Power restored to Ghana hospital after babies died

Electricity has been restored to a hospital in northern Ghana to the joy of a doctor who said two babies had died there after a state-owned energy firm disconnected their power earlier this month.

Dr Gbeadese Ahmed from St Anne’s Hospital in Damango told the BBC he was about to go into theatre to resume surgical operations put on hold seven days ago.

Local MP and Lands Minister Samuel Abdulai Jinapor had paid off part of the hospital’s debt to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (Nedco), he said.

The politician’s intervention followed Dr Ahmed’s interview on Monday with Citi News about the effects of the power outage on the state-run hospital in the town, which is more than 630km (390 miles) by road from the capital, Accra.

He explained that two babies had died and three others were in a critical condition because without electricity medics at St Anne’s have been unable to organise blood transfusions for the new-borns.

The problems began at the hospital on 4 May when the power was first cut over a debt of more than $370,000 (£342,000).

This is when the first baby died, according to Dr Ahmed.

The electricity was restored but Nedco warned if the bill was not settled in full it would again shut off power – and this happened on 16 May.

The second baby died over the last week.

Since the beginning of May Ghana’s state power firms have been cracking down on defaulters in an effort to claw back millions of dollars owed to them.

Several government institutions have found themselves cut off for failing to settle their bills.

Source: BBC