The Sunyani Municipal hospital has assured the general public of measures to improve quality and efficient healthcare.

This follows the accusation of discriminatory care due to his dreadlocks and an overdose of tramadol by the Reggae Lovers Club and the family of Alfred Asante Kwateng (Ras Tenee) who died on 4th April 2021.

“We suspected Ras Tenee had overdosed with Tramadol injection. He exhibited signs of a tramadol overdose, including contracted pupils, extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, weak muscles, and loss of consciousness”, the Club and family earlier alleged.

They further alleged other people in the hospital noticed the level of discrimination towards Ras Tenee by some of the nurses due to his dreadlocks.

Sunyani Municipal Hospital assures measures to improve health care following death of resident

“Rastaman no deɛ, benfii no koraa”, to wit, they did not care or bother much about the Rastaman, they allegedly quoted an eyewitness.

At a joint press conference in the hospital to douse the tension and emotions, and to also smoke the peace pipe with the Club and his family, Dr. Ekow Dennis, said, Ras Tenee, who was admitted into the facility on 3rd April and died the next day, presented with groin swelling, abdominal pain and persistent vomiting of two days duration.

“He was diagnosed with Obstructed Inguinoscrotal Hernia, and treatments such as intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and intravenous tramadol 100mg in 500mg normal saline within the therapeutic range was started. 

“He started exhibiting signs of overwhelming Sepsis leading to a drop in his blood pressure and other parameters”, he explained.

Dr. Ekow said aggressive resuscitation with intravenous fluids, inotropes medicine were administered to improve his heart condition and oxygen support but unfortunately, he could not come out as he was signed off as a septic shock, secondary to the Inguinoscrotal Hernia.

Sunyani Municipal Hospital assures measures to improve health care following death of resident

He noted, however, that though they did not find any evidence of discriminatory comments or neglect as a result of Ras Tenee wearing dreadlocks, they “apologize for any of such unintended comments”.

The President of the Reggae Lovers Club, Annor Gyan, also known as Ras Andy Muller, said they had series of meetings with the hospital management. 

He noted that though the circumstances that lead to the demise of their member saddens them it is unfortunate that they can’t bring him back to life.

“We are believing that the hospital management and staff will leave up to the billing by giving all manner of patients first-class treatment when the need be without any form of discrimination”, Ras Andy Muller said. 

Ras Tenee’s mother, Helen Serwaa Asante, who could not control her tears, advised all health care providers to discharge their duties regardless of one’s faith and appearance.   

Sunyani Municipal Hospital assures measures to improve health care following death of resident

“Because they failed to treat and respect my son’s right as a human, I have lost one of my two children. They should know that “a royal becomes a servant elsewhere due to situations and must endeavor to treat all human beings seeking health care equally”, she tearfully admonished.

The Medical Superintendent of the Sunyani Municipal hospital, Dr. Robert Arkoh, said, sanctions have been applied against staff found culpable in what he described as “the preventable death of Ras Tenee”. 

“We have organized customer service among others for our staff”, he said and reiterated that their work is centered on the patient, whose satisfaction, is regarded as optimum care.

He assured the family and the general public of management measures to ensure quality health care is given to the people of Sunyani.

Meanwhile, the hospital management appreciated the Reggae Lover Club’s gesture of painting the OPD and pharmacy block with a promise to do more, despite their dissatisfaction in the care of the late Ras Tenee, who has since been buried.