hospital for the people came as joy but their hopes of getting a modern health facility to handle their healthcare needs have now waned with the years of abandonment of the project.
Some youth in Garu-Tempane are now calling on the government to as matter of urgency ensure the completion of the stalled project.Member of Parliament for Garu, Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, told 3News in a telephone interview that the project at Garu-Tempane was suspended for the contractor, MNSI to complete the others in the southern sector.
At a news conference Wednesday, the youth of Garu called on the current government to call the contractor to order to complete the project, indicating the district needs hospital to take care of serious healthcare issues in the area.
Spokesperson for the youth, James Akasire, said items meant for the construction of the hospital were being stolen by some residents and they blamed the contractor for the activities of these miscreants.
“We may sound mild and modest in our demands and presentation; we should not be misconstrued to mean a weakness. We shall closely monitor events and if no action is taken in respect of our demands we shall advise ourselves accordingly.
“We shall not hesitate to embark on massive street protest among other options,” he warned
The group said the Garu-Tempane District Assembly spent huge amount of money in paying compensations for the release of land for the project and that such investment should not be allowed to go waste.
“The contractor should explain why he had to cause the Garu-Tempane district Assembly to spend huge sums of money as compensation for land and the construction of residence to house him and some of his workers,” he said.
Meanwhile, three people arrested for stealing iron rods from the project site have been given bail for investigations to continue into the matter.
By Tanko Mohammed Rabiu|3news.com|Ghana