Construction work on a 500-bed maternity and children’s block project at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has stalled for almost four months now.
The development has led to discomfort among health workers and the general public who fear the project may be left uncompleted just like the 45-year-old block that was eventually demolished.
On May 2020, President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of a new maternity and children’s block of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital after the old one was pulled down for failing structural integrity test.
“The project which is to be carried out within 36 months and whose funding has been fully secured. The finalisation of this project is as very dear to my heart as it would have a positive impact on our country’s drive towards achieving the SDG target under maternal and child health”, President Akufo-Addo stated.
The 138-million Euro project was to be completed in May 2023 but it was later reviewed to be handed over by the end of the first quarter of 2024.
Work began in earnest to meet the completion deadline.
But the project has come to a halt since the beginning of 2023.
TV3 sources revealed the about five hundred on-site workers have been laid off due to the unavailability of funds to continue with the project.
The project site now looks empty with no sign of construction activity ongoing.
The project site has now become the home to hawks with no sign of construction activity ongoing.
With less than a year to complete and hand over the project, work is currently 40 percent complete.
“We beg the government to release funds for the completion of this project. We were told the funds are ready before the commencement of work. So, what is delaying its completion? We don’t want what happened to the 44-year-old MBU block to happen to this. Enough of taxpayers’ money has been wasted already by demolishing the old building. This new one needs to be completed without any delays”, a resident in Kumasi, Seth Adu Sarkodie said.
“The completion of this facility will come as a relief to us (health workers) and those who patronize the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. Maternal and child health will further improve”, a midwife who spoke on the condition of anonymity noted.
Once completed, the 500-bed maternity and children’s block will come with ten operating theatres and diagnostic rooms, fully equipped with X-Ray, ultrasound, and mammography facilities.
Paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics units will be inclusive. It will house an intensive care unit, a high dependency unit, isolation rooms and student lecture halls, with the capacity to provide catering services for staff, patients and students”
Fully equipped with modern medical equipment will mean enhancing on health care delivery towards meeting the SDG 3 target on improving maternal and child health.
Old MBU block demolished
After investing millions of dollars in the construction of the 45-year-old maternity and baby unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the 6-storey building was demolished completely owing to compromised structural integrity.
The structural defects according to contractors was as a result of years of neglect.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has justified the demolition with the explanation that, the old MBU building, due to its exposure to the weather, could not last for the next five to 10 years.
Hence, its maintenance will be more expensive than building a new project to serve the people of Ashanti Region and beyond.