Ghanaians are too careless when handling hazards – Dr. Ampomah

Dr O.W. Ampomah, Director of National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Center (NRPSBC) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has called for the promotion of health and safety practices at workplaces and homes to reduce the rising cases of burns.

According to the NRPSBC Director, the country is recording rising burns cases because Ghanaians are too careless when handling hazards and that 85 per cent of the cases are preventable, if strict health and safety practices are adhered to.

Currently, the Burns Centre has been overwhelmed with smolder incidences on daily basis, yet no matter how much plastic surgery perform on patients, the scars would remain forever.

Petroleum and gas explosions account for 35-40 per cent of admissions and 45 per cent deaths from burns at the facility.

“This is something we don’t have to forget them. We always have to keep our eyes on the ball to make sure that all the preventive measures that are prescribed are followed to the letter, in terms of health and safety in our workplaces, homes, industries and filling stations. We should make sure that we observe them to reduce burns incidents to the barest minimum,” he advised.

Regrettably, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cater for only GH1, 000 out of the GH25, 000–GHS30, 000 treatment cost per patient. As a result, the facility is not only over stretched with admissions but also patients’ inability to afford care.

Dr Ampomah made the passionate call while receiving ambulance donation from the Italian Embassy and the Green Cross of Brescia, Italy, on behalf of the Centre at Korle-Bu last week.

To him, the issue of financing burnt patients should be widely debated and considered seriously to reduce the burden on patients and staff.

“The issue of financing of burnt cases is still a topical issue because if you have burnt patients who sustained or get 30%-40% of their bodies burnt, by the time they finish with the hospital, they would have spent not less than GHS25, 000 to GHS30, 000 on their treatments.

“Unfortunately, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), although is a laudable scheme, it has not got sufficient funds to support the treatment. So, it only pays about GHS1000 per patient. So that is a huge financial deficit, which patients and staff of the centre have to grabble with.”

According to him, treatment affordability is a huge challenge and not acceptable that in this day and age where people should be able to access care, the nation must work towards providing the needed support to burnt patients to make them productive in the society.

The NRPSBC Director thanked the people of Italy for the generous gesture and commended them for their support to the Centre over the years, as they were able to provide US$S30, 000 worth of equipment and medications to support the June 3, 2014 fire and flood disaster victims.

The donation was made in memory of the late husband of Mrs Rosaria Baldi, Chief Executive Officer of B. BALDI Consult, an Italian firm that have been in business with Ghana for 35 years.

Dr. Ampomah urged Ghanaians to emulate the example of Mrs Baldi by shunning away from the culture of glorifying the dead and forget about the living, in order to reduce the amount spent on funerals and memorial ceremonies.

The Italian Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Giovanni Favilli also said the relation between Ghana and Italy is a long standing one and that they been supportive of the health sector in the country, especially through fund raising.

He added that Italy is one of the countries in Europe that has larger Ghanaian community of about 17,000 to 100, 000 who make net remittances of US$1.45 million home (to Ghana).

In terms of global game of football, he boasted that Italy has over 100 Ghanaians playing in various Italian football clubs.

Source: The Chronicle

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