Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has applauded the remarkable display of patriotism by Ghanaians in partnering with the government to realise the dream of building the nation’s first Infectious Diseases Centre.
He commissioned the 100-bed hospital in Accra, which was built to cater for infectious diseases, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
The facility, which was sponsored and promoted by the Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund with support from government at a total cost of $7.5 million is located at the Ga East Municipal Hospital.
Construction of the facility started in April this year after a sod-cutting ceremony by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces constructed the facility, with major financing from the government agencies such as the Bank of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Ghana Gas, as well as support from private institutions including Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, Tropical Cables and Conductors.
The facility will be used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients during the pandemic and subsequently used as a centre for the treatment and research into some of the most infectious diseases prevalent in Ghana after the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking during the commissioning and handing over ceremony last Friday, Vice President Bawumia said despite the ravaging effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, it also brought to bear the patriotic nature of Ghanaians, who responded to President Akufo-Addo’s rallying call for national cohesion to battle the pandemic and has resulted in the building of the 100-bed special hospital.
“The pandemic also uncovered a patriotic response rare in recent memory,” said Dr Bawumia.
“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 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.”
The Vice President, who described the commissioning as “a celebration of Ghanaian ingenuity and patriotism,” also paid glowing tribute to all those who contributed to making the construction of the facility possible in record time, especially the Ghana Armed Forces who built it.
“Today is a celebration of Ghanaian ingenuity and patriotism and a dedication to humanity by a team of men and women, 536 strong, working 24 hours a day to make the impossible a reality. We are here because of you and Ghana must know you.”
“It is rare to find a group of civilian professionals work 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 Vice President also 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 to this whole project.”
“We came here today to celebrate the ingenuity of indigenous Ghanaians in their response to a national emergency. We are proud of the dreamers, the builders, the supervisors, and all those who provided funding so that we can save lives of Ghanaians,” Dr. Bawumia added.
The Vice President called for the management of the facility by qualified professionals to ensure that it is well maintained.
“Going forward, our challenge is in the management of the facility and how it fits in the big picture of Ghana’s CDC.”
“We have a world-class facility and it deserves a world-class management by professionals who understand the uses of the facility as advanced research, teaching and management of infectious diseases, unencumbered by excessive bureaucratic red tape in management.”
In April 2020, the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund (GCPSF) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health planned to undertake the construction of a 100-bed infectious disease, isolation and treatment centre at Ga East Municipal Hospital to support the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the project on April 17, 2020, and it was initially scheduled to be completed in 6 weeks.
However, due to a change in plans to add additional facilities to enhance the operation of the facility, its completion schedule was extended to 12 weeks.
The facility consists of a level 2.5 biomedical laboratory, a triage unit, waiting areas, nurses station, VIP and general wards, a 21-bed intensive care unit with various categories within, a pharmacy, a recovery courtyard, a dispensary, access and exit ramps, access corridors, and ambulatory entrance and exit canopy, a medical gas house, an 800KVA generator house, among others.
The 100-bed hospital was delivered at a cost of about USD 5.5 million-plus in-kind cost of about USD 2 million, making it a total of USD 7.5 million.