First Infectious Disease Isolation Centre inaugurated

The Vice President (right) and Deputy Health Minister (left) opening the facility

The Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has inaugurated the US$7.5million Infectious Diseases Centre built by the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, at the Ga East Municipal Hospital.

The project has a Level 2.5 biomedical laboratory, a triage unit, waiting areas, a nurses’ station, VIP and general wards, and a 21-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as well as a pharmacy. It is also equipped with a recovery courtyard, a dispensary, a medical gas-house and an 800KVA generator station.

Speaking during the inauguration and handing-over ceremony, Dr. Bawumia said: “Today is a celebration of Ghanaian ingenuity and patriotism, and dedication to humanity by a team of 536 men and women working 24 hours a day to make the seemingly impossible a reality.

“We are here because of you, and Ghana must know you,” adding that “It is rare to find a group of civilian professionals working in close quarters and on strict timelines, working 24 hours non-stop with members of the Ghana Armed Forces in their unbending discipline and demand for precision in a flat chain of command.

“The public health crisis mobilised 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 response is what today’s event represents – demonstrating once again that once we put our minds to it, we will soon discover that we are our own builders and beneficiaries of the Ghana we want,” he stated.

According to the Vice President, “We have a world-class facility and it deserves world-class management by professionals who understand the use of the facility in advanced research, teaching and management of infectious diseases – unencumbered by excessive bureaucratic red-tape in management”.

He commended dedicated men and women of the Ghana Medical Association and COVID-19 Case Management Experts for their guidance in making sure the facility is fit for its specialised purpose, as well as private donors…whom he described as “catalysts of this whole project”.

The Co-Chair, Board of Trustees of the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund and Fidelity Bank’s Chairman, Edward Effah said: “The COVID-19 Private Sector Fund’s mission was to provide a prompt response to the hardship and suffering arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to bring to bear the agility and responsiveness of the private sector to support government fight spread of the virus”.

Mr. Effah reported that the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund embarked on five major projects: a/ – the Feed the Kayayo Project, which served 150,000 meals to head porters and underprivileged citizens in Accra & Kumasi for 12 days during the lockdown. This was followed by b/ – the Protect and Resource the Frontline Project, which provided 452,000 units of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals across the country and 10,000 test kits to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).

To further support the Frontline Medical Workers, The Fund embarked on c/ – the Feed the Frontline Project, providing 10,800 meals to medical facility workers in selected COVID-19 health centres. The team responded to the stigmatisation of recovered patients by launching d/ – the End the Stigma, Let Love Lead campaign.

The campaign has trained 1,476 officers from the security services, the Ghana Independent Broadcaster Association (GIBA), Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Institute of HR Managers and Practitioners, Ghana Employers Association and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on management of COVID-19 and its stigmatisation.

“The Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund also commenced active social media and above-the-line media education to help shape public behaviour. This is being undertaken together with community engagement and education in districts across the country. The Facility 100 Project seeks to develop four 100-bed infectious Disease Centres in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale. We celebrate completion of the first of such facilities in Ga East,” Mr. Effah disclosed.

He commended the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Medical Association, private organisations, individuals and all workers who worked tirelessly to build the historic facility.

Tony Oteng Gyasi, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Fund and Chairman of Tropical Cables and Conductors Limited, advised that the facility be well-maintained to benefit the nation for many years.

He recommended that the Ga East Municipal Hospital and Ghana Infectious Disease Centre (GIDC) be together converted into an Infectious Disease Hospital and granted specialised status under the Ministry of Health (MoH), manned by the requisite professionals with the right competencies.

The structure was jointly designed by Built Environment Professionals, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and specialist consultants from the Ministry of Health and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

Some of the fund donors include: Fidelity Bank, Bank of Ghana, Association of Bankers, GNPC, Ecobank, Ghana National Gas Company, CH Group, Legend and Glass Aluminium Systems, and Tropical Cables and Conductors.

The trustees of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund are Anthony Oteng-Gyasi, Chairman – Tropical Cable & Conductor; Edward Effah, Chairman – Fidelity Bank Ghana; Kwaku Bediako, Director – CH Group; John Taylor, CEO – Woodfield Energy Resources Ltd.; Omane Frimpong, Chairman – Wilkins Engineering; Kwame Ofosu Bamfo, MD – Bamson Group; Kwabena Adjei, Group Chairman – Kasapreko; Thomas Svanikier, Chairman – Svani Group; Kwasi Twum, CEO – Multimedia Group; and Senyo Kwasi Hosi, CEO – Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors.

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