ADDRESS DELIVERED BY DR. OHENEBA OWUSU-DANSO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING HOSPITAL (KATH) AT THE THREE-TIER EVENT OF ANNUAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE, STAFF RECEPTION AND BEST STAFF AWARDS CEREMONY OF THE HOSPITAL HELD ON THURSDAY, 19TH DECEMBER, 2019

AMBASSADOR NANA EFFAH-APENTENG, OMANHENE OF BOMPATA TRADITIONAL AREA AND BOARD CHAIRMAN OF KATH

HON. SIMON OSEI -MENSAH, ASHANTI REGIONAL MINISTER

HON. OSEI ASIBEY ANTWI, KUMASI METROPOLITAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE

REV.  FR. NANA AKWASI KESSIE, DIOCESIAN ADMINISTRATOR

           ANGLICAN DIOCESE -KUMASI

MAULVI AHMED TAHEED, REGIONAL MISSIONARY, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM MISSION-KUMASI

MEMBERS OF THE KATH BOARD

HEADS OF DIRECTORATES AND UNITS

CHERISHED MEMBERS OF STAFF AND BEST STAFF AWARD WINNERS

OUR MOST CHERISEHED & GENEROUS SPONSORS

INVITED GUESTS

THE PRESS

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

It is deeply my pleasure and special privilege to welcome all of you to the 2019 Annual three-tier event of Thanksgiving Service, Staff Reception and the Best Staff Awards ceremony of the Hospital.

I would like to also thank in particular our distinguished invited dignitaries for taking time off your very busy schedules to be with us on this very special occasion as we approach the festive season of the celebration of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

On behalf of the Management and the Board, let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a most prosperous and Happy New Year in 2020. It is my fervent prayer that the coming year will bring greater fulfilments and propel us to even greater heights in our various endeavours.

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I must point out that in the course of the year, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, like any other health institutions, had its fair share of operational challenges. However, a critical analysis of the year 2019 so far clearly shows that the Lord has been extremely good to us. This is because during the year, the hospital witnessed some very significant developments which were unique in the 64 years operational history of the hospital. It is, therefore, most appropriate for us to gather here once again to give thanks and praise to the Lord for seeing us successfully through another year.

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, It is noteworthy to state that in the course of the year, KATH became the first teaching hospital in the country to be accredited by the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) with an impressive total score of 83.4 per cent. In fact we were also among the real first batch of public health facilities to be accredited by HeFRA. While we pride ourselves for such high ratings from the regulatory agency, it is my hope that we will not rest on our oars but rather work harder to further improve on our systems and facilities so that the next accreditation exercise in three years’ time would even record a comparatively greater score.

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, another positive development recorded at the hospital in the course of the year was the acquisition, installation and commissioning of two ultra-modern Oxygen plants for the production of medical gasses for patient care.

It must be emphasized that for close to 10 years, the hospital had been crying for the replacement of its then obsolete Oxygen Plants. By June 2019, the plants had become so old and was barely producing oxygen that the hospital was procuring 95 per cent of its oxygen needs from private companies at the cost Twelve Thousand Ghana Cedis (Ghc12,000.00) a day.

With the support of the Board and the necessary approvals from the government, the hospital procured two ultra-modern Oxygen Plants at the cost of Five Million, Four Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (Ghc5.4m). The repayment of the cost of the plants is to be funded entirely from the hospital’s own resources over the next three years and six months of which is already paid.

This is the first time in the history of the country that a public health facility has been able to procure such an expensive facility entirely on its own resources thus making it the largest Internally Generated Fund (IGF)-financed project in the health sector of the country.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, KATH also became the first hospital in Ghana to perform a Device Occluder closure procedure, thanks to our collaboration with the Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital in China. With this minimally invasive technique, two children with whole in heart had their conditions successfully corrected without undergoing the traditional more stressful open-heart surgery thus ensuring rapid recovery and discharge within two days after the procedure.  Management is determined to sustain and further develop the service for the benefit of patients through more skillful training and acquisition of all the relevant equipment.

Again, the hospital in the course of the year, undertook its first wholly-local team led pacemaker implantation procedures and open heart surgeries. That is, for the first time in this hospital, these important procedures in the management of some heart diseases were performed without the participation of visiting partners as had been the case in the past. Nana Chairman, permit me at this stage to congratulate Drs. Yaw Adu-Boakye, Lambert Tetteh Appiah and James Amoah-Dankwa of the Internal Medicine Directorate and Dr. Isaac Okyere of the Cardiothoracic Unit of the hospital for leading the local teams to register these feats.

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, another notable feat recorded at the hospital was the introduction of free Breast, Cervical and Prostate Cancer screening for members of staff within the age bracket of 40 years up to retirement. This was done conscious of the rising incidents of these cancers in our population and the crucial role early detection and treatment play in saving victims from avoidable deaths. Under the program, all female staff will be screened for the breast and cervical cancers whiles all male staff above 40 years would be screened for prostate cancer. This is the first time in the history of the hospital that members of staff are being offered this potentially life-saving screening and KATH remains the only public health facility in the country with such a progressive condition of service for its staff. In fact, it is our desire to protect our staff to enjoy a peaceful and productive working life that transcends into a more joyful retirement.

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, One critical project at the Hospital which had stalled due to contractual difficulties arising from non-compliance with the country’s Pubic Procurement Laws is the three-storey multi-purpose project which will serve mainly as a Patients’ Relatives Hostel. Following persistent efforts by Management and the Board, the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) finally gave approval to the project and Management has consequently regularised the contract thus paving the way for resumption of work and completion at the overall cost of Five-Million Ghana Cedi (Ghc5m). It will be executed by a private developer under a Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement with a Kumasi-based company by name Gods Mercy Construction Limited.

This is expected to provide decent and affordable accommodation to the numerous visitors who come to the hospital from all over Ghana to visit their relations and friends on admission.

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very pleased to confirm that to crown it all with the major strides made in the year which will soon come to a close, the Government of Ghana finally secured funding for the reactivation and completion of the 43-year old Maternity and Children’s block project. Following a parliamentary approval on the commitment and endorsement of His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic and Cabinet, a Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million (138-million) Euro contract was formally signed by the Government with the contractor, Contracta UK to complete the project within the next 30 months. The company is expected to move to site next month, that is, January 2020.

When completed, the project which is the single largest investment made in the expansion of the hospital since its construction in 1955, will consist of 800 beds, nine operating theatres, offices, lecture halls, staff cafeteria and other ultra-modern facilities to provide world-class environment for the care of our children and mothers and the operational comfort of the hardworking staff. This will help resolve or effectively reduce the worsening congestion and its associated mortalities of infants, children and mothers. Next month will be two years since the Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II Center (NAKSA center) was completed and handed over by our mother, First Lady, H. E. Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo through her Rebecca Foundation. Management is aware of the very significant drop in neonatal, infant and child mortalities and therefore the critical need for the completion and the expected impact of the huge Maternity and Children Block cannot be over-emphasized.

Nana Board Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is in reference to all the positive developments I have catalogued so far that I believe as a hospital, the year 2019 has generally been an amazing one for us for which reason we should be most thankful and show appreciation to the Good Lord and also celebrate and fraternize as members of the one big Komfo Anokye Hospital family.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we are also thankful to the Board for its approval for the re-introduction of the Staff Awards programme after a long break dating back to 2015. Today marks the successful holding of the event in two consecutive years. This, I am convinced signifies the commitment of Management and that of the Board to recognize and reward hard working staff of this hospital. I will, therefore, urge all members of staff to reciprocate this commitment of the Board and do their best in whatever tasks are assigned to you at the Hospital. This is because your toils will not go unnoticed.

I would like to challenge the Heads of Directorates and Units to play a leading role in this important exercise in subsequent events to ensure that their hardworking staff gets the opportunity to compete for the prizes at the top Management level. This is because in this year’s processes some few Directorates did not submit nominations. Further, I wish to urge all Directorates and Units, I mean all Directorates and Units to institutionalize their own awards program to recognize and reward hardworking staff in their close operational areas. Today, by God’s grace, we are going to witness the conferment of special awards and prizes on 17 cherished Members of our Staff who have distinguished themselves exceptionally in their line of duty.

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, with the approval of the Board, Management would be introducing a new award category to reward deserving Directorates and Units. The benchmark is being developed and shall include demonstrable and exemplary leadership, quality and innovation in patient care, resource mobilization, judicious use of Internally Generated Funds and staff development and discipline among other considerations. I would therefore, like to urge all the Directorates and Units to begin to fine-tune their operations and adopt best practices in the clinical and managerial areas of their operations so that they will be found worthy of consideration for the new awards come next year.

Nana Board Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, at this stage please permit me to specially recognize some companies which have been very generous enough to support Management in providing the award prizes. We are most grateful to SAG Systems Limited, Palb Pharmaceutical Ltd and Unique Luv Enterprise who have sponsored the Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes respectively. Others are Ernest Chemist, Azorkeem Limited, Jamfe Ventures, Lifecare Technology, Isabella Healthcare, Intravenous Limited, Hills Pharmacy, Sambao Company, Africano Ltd, Pharmanova Ltd, Morimaz Ltd, Alpha Innovations, Starlife Insurance, Ntease Catering Services. The rest are, Green Step Company, Iberika De Maintemento, Sampsco Ltd, Benburto Enterprise, Mobenko Company, Estille Catering Services, Medical Equipment and Ancillary Services (MEANS), Glico Insurance, KATH Taxi Union and in fact the last but not the least, so reserved for special mention is Mulvi Tahir Ahmed who is with us here and will say a prayer for all of us today, who has also sponsored. Let me indicate that if there are some sponsors who may not have been listed in my speech (then it is clearly unintentional), but probably due to the fact that it came in late. They will be duly recognized.   It is important to state that in this year’s event every award prize to be given out today has been sponsored and therefore the hospital is not spending its scarce resource on any prize items.

I wish to admonish all the winners to rededicate themselves to their duties and serve as role models and motivation for other members of staff, especially those in their immediate area of work. In a change in policy, members of staff should note that with effect from next year all past winners of the various categories are now eligible to repeatedly contest again as part of the move to engender constructive competition among staff.  The only exception for now will be the topmost award winner.

To all the category winners of the Best Staff Awards I say, Congratulations and Ayekoo!

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as we enter 2020, I urge that we all rededicate ourselves to better patient care practices so as to deepen our relevance in the national development agenda by assuring a healthier workforce for the country. A workforce and population who genuinely express their safety and increasing satisfaction with our quality of care.

As I bring my address to a close, permit me, to once again congratulate all the special award winners and the longest serving staff and also extend my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all individuals and organizations who contributed immensely in cash and kind towards the awards programme in making it a great success.

We will continue to count on your support in the years ahead to ensure the continuous growth of the hospital.

On this note, Nana Board Chairman, Members of the Board, Heads of Directorates, and Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me respectfully request all of you to rise up and observe a minute’s silence in memory of all our departed colleagues who passed away in the course of the year.

May their souls rest in perfect peace!                  (Please resume your seats.)

Nana Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, once again, permit me to wish all of you a merry Christmas in advance and Happy and a Prosperous New Year. Mema Obiaara Afenhyia Pa!!!

I thank you for your attention and May God bless us all.