Today Anna and I visited Tamale Central Hospital – also called “The Old Hospital” - where we met with Medical Director Dr. Patrick to discuss sending a 40-ft container of medical supplies and equipment! Last summer Emma and I had passed Tamale Central a few times, but hadn’t seen much of it in detail. It is called The Old Hospital because though it was once designed to be the main hospital in Tamale, the Tamale Teaching Hospital sprouted up and took on that role. So after closing and years of inactivity, Tamale Central opened again in 2006 and since then has been steadily moving toward shedding the nickname “Old.” We hope to be a part of that process!
After explaining our model, goals, and equipment request list, Dr. Patrick showed us around the hospital grounds. They are building an addition onto the OPD, as well as expanding their HIV/AIDs care center, AND adding an operating theatre! Tamale Central is using all of its own funds to make these incredible changes for the community. Dr. Patrick also told us that one of their main goals was to have a functioning theatre suited for various surgical operations by the end of the year. By trying our best to send surgical supplies, exam tables, and more, perhaps we can help Dr. Patrick achieve this goal as well.
In true Ghanaian form, everyone we met at the hospital was so friendly. “Good mornings” and “You are Welcomes” filled the different rooms, wards, and even the yard outside. Medical Director Dr. Patrick is the only full-time doctor at the hospital. Sometimes he is accompanied by an assistant physician, and always has a remarkable group of nurses and a take-charge, no-nonsense matron keeping things running.
While it was wonderful to meet the ward Nurses, Matron, Pharmacist, and other staff, our hospital site visits also always serve as –at times harsh – reminders of the serious healthcare need in northern Ghana. The pediatric ward was already overcrowded due to the start of malaria season, with children and their mothers flooding into the corridor. The pediatric patient density will only continue to increase in the next few months. In last year alone, Tamale Central saw over 90,000 patients. While Dr. Patrick and the staff are taking amazing measures to accommodate the patient population – like implementing a realistic maternal health program for pregnant and new mothers – there is still a high need for additional equipment, more space, and continuous growth.
MedPLUS Connect is excited and proud to start a partnership with Tamale Central Hospital this year.
Stay tuned for blogs about funny doughnuts, meeting with the Regional Director, Anna and I carting mattresses and scales across the country, and of course, more Ghana-isms!