The health care needs of Chirano residents in the Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai Municipality of the Western North Region have received a major boost.
This is after Chirano Gold Mines Company Limited (CGML) commissioned and handed-over a ¢470,000 fully equipped maternity clinic and a laboratory facility.
The project is a result of cross-sector collaboration.
Officials say it is part of a long-term community development plan between CGML and the Community Consultative Committee (CCC), a body that represents the interests of local communities.
The construction of the facility is part of an ongoing expansion and upgrade initiative, with five health centers now constructed by the Mine in surrounding communities.
At a ceremony to commission the maternity clinic, Vice President and General Manager of Chirano Gold Mines Limited, Terence Watungwa, stressed the Mine’s commitment to assisting the Ghana Health Service in providing quality healthcare to residents of the local community.
“A healthy community promotes socio-economic well-being and has a direct effect on our operations because most of our employees live in these communities, The health of local residents is of utmost importance to us.”
The old facility
The over forty-year-old health facility had outlived its purpose and deteriorating as a result.
It had just one delivery bed which meant in cases of two pregnant mothers, one had to be delivered on a polythene sheet spread on the floor.
Midwife in charge of the facility, Esther Aku Abordo, explained they always had to improvise.
“…when two mothers come for delivery. We have only one delivery bed, we had to deliver one on the bed and the other on floor covered with a polythene bag. Then the mother will deliver on it.”
The lying-in ward was congested with three beds in a small room. It resulted in low delivery rate. In a month, the health facility had 20 to 25 deliveries.
“We had to discharge some before others got a bed,” Mrs Abordo explained.
The health facility in this state had to stop deliveries when it rained because the roof leaked. Physician Assistant for the facility, Agness Atta Amofa Jnr, said the situation was unpleasant for health care.
“…the old building was giving us problem because the roofing was bad. Rain water got into the delivery room when it rained.
She explained that lack of equipment and a laboratory was impeding quality health care delivery for the community.
“…We had to refer them to Bibiani Government Hospital because we didn’t have all the equipment and capacity to take care of some complications. So, a few mothers have died upon referral to Bibiani Government Hospital on the way, “Agness Atta Amofa Jnr said.
They therefore needed an improved and equipped facility to administer their duties the best way possibly.
The new facility
The maternity clinic was constructed and fully equipped at a cost of four hundred and seventy thousand cedis (GHC 470,000).
The 10-bed facility will enable the Chirano Health Centre to provide quality antenatal, postnatal and other services to expectant mothers.
Facilities at the maternity clinic include hot air oven, electronic scale, recovery bed, and an uninterruptible power supply to stabilize power supply to critical equipment.
Both Agnes Atta Amofa Jnr and Eshter Aku Abordo, are convinced the new facility will increase delivery numbers and improve the health care delivery.
“With this new facility, we are positive it will reduce the referrals and incidents of mothers dying on the way.”
The donation will help support UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) in the community, specifically the goal of reducing maternal mortality rates.
The construction of the center has also led to job creation and support for local businesses, retaining construction costs in the Community.
Okogyeman Kwaku Gyampra III, Paramount Chief, Sefwi Chirano Traditional Area, and Richard Rocky Joojo Obeng, Western North Regional Minister who supported the opening of the maternity unit, advised the health officials to employ high maintenance standards to keep the facility in good shape.
“We are very grateful to Chirano Gold Mines for this new facility. It must be taken care of,” they emphasized.
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