Sam George: Lack of bed and ambulance led to death of a 12-year-old
I am angry. I am sad. I am pissed.
Yesterday evening around 8 pm, I got a call and messages from an Assemblyman in my constituency in Ningo Prapram whilst I was at church that his 12-year-old son had been rushed to the Battor Catholic hospital in the morning. The situation had been deteriorating, and a decision was made early afternoon to transfer the child to Accra.
Calls were made to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, but they refused to accept the child that there was no bed. Calls were made to 37 Military Hospital, and they agreed to take the child. This was about 3 pm. Then the next hurdle began. The National Ambulance Service was called to transport the child. Getting the Service was another issue entirely. After getting the service, they insisted that they cannot move the child until they got their own independent confirmation from 37 Military Hospital. For well over five hours, they could not get anyone from 37 to confirm.
It was at this point the Assemblyman in desperation called me. I quickly reached out to my Colleague and Brother Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who is the MP for the area to see if he could intervene with the Battor Clinic. He immediately called Dr. Atuguba who is the Head of the facility and put me in touch with him. It became clear quickly that Battor had done all they could and it was in the hands of 37 Military Hospital.
Ablakwa again called a constituent of his who is a doctor at 37 to see if he could help us. At this point, we had finally gotten an ambulance on standby to convey the child. By the time we got a doctor at 37 to get involved and give the all-clear to the ambulance service, the little boy blacked out and could not be resuscitated. He died at 10:05 pm.
Why it would have to take two MPs to find a bed for a dying child who needed critical medical care has deprived me of sleep. Why we have ambulances that cannot move because there is no system in place to let them know where to go angers me. Why we have a world class facility like the University of Ghana Medical Centre with so many empty beds rotting away beats my understanding.
Yet another needless death. Should you know a big man somewhere for you to get the basic necessities? This death has really pained me. It has left me bitter at the system. It has left me angry at the #FixYourself folks. How could the Assemblyman or his 12 year old fix this issue?
The Republic is indeed very sick and needs to be fixed. How much longer can we go on like this. May the soul of this little child whose only crime is to be born Ghanaian rest in the bossom of the LORD.