VICE PRESIDENT ALHAJI DR. BAWUMIA COMMISSIONS FIRST-EVER GHANA INFECTIOUS DISEASE CENTRE AT THE GA EAST MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL
The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 24th July, 2020, commissioned the first-ever Ghana Infectious Disease Centre (GIDC).
The 100-bed capacity GIDC, located at the Ga East Municipal Hospital at Kwabenya-Atomic, is a private-sector-initiated and executed project funded through the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund and built by a combined military-civilian professionals, skilled and unskilled labourers.
The project, which emerged as a result of the private sector's response to the call by President Akufo-Addo on all Ghanaians to rally support behind the government to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, was constructed within 67 days at the cost of 7.5 Million Dollars.
The GCPSF, spearheaded by national icons Messrs Senyo Kwasi Hosi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) and Managing Trustee, Edward Effah, Board Chairman of Fidelity Bank, and Dr. Anthony Oteng-Gyasi, Chairman of Tropical Cable & Conductor Limited, Trsutee, among others, from April, the early stages of COVID-19 in Ghana, conceptualized the project and with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders came out with the designs and project estimates cost.
Following this, the Fund was set up and saw many patriotic Ghanaians and corporate bodies donating from as little as sixty pesewas to raise the needed funds for the project which has components such as laboratories, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), general wards, among others.
President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 17th April, 2020 did the first-ever virtual sod-cutting in the country to commence the construction of the GIDC and three (3) months later, on Friday, 24th July, 2020, the Vice President, Dr. Bawumia, commissioned the facility for use.
Addressing the gathering at the commissioning ceremony, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia highly commended the patriotism, determination and hard work of the brains behind the project, donors and men and women of the GAF exhibited in the realization of such dream.
"Fortunately, the pandemic also uncovered a rare patriotic response in recent memory. The public health crisis mobilized a patriotic consensus on the collective need to contain and treat infectious diseases. The President's rallying national cohesion ignited patriotism and the private sector's response is what today's event represents. Today is the celebration of Ghanaian ingenuity, patriotism and the dedication to humanity by a team of men and women, 536 strong, working 24 hours a day to make the impossible a reality", the Vice President remarked.
He continued further that "We came here today to celebrate the ingenuity of indigenous Ghanaians in their response to a national emergency. We're proud of the dreamers, the builders, the supervisors and all those who provided funding so that we can save the lives of Ghanaians. This ultimately is about saving lives".
He disclosed that the feat chalked from the project has motivated the government to ensure that all the over 100 hospitals it intends building throughout the country would be constructed by Ghanaian companies and workforce.
His Excellency the Vice President expressed concern about the management and maintenance culture of our public facilities and called for high standards in managing it.
"Going forward, our challenge is the management of the facility and how it fits into the big picture of Ghana's CDC (Centre for Disease Control) agenda. We have a world-class facility and it deserves a world-class management by professionals who understand the uses of the facility as advance research, teaching and management of infectious diseases, who are unencumbered by excessive bureaucratic red-tape in management", Dr. Bawumia appealed.
Various individuals and organizations who played critical roles in the success construction of the GIDC were honoured while the names of all the donors have been inscribed on specially designed walls in front of the facility.
Among the officials present were Hon. Dr. Bernard Oko Boye (MP), Deputy Minister for Health, Hon. Dominic Nituwul (MP), Minister for Defence, Dr. Justice Yankson, General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA) Abokobi, and Dr. Ebenezer Oduro-Mensah, Medical Director of the Ga East Municipal Hospital, among others.
Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah doffed her hat out to the originators of the project idea and indicated the Assembly's readiness to support in maintaining it.
"I'm totally amazed at the facility, the kind of technology at work in there. As an Assembly, hosting this facility which complements the Ga East Municipal Hospital to fight COVID-19 gives us that awesome feeling and we're most grateful to the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund for this audacious achievement. We're ready to provide any assistance to help maintain this facility as the Vice President stated", the Hon. MCE said.
The facility will serve as the main treatment centre for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, founded on the mission, “To provide a prompt response to the hardship and suffering arising out of the COVID-19 Pandemic”, is determined to follow this lead to construct similar facilities in Kumasi, Tamale, and Takoradi and calling on all Ghanaians, individuals and corporate bodies to support this worthy cause by donating to the Fund.