The construction of a $2.86 million fully equipped 20-bed health facility has started at Aiyinase in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region.
The facility, known as the Aiyinase Health Centre, will ease the pressure on the only district hospital at Ekwai, the St Martins d’Pores Hospital, as well as ensure that the patients do not travel far to access certain secondary and tertiary health care.
The project is part of the social investment programme of the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) and Quantum Terminals Plc.
Quantum is one of the off-takers of the processed gas from the Atuabo gas processing plant.
The existing health facility at Aiyinase is in a deplorable condition, and therefore, it has to refer patients with complications beyond its capacity to the St Martin d’Pores Hospital at Ekwae.
At the sod cutting ceremony at Aiyinase yesterday, the two oil and gas companies said the project would be completed in 12 months.
The new health facility will have a more spacious outpatients department, wards, service yard, maternity ward, a diagnosis centre, an administration office and a mothers’ shelter.
Other facilities are a morgue, a pharmacy, canteen and staff accommodation, among others.
Present at the ceremony were the Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the District Chief Executive, Kwasi Bonzoh, the Paramount Chief of the Nzema East Traditional Area, Awulai Amihere Kpanyile III, and officials of the health directorate, among others.
The Ellembelle District Director, Augustine Kwesi Amoako, said the commencement of work had given hope to healthcare delivery in the district, and that having a 20-bed mini hospital at Aiyinase would greatly improve maternal health, especially, and ease the overwhelming burden on St Martin d’Pores Hospital.
He said the Ghana Health Service’s primary health care (PHC) had been designed as a three-tier system where health services were provided at district, sub-district and community levels.
“With the new model, Aiyinase Health Centre will serve as the sub-district facility for Aiyinase sub-district, which is the biggest sub-district among the seven healthcare delivery facilities in the district,” Mr Amoako said.
He said even in its current state, the facility covered 27 per cent of the population of the district and served very hard-to-reach places in the district.
The Board Chairman of Ghana Gas, Stephen S. Nanyina, said the Aiyinase Health Centre did not have what it took to cater for the critical medical needs and concerns of people from far and near.
“As a result, people with basic health and medical conditions will have to be transferred to the Eikwe Hospital for treatment, which puts a lot of stress on the patient and the Eikwe facility in general,” he stated.
Mr Nanyina said though the company had been doing a lot in the area, the current project was the single biggest social investment project Ghana Gas had embarked on.
The parties will spend $2.1 million on the physical construction and $747,458 on medical equipment.