The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in the Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi is recording an upsurge of Covid-19 cases among children.
In the last 10 days, nine children in the facility have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
While the youngest among them is an 11-day-old baby, the oldest is 14 years.
Head of the Child Health Directorate, Prof Sampson Antwi, said the situation is taking a toll on the facility as management struggles to access space for children diagnosed with Covid-19 and other cases.
“We are having a huge surge in Covid positive cases and the disease initially, children were said to be spared. We had 14 the whole of last year but this year, just the spate of 10-days, we got nine positive cases,” he told JoyNews.
The hospital is the only paediatric referral facility in the northern sector of the country.
Management says the hospital is overstretched and in dire need of space.
“The Covid strain that we are having now is really also affecting children seriously. If less than two weeks we are getting nine cases, we can’t go where we want to go and we are already full,” says Prof Antwi.
Prof Antwi said the facility can no longer admit cases.
“We are not in the position even to bring new cases. I don’t mean Covid. Anybody who is sick when you come here, we will just triage you in front [of the hospital] probably in an ambulance that you came in with.
“If there’s something that we need to do for you, we can do to stabilise you and send you back because our wards are full.”
According to him, there are ongoing talks with the Regional Health Directorate to create a treatment centre for children with Covid-19.
“We are exploring the possibility of getting a treatment centre for children [with Covid]. We are in talks with the Medical Director. They have actually had discussions with the Regional Health Directorate to see if they can create space for children who are stable; Covid positives who are stable so that we can move some of them there,” he said.
The Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof. Baafuor Kofi Opoku, revealed that out of 504 samples taken 251, representing 49.8 percent returned positive.
The figures were recorded between last year and January 26, 2021.
Meanwhile, management has denied allegations of neglect and lapses in its Covid-19 management.
Some caregivers at the Child Health Directorate have accused management of putting their lives at risk as suspected Covid-19 cases are managed alongside other patients.
But at the press briefing to respond to allegations, management denied the allegations.