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Cancer equipment at KATH lies idle as parts vanish

An equipment purchased by the government for the treatment of cancer at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is lying idle because some of its components are missing.

The linear accelerator machine is one of a number of machines brought into the country by the Ministry of Health (MoH) under a $13.5-million project aimed at expanding radiotherapy services at KATH and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The money for the project was secured by the government under a loan agreement between Ghana and the Arab Bank of Africa and the OPEC Fund for International Development.

Investigations

According to a source at KATH, the ministry was advised strongly against the purchase of the linear machine, popularly called Linac, by the hospital authorities and the International Atomic Energy Agency, but it went ahead to purchase it.

Unfortunately, when the machine was finally brought to the hospital, it came without some vital components. Additionally, other important parts which were kept at the Central Medical Stores in Tema were lost to the fire that gutted the facility some two years ago.

Furthermore, the building meant to house the machine for operation was made ready in 2015, by which time the Linac had suffered some level of deterioration.

It was only when experts were ready to test run the machine that it was found that some its components were missing.

The contract for the million-dollar project sighted by the Daily Graphic indicated that $1 million was allocated for the training of radiotherapists at KATH and Korle Bu, but neither health facility had benefitted from the proposed training.

Following the importation of the linear machine, workers of the Radiotherapist Department of KATH resisted attempts by the MoH to bring in some other machines, including a brachytherapy from Germany, as part of the $13.5-million project.

Management

A source close to the management of KATH confirmed the story but insisted that the faulty machine was sent back to Accra long ago, but Daily Graphic checks revealed otherwise.

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