According to Dr. Dsane of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), most of the maternal deaths at Ghana’s premier hospital are referred emergency cases from other hospitals and clinics. Majority of these pregnant women come from the second tier clinics from poor neighbourhoods such as Mamprobi, Kasoa and Mamobi. Is Korle Bu Hospital now a dumping ground for maternal deaths?
Facts about Korle Bu Teaching Hospital
Established on October 9, 1923, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, located in Accra, has grown from an initial 200 bed capacity to 2,000. It is currently the third largest hospital in Africa and the leading national referral centre in Ghana. Korle Bu gained teaching hospital status in 1962, when the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) was established for the training of medical doctors.
The UGMS and five other constituent schools are now subsumed under the College of Health Sciences to train an array of health professionals. Korle Bu Teaching Hospital continues to blaze the trail when it comes to specialised services. It recently carried out the first ever kidney transplant in Ghana and is one of the few hospitals in Africa where DNA investigations are carried out. Plans are underway to venture into molecular testing and employ the use of the latest cutting edge technology. The objective is to offer a wider spectrum of specialist care in order to position Ghana as the hub of health tourism within the West Africa Sub region.
Presently, the health facility can boast of 2,000 beds and records over 1,500 outpatients daily. Dr. Nelson Damaley, a Consultant Obstetric and Gynecologist states that out of 10,500 deliveries at the maternity ward last year, 119 maternal deaths were recorded. He argues that most of these deaths are referred emergency cases from other hospitals and clinics across Accra. Most of them die within 24 hours after admission. In critical emergencies, crucial time is usually lost because many patients arrive with no medical records. Sometimes they arrive alone in local taxis.