Patients reel due to power outage in Yilo & Manya Krobo health facilities

Patients on admission in darkness

Access to quality healthcare delivery has become a luxury for residents in the Yilo and Manya Krobo Municipalities due to weeks of power outage.

Patients and caregivers have to endure heat and darkness while on admission at health facilities in the two major municipalities.

Rationing power and fueling hired generators and plants has now become the norm in the affected hospitals.

The Somanya Polyclinic in the Yilo Krobo Municipality sees an average of 100 patients a day but the numbers have gone down due to current situation.

Only basic OPD services and laboratory tests are being rendered.

Patients on admission are going through worst experience.

Mothers and their sick kids are unable to bear the heat and noisy generator set.

Fanning herself and her sick child with a piece of cloth, one of the mothers lamented.

“I have been here with my child for two days now. The heat is unbearable, the heat is too much, my child is crying, we came here to get healed, but the situation isn’t helping.”

Another said: “I buy batteries everyday to ensure we have some sort of light in the night. My son cannot sleep in the darkness, it’s a bad situation.”

The administrator of the facility says the GH¢1000 spent on hired generator set and fuel on daily basis is crippling the facility.

“We cannot continue this expenditure if the power outage stretches on. We may have to talk to our superiors for action to be taken,” said Administrator Vincent Tamakloe.

At the the new Yilo Krobo Municipal Hospital, same basic services are being offered.

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Plans to start a maternal care has to be put on hold due to the power outage.

The plant at the facility is being run with GH¢3,000-fuel daily.

General healthcare services and mortuary services run shift on the powered plant.

“We switch it on in the morning to take care of the OPD cases that come in, and off it in the afternoon after midday. At 6pm, we switch the morgue on till the next morning and switch that off too. So we are rationing the power here to sustain the services. On daily basis, we are having management meetings to take decisions, we definitely cannot go on like this”

Patients on admission at the St Martin’s de Porres Hospital at Agomanya have been referred to nearby hospitals.

The Hospital’s management says spending GH¢3,000 daily on fuel cannot be sustained.

“We have an old plant we use for the day. After 2:00pm, we switch it off and use two hired generators for the records and laboratory to run. Our system is automatic not manual, so we can’t go off in that area totally. We may have to speak to our superiors to temporarily suspend services if the situation prolongs.”

Surgeries are conducted in the dark

Surgeries have been suspended and antenatal care affected, a situation that may affect maternal and child healthcare.

“We can’t tell what will happen to our pregnant mothers who cannot receive care here again. Many are home unable to come because they would be turned away. We do 10 deliveries daily with two surgeons available. We definitely cannot meet maternal mortality and child morbidity goals with this ongoing situation in the two Krobo areas.”

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Nurses and midwives in the two municipalities are worn out already having to depend on torch lights and work in darkness to attend to patients.

Some at the St Martin’s de Porres Hospital have reported of attacks in the dark.

Their executives have been monitoring activities of their members and hope the lights are switched on sooner than later before they are forced to lay down their tools.

For now, it’s a case of endurance and perseverance for all stakeholders in the health sector in the Yilo and Manya Krobo Municipalities.

The power outage in these areas is in its third week.

By Yvonne Neequaye|3news.com|Ghana