Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, the Medical Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, popularly know as Ridge Hospital, has disclosed that he received additional information about other illegal blood dealings in the hospital following the airing of the ‘Blood Contractor’ story.
According to him, a day after the airing of the story, he received a tipoff about a blood sale syndicate in the Ambulance unit of the hospital. He verified the information and an arrest was effected and the illegal blood was confiscated immediately.
“I must say that after the story was aired, the following day I had a tip-off from somebody who told me that he saw somebody coming out with blood from the Ambulance office.
“So immediately I was given this tip-off I just marched there and lo and behold I saw a fridge under the table in their office…I decided to open it and lo and behold I saw blood in the fridge.”
In February this year, a JoyNews investigative desk and Corruption Watch’s investigator, Francisca Enchill uncovered the illegal collection of fees for blood supply by a syndicate operating within the National Blood Service at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Blood Bank.
At the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, a staff collected GH¢300 for a pint of blood while the leader of a syndicate operating within the National Blood Service at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital demanded GH¢750 for a pint of blood.
At the time the investigator and Dr Srofenyo had this interview, the fridge was turned on to preserve the evidence in his office at the hospital.
Dr Srofenyo pointed out that the fridge in which the arrested staff of the Ambulance unit stored the blood was not the type of fridge medically used to store blood, hence the safety of the blood they had been selling was also a cause for concern.
“We also reported the issue to the headquarters of the National Ambulance team and also the case is in the hands of the Police. As we are talking, the Police are handling the case and doing further investigations to understand the full ramifications of what happened,” Dr Srofenyo revealed.
The case is currently being handled by the Nima Division of the Ghana Police Service.
Meanwhile, a staff of the hospital, who was captured in the Blood contractor story, is no longer a staff of the hospital as he has been recalled by the Ghana Health Service and transferred from the Greater Accra Regional Hospital to a municipal hospital here in Accra after the publication.
“Incidentally that gentleman just around the time of this news had been recalled from the headquarters and transferred to another hospital, so currently as we speak that gentleman is no more at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital. Definitely we also didn’t want him in the blood bank here,” Dr Srofenyo said.
Among the actions taken by management to block the illegal sale of the blood was the installation of CCTV cameras at vantage points of the laboratory of the hospital to assist management in capturing the exchange of money at the laboratory.
According to the management of the hospital, money is not supposed to be taken in any part of the hospital except the designated banks located in various units, hence, any staff captured taking money will be seen as taking illegal money and will be punished.