GNPC-SPONSORED SICKLE CELL, BLOOD CENTRE AT KATH STALLS
By Sebastian R. Freiku
The Governing Board of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has expressed grave concerns over the delay in the construction of the Sickle Cell and Blood Centre of the health facility.
The Board fears the delay could affect the cost of the project and further delay its completion.
It has cited the continuous non-payment of claims by the contractor as the contributory factor for the contractor’s failure to meet reviewed timeline for the completion of the project.
The board has appealed to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), sponsors of the project, to honour their pledge and pay the contractor to enable them to complete the project.
The project was initiated by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana (SCFG) with funding from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
When completed, the centre is expected to serve as a one stop centre for the management of all sickle cell cases and blood transfusion-related services for the northern half of the country.
Work on the Sickle Cell and Blood Centre of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), which was expected to be completed in May 2019 but had to be extended for one year, has halted for more than two years now.
Further works on the project have been aborted because the contractor has not been paid since August 2020 and at the end of the year 2021, the project was still behind schedule and it is still unclear when it would be completed.
The state of the project came to light when the Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso, together with the members of the KATH Board visited some of the project sites of the hospital.
The visit was to afford the board members the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the progress of work on the projects and the challenges facing the contractors.
Briefing the team, the Consultant to the project, Nana Asibey Opoku, said since August 2020, no payment has been made to the contractors, hence the stalling of the project.
According to the consultant, the first fixing of the plumbing and electrical works as well as the building of the basement structure and ground floor have all been completed.
He said the foundation has lobbied the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to prevail on the GNPC to release funds for the completion of the project.
In 2016, the GNPC, through the Asantehene, presented a cheque of US$4.5 to the Foundation for the construction, tooling and training of the personnel for the first ever Sickle Cell and Blood Centre in Ghana at KATH.