President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged his government's commitment to complete an abandoned maternity block at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) that has stood unfinished after a staggering 43 years.
Inspecting the imposing structure as part of his three-day visit to Ashanti Region, the president said he was 'very distressed' at the sight of the abandoned project first began in 1974.
The building is to house Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health Center Departments. The Supreme Military Council cut the sod for construction in 1974. But to date no government has been able to cut the tape signalling commissioning of the project.
He wrote in the hospital's visitor's book; "I am very distressed at what I have seen here today. It is not to the credit of our nation that an important hospital project (KATH Maternity Block) should stand for 44 years uncompleted. We have to do something about it, and I intend to do so."
The 1,000 bed facility is seen as an important solution to severe congestion at KATH maternity linked to the average death rate of four babies daily.
It was a Joy News documentary by Seth Kwame Boateng ' Next to die' which brought into focus the plight of nurses, doctors and patients.
At least $70million is needed to complete the project.
President Akufo-Addo said he was worried the project will take 2 yrs to complete even with the necessary funds.
The President tasked the Ashanti regional minister Simon Osei Mensah to put deadlines to efforts to get abandoned maternity block completed.
He was accompanied on his tour by the Agriculture minister Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Trade minister Alan Kyerematen.