88 new district hospitals: ‘Chiraa strategically deserves it’-Youth Group cries out

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A group calling itself Chiraa Youth Forum, has called on the authorities of the Sunyani West municipality in the Bono region to site the ‘promised’ hospital at Chiraa.

President Nana Akufo-Addo in his eight COVID-19 address to the nation announced the construction of hospitals in some 88 districts across the country.

“There are 88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have five infectious disease control centres dotted across the country; and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing 88 hospitals in the districts without hospitals,” he said.

The standard 100 -bed facilities which will be in districts without hospitals will also have accommodation for staff.

Commenting on where the hospital would be sited, the Youth group in a statement copied to Dinpa FM said, the geographical location of Chiraa makes it the best location for the construction of the new hospital.

“Chiraa strategically deserves the new municipal hospital, because as a result of its geographic location, people from other districts and municipalities also access their health needs from Chiraa. The areas include Chiraa township and surrounding towns, such as Buoku, Ahwene, Mallamkrom and Ayigbe in the Wenchi Municipality, Amangoase in the Techiman Municipality, Mankranho and Baffokrom in the Tano North Municipality, Tanokwayem, Nfante, Tawiahkrom, Sawua in the Offinso North District, Tanom, Akwaasua, Asuakwaa, Kobedi, Timber Nkwanta, Ntwiesa and Afrasu in the Sunyani West District”, the statement said.

Below is the full statement

PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE CHIRAA YOUTH FORUM IN OUR QUEST FOR THE NEW SUNYANI WEST DISTRICT/MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL TO BE SITED AT CHIRAA

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, on behalf of the Chiraa Youth Forum, I welcome you all to our maiden press conference. We have chosen this day to engage the media to draw attention to the apparent discrimination against Chiraa in the distribution of the decentralized agencies as a major stakeholder of the municipality.

Ladies and Gentlemen, kindly permit me to express our profound appreciation to the sons and daughters of Chiraa resident in Accra and others places through whose generosity our maiden press conference has become a reality. We are equally grateful to you, the media for responding to our invitation, though at a very short notice.

The Chiraa Youth Forum has decided to use this medium to espouse some cogent reasons why the proposed New Sunyani West District/Municipal Hospital should be sited at Chiraa. Our intention is not to vilify anyone or cast insinuation, but to speak strictly to the available data, to let the general public be aware that Chiraa is indeed not being treated fairly, despite our meaningful contributions to the development of the municipality.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, Chiraa is one of the four major towns in the Sunyani West Municipality, located fifteen kilometers north of Sunyani, the regional capital and on the main Sunyani-Techiman, Wenchi Highway. The main occupation of the inhabitants the town is farming. They cultivate both food crops and cash crops in abundance. Beside this, there are a lot of self-employed business men and women and artisans who own and manage their own establishments. Chiraa is very peaceful because the people are very hardworking, decent and law-abiding. We live up to our civic responsibilities such as the payment of taxes and supporting the state initiatives to ensure the overall development of Ghana. Despite the importance of the town and the meaningful contributions by its inhabitants, Chiraa has none of the decentralized agencies/departments in the municipality.

The Chiraa Health Centre started as a health post in the mid 1960s during the reign of Nana Kofi Mintah I, Chiraahene, with the assistance from the then West German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Helmut Muller.

First, by virtue of its location, on the main Sunyani-Techiman-Wenchi Highway, which is one of the major accident prone roads in the region, and giving the increasing vehicular movements, Chiraa would be a strategic location for emergencies like road accidents to augment the efforts of the Sunyani Regional Hospital and the Holy Family Hospital in Techiman. This is justifiably true in the sense that, between Sunyani and Techiman with the distance of about 40 miles (64 kilometres) and same to Wenchi, it is only Chiraa which has an existing health facility as an alternative to the Sunyani Regional Hospital or the Holy Family Hospital at Techiman or the Methodist Hospital at Wenchi, in case there is an emergency.

Chiraa strategically deserves the new municipal hospital, because as a result of its geographic location, people from other districts and municipalities also access their health needs from Chiraa. The areas include Chiraa township and surrounding towns, such as Buoku, Ahwene, Mallamkrom and Ayigbe in the Wenchi Municipality, Amangoase in the Techiman Municipality, Mankranho and Baffokrom in the Tano North Municipality, Tanokwayem, Nfante, Tawiahkrom, Sawua in the Offinso North District, Tanom, Akwaasua, Asuakwaa, Kobedi, Timber Nkwanta, Ntwiesa and Afrasu in the Sunyani West District.

Statistics from the Chiraa Health Centre indicate that, in the year 2019, Out Patients Department (OPD) attendance was twenty four thousand two hundred and eighteen (24,218), antenatal attendance, one thousand and two (1,002) and supervised delivery was five hundred and ten (510).

Again, our sister towns like Fiapre, Odumase and Kwatire are almost merging into Sunyani and the residents of the three towns can conveniently access their health needs from the Sunyani Regional Hospital, Sunyani Municipal Hospital and S.D.A Hospital.
Nsoatre on the other hand, is roughly equi-distant between Sunyani and Berekum. Specifically, Nsoatre is twelve (12) miles from Sunyani and eight (8) miles from Berekum. Hence, residents can conveniently access their heath needs from either Berekum Holy Family Hospital or Sunyani Regional Hospital and Sunyani Municipal Hospital or SDA Hospital.

Ladies and Gentlemen, another reason why Chiraa strategically deserves the construction of the Sunyani West Municipal Hospital is that, the town has not been fairly treated in terms of the distribution of the government departments and structures. It was the common understanding during the creation of the district that government projects, departments and structures would be equitably spread across the towns in the district and that would be the beginning of a better and brighter future not only for the people of the Sunyani West but mother Ghana.
As it stands now, Chiraa does not have just a single of the decentralized departments. All the decentralized departments/agencies have been concentrated at either Odumase or Nsoatre. For instance, Odumase the district capital houses the Assembly Building Complex with all the decentralized offices. In addition to that, major departmental directorates are also located at Odumase. These include the District Directorates of Education, Health Services, Police Service, National Commission on Civic Education, Social Welfare, Electoral Commission, Environmental Department, Town and Country Planning among others.
Nsoatre, on the other hand, has the District Court, District Fire Service and the Ambulance Service but Chiraa has none.

Furthermore, Ladies and Gentlemen, on revenue mobilization, Chiraa has been fetching the Sunyani West Assembly more revenue than any other town in the municipality. The table below gives the annual statistics of revenue generated in the municipality for the last five years spanning from 2015 to 2019.

FIVE YEAR REVENUE GENERATION TREND FOR CHIRAA, ODUMASE, NSOATRE AND FIAPRE
SUB-STATIONS FROM 2015 TO 2019
TOWN
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
TOTAL
Chiraa
56,139.00
59,375.00
65,061.00
84,914.00
104,612.00
370,101.00
Odumase
28,429.00
33,907.00
44,879.00
56,287.00
86,539.00
250,041.00
Fiapre
34,759.00
42,797.00
38,939.00
51,632.00
75,370.00
243,497.00
Nsoatre
28,684.00
44,649.00
48,793.00
52,527.00
63,545.00
238,198.00

It is discernible from the table above that Chiraa has fetched the assembly more revenue than any other town in the last five years. This is so because the town is endowed with several economic activities. For instance, Chiraa has the biggest weekly market in the municipality which attracts several thousands of market women from far and near. For example, market women from Sunyani and the Military Barracks patronize Chiraa market to purchase variety of food stuffs. The number of people who congregate at the market weekly on Tuesdays and the revenue generated by the assembly makes Chiraa the revenue hub of the municipality. Other major economic activities in the town are sand winning and quarrying activities.

Again, Ladies and Gentlemen, in terms of population, Chiraa comes next to Odumase the capital with the highest population size. The table below from the assembly’s own profile is a testimony of this assertion.
Major Settlements
S/No
Settlement
Population 2010
PHC

Odumase

16542

Chiraa

16348

Nsoatre

15500

Fiapre

11986

Dumasua

3055

Kwatire

2333

Adantia

1942

Source: 2010 Population and Housing Census.

Our dear friends from the media, it is equally important to note that through the initiative of the Chiraa Traditional Council in collaboration with the Chiraa Development Committee, the community has over the past few years added several amenities to widen the scope of health delivery at the Chiraa Health Centre in an attempt to raise the facility into a hospital status. The community has renovated existing nurses quarters to give it a befitting status for their occupation and also upgraded a bungalow into a doctors’ bungalow. Apart from this, two new doctors’ bungalows have been constructed by two individuals from the area. An Out Patient Department for the Health Centre is also under construction by the Chiraa Development Committee. Another native from the town has donated an Ambulance to the facility, constructed and commissioned a theater for use by the Health Centre. Other philanthropists from the town have donated several equipment and supplies to help raise the standard of the health delivery at the Health Centre. These individuals have also donated computers and accessories, hospital beds and wheel chairs. The above initiative is an indication that the town and its citizens are forward looking and very proactive in augmenting government’s efforts in development.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if it is the question of upgrading the existing Chiraa Health Centre into the new Municipal Hospital, then, there is large land for immediate and future use. It may be noted that a special team from the Bono Regional Health Directorate recently conducted a comprehensive audit of the facilities at the Chiraa Health Centre with the view to raise it to a hospital status. The team scored the Chiraa Health Centre over eighty percent (80%), which means that it requires less than twenty percent (20%) to attain the status of a full hospital per the ratings of the Ghana Health Service.

In conclusion, We have set the records straight as far as the distribution of government departments and agencies in the municipality are concerned. We have also outlined the initiative by Nananom and the Chiraa Development Committee to raise our health facility into a hospital. We hope you will convey the sentiments to the Ghanaian public about the unfair treatment

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, we would like to thank you most sincerely for contributing to the success of this press conference. We intend to work closely with you, and will keep our doors open to you at all times. We urge the government especially the Bono Regional Minister, Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Sunyani West Municipal Assembly to listen to our concerns.

Long live Chiraa
Long live Sunyani West Municipal
Long live Ghana

Thank you.

Source:Ghana/Dinpafm.com/91.3FM/Akua Nyarko Abronoma




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