John Evans Atta Mills Surgical Block at St. Anne’s Polyclinic, Tagadzi Dorfor
Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has commissioned a fully equipped and well-furnished Surgical Theater at the St. Anne’s Polyclinic at Tagadzi Dorfor in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region in honour of the late former President H.E Prof. John Evans Atta Mills on Tuesday, 18th October, 2022.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa explained that, his office has spent over $240,000.00 to fully equipped and furnished the newly constructed Surgical Theater at Tagadzi Dorfor.
The John Evans Atta-Mills Surgical Theater/Block has two (2) operating rooms (Minor Theater and Major Theater), two (2) recovery wards, Doctor’s Office, Nurses’ room, NICU, offices, Sterile Store, Autoclav room, an OPD and washrooms.
According to the MP, the Surgical Theater will provide immediate health care to the people of Juapong, Dorfor, Volo, Fodzoku, Torgorme, Battor Torgodo, and Mepe Torgodo enclave of the North Tongu constituency among other adjoining communities.
Giving a background of the project, Dr. Momoduo Cham, the Public Health Physician of the Keta Akatsi Catholic Diocese explained that, the National Catholic Health Services’ third Policy Objective is to “Improve the quality of and access to health services” the very reason the St. Anne’s Polyclinic was built at Tagadzi Dorfor.
He explained that about 10 years ago, Catholic Diocese Keta-Akatsi, led by then Bishop Anthony K. Adanuty, in fulfilling this policy objective, identified the Dorfor enclave as an area with poor access to health services.
The Diocese worked with the chiefs and people of Attetekpui and Tagadzi to source for funds from a German Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to build St. Anne’s Polyclinic, which was commissioned in June 2015.
The Diocese posted pioneer health workers and managers to the facility. They worked and lived in challenging circumstances at the beginning. These workers included the first Medical Officer to be posted permanently to this part of the district (Dr Moses Nedjoh).
According to Dr. Cham, the Honourable MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa rented a fully furnished bungalow for him and paid a 2 year rent advance in 2017 in order to support his health care delivery in the area.
Unique Health Challenge With Respect To Healthcare Access In North Tongu
A profile of the North Tongu district conducted by the Keta Akatsi Catholic Diocese in 2017, identified a unique health challenge with respect to healthcare access.
The district is divided into two unequal parts by the Volta River. The southern part, with a population of about 30,000 at the time has the Catholic Hospital Battor serving it. But the northern part of the district, inhabited by over 70,000 people did not have access to emergency medical care by doctors.
Dr. Momoduo Cham noted that, emergencies, including pregnant women had to cross the river at night to Battor, or be referred to Akuse, Akosombo, Peki or Adidome Hospitals for safe delivery by caesarian section.
He indicated that, the Catholic Church, Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ghana Health Service and other stakeholders united in 2017 to solve this urgent problem because the people of North Tongu deserve the best.
Signing of a partnership agreement for the Project
St. Anne’s Polyclinic is the first multi-purpose surgical theatre at Tagadzi.
In 2020, the Office of the North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has signed a partnership agreement with a Spanish Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Manos Unidas to construct the first multi-purpose surgical theatre in his Constituency.
The construction of the multi-purpose surgical theatre commenced after funding was secured from the Spanish NGO, Manos Unidas following a joint proposal submitted by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa’s office and the Keta/Akatsi Diocesan Development Office of the Catholic Church.
Funding of the Surgical Theater at St. Anne’s Polyclinic, Tagadzi Dorfor
Bishop Gabriel Kumordji, through his Development Director, Fr. William Techie sought and obtained funding to the tune of €90,000 from Manos Unidas of Spain to put up the surgical block. The building was constructed smoothly the contractor Mr. Reuben Kornu, supervised by Father Techie and his assistant Father James.
The MP, Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, agreed to provide equipment for the surgical theatre block when completed.
Dr. Momoduo Cham disclosed that, without the MP’s intervention, the funds for the building would not have been obtained because Manos Unidas asked for a commitment to equip the theatre before agreeing to fund the construction.
Provision of ambulance to St. Anne’s Polyclinic, Tagadzi Dorfor
Dr. Momoduo Cham again said, while waiting for completion of the Surgical Theater, another German NGO called 42 Africa provided an ambulance to refer patients safely. Again, it was Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who assisted the Polyclinic to get a tax waiver to import that ambulance.
Refurbishment of the laboratory
Dr. Luca and Adelia Cheda of Switzerland refurbished the laboratory, complete with equipment while theatre construction was ongoing. Dr. Momoduo Cham acknowledge them, the German Rotary Volunteer Doctors and the Ghana Switzerland Hospital Technicians group for their support.
List of health facilities that benefited from Okudzeto Ablakwa’s medical equipment
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa did not only equipped and furnished the St. Anne’s Polyclinic Surgical Theater, but supplied some of the items to government hospitals in Ghana.
List of health facilities that benefited from Okudzeto Ablakwa’s medical equipment are;
1. John Evans Atta Mills Surgical Block at St. Anne’s Polyclinic, Tagadzi
2. Korle Bu Teaching Hospital
3. Ho Teaching Hospital
4. Catholic Hospital Battor
5. Peki Government Hospital
6. Akuse Government Hospital
7. Adidome Hospital
8. Ketu South Municipal Hospital
9. Richard Novati Catholic Hospital (Comboni)
10. Ketu North District Hospital, Weta
11. Sogakope District Hospital
12. Komenda Hospital
13. Likpe Polyclinic, SALL
14. Juapong Health Center
15. Podoe Health Center
16. Togorme Health Center
17. Fodzoku Health Center
18. Volo Health Center
19. Mepe Health Center
20. Dorfor Health Center, Juapong
21. Medlook Health Center (Sogakope)
List of some equipment received by St. Anne’s Polyclinic Surgical Theater, Tagadzi
PPEs, Pulse Oximeters, Defibrillator (Battor), Ambu bags, Oxygen tubing, Arm and leg splints, Laboratory specimen bottles, Syringes, Dressings, Gauzes
ECG Electrodes, Ultrasound machine (Juapong Health Center), Anaesthesia circuits (Hospitals),
Spinal needles (Hospitals), Gynae beds (hospitals)
Acknowledgement of Catholic Diocese Lord Bishop and his directors
St. Anne’s Polyclinic management acknowledged the proactive leadership of Catholic Diocese Lord Bishop and his directors, and the resilience of the staff of St. Anne’s Polyclinic led by:
1. their tireless matron Madam Genevieve Agboyo, who drew the site plan for St. Anne’s Polyclinic.
2. Dr. Moses Nedjoh, the first permanent doctor who could not wait to start operating and converted one of the wards into a theatre while waiting.
3. Dr. Frederick Goka, who supervised the finishing touches of the work diligently and will oversee its usage.
Acknowledgement to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Management of St. Anne’s Polyclinic is grateful to the Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu for his continued support.
Speaking on behalf of the Management, Dr. Momoduo Cham said, the MP did not only provide equipment and funding, he and his wife immersed themselves fully into this project, even to the point of designing the curtains and paint/art, and providing a microwave, fridge and TV for the staff who will be spending countless hours working in the theatre to save lives.
“We certainly look forward to future collaborations between the Catholic Diocese of Keta Akatsi, the MP and other stakeholders to provide Universal Health Coverage for the people of North Tongu and beyond. We are grateful to Manos Unidas for their commitment and trust in the Diocese to execute this project.”
“We did it for the people we serve and we did it for the indomitable Asomdwehene, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills. John Evans Atta Mills Surgical Block, duly commissioned and now open to save lives.” Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said.
Unveiling of Plaque of Atta-Mills Surgical Block
The plague of the John Evans Atta-Mills Surgical Block was unveiled by Bishop Gabriel Edoe Kumordji, SVD – Bishop of Keta-Akatsi, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang (2020 NDC running mate and former Minister for Education), Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho (Speaker of the 6th Parliament of Ghana), Togbe Manklalo Agbohla VI (Dorfor Traditional Area), Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa – MP for North Tongu and Hon. Divine Osborne Fenu.
The commissioning ceremony was graced by key personalities including political party executives, chiefs, opinion leaders, health workers, South Tongu MP – Hon. Wisdom Kobena Mensah Woyome, Central Tongu MP – Hon. Gabby Alexander Hottordze, MP for Keku South Hon. Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Ag. Volta Regional Director of Ghana Health Service Dr Kwesi Djokoto among many.