Dr Odalys Batista, a Cuban Doctor at the Paediatric Unit of the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga, has observed that most hospital wards in the region were not sufficiently equipped to handle critically ill patients.
She could not comprehend why most offices in health facilities in the region were fitted with air conditioners while their wards, especially isolated cubicles which accommodated seriously sick patients including cases of meningitis were in poor conditions.
Dr Batista made the observation when she contributed to discussions at a meeting in the Hospital on how to improve healthcare delivery at the Paediatric Unit, which receives various referral cases within the Region and beyond.
The meeting was attended by Dr Sara De Antonio and Dr Patricia Costa Guillo who are both members of the Future for Africa, a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), and are providing voluntary health care to patients in the hospital, nurses of various categories and a Ghanaian medical student studying in China.
Dr Batista who has about three years working experience in the Regional Hospital, indicated that it was disheartening to see patients, especially children die as result of the lack of “simple” medical equipment and good environmental health conditions.
She further observed that relatives and visitors of patient on the wards often read folders of patients, and emphasized that, “folders are legal documents” which should not be tempered with by non-medical staff.
The Cuban Doctor said regular in-service training and refresher courses for nurses were important to keep them abreast with changing trends of diseases.
“Nurses are always with the patients, we Doctors only spend few hours with patients, so it is very necessary to have these trainings for you nurses to upgrade your knowledge.”
Mr Mark Anthony Azongo, a Paediatric Nurse Specialist at the Unit, noted that the Ghana Health Services (GHS) was out for innovation, and charged nurses on the ward to institute innovative measures to ensure improved nursing care of children who visited the ward.
He said the vision of the Paediatric ward was to be a ward of excellence and choice to sick children in the Region, and admonished nurses to be disciplined and adhere to the core values of the GHS.
He said children were delicate to handle, and invited the nurses at the meeting to endeavour to cross check doses and medications with senior staff on duty at the unit before they administered to children.
Mr Azongo warned that no nursing student on clinical attachment at the ward should be allowed to administer medications to children without strict supervision by senior staff.