The Saint Lucas Hospital at Wiaga in the Builsa North Municipality of the Upper East Region has appealed to organizations, philanthropists and individuals to support it with a Chemistry machine for laboratory investigations. The facility refers patients to either Navrongo or Bolgatanga, the Regional capital for laboratory investigations such as Liver and Renal Function Tests, lipid profile among others, owing to the lack of a chemistry machine. Dr Bismark Lambon, the Acting Medical Director of the Hospital who made the appeal through the Ghana News Agency at Wiaga, said ‘Saint Lucas Hospital is appealing for a fully automated chemistry machine in its laboratory.’ He said the Catholic Health facility was a preferred choice for patients within and outside the Wiaga community and insisted that the Hospital could offer better services if it had a chemistry machine. The Acting Medical Director emphasized that ‘Our facility could do more if we had important equipment. The equipment we need most right now is a fully automated chemistry machine. ‘We are unable to do the chemistries like Liver Function Test, Kidney Function Test, important laboratory investigations that will help us in our diagnosis. So, we are appealing to well-meaning individuals from within Wiaga and beyond, to help us with this machine,’ Dr Lambon said. He said any organisation, philanthropists or individual who could help the hospital, ‘Would do the facility and the Builsa land a lot of good. You can imagine the cost involved in travelling to Navrongo or Bolgatanga or to a private laboratory, and to bring the results back for analysis.’ That, he said posed financial burden on clients, as some did not even return with results for analysis, and expressed concern that, some private laboratories, which were mostly patronized, had no registered Biomedical Scientists. ‘And so, calibration of their machines is questionable. We have standard laboratories like the Regional Hospital and War Memorial Hospital laboratories. ‘These are standardised laboratories, but because of proximity and the cost involved, clients go to roadside laboratories whose results are sometimes questionable and does not inure to the benefit of the clients,’ the Acting Medical Director said. Speaking on some common health conditions in the area, Dr Lambon said apart from malaria, which was common, especially in the raining season, alcohol related conditions, hepatitis ‘B’ and ‘C’ were prevalent. He said some residents were not even aware of their hepatitis status, while patients who tested positive to the virus, often declined to undertake Liver Function Test to know the severity of their condition, ‘They do not really understand the gravity or the seriousness of the conditions that they have, so sometimes it is a course of worry.’ Even though Dr Lambon could not immediately give the number of hepatitis cases recorded in the Hospital over the years, he said ‘When we see five cases at the Out-Patient Department, at least one out of the five will test positive for either hepatitis ‘B’ or ‘C’ He said there was cure for hepatitis ‘C’ unlike the ‘B’ which had no cure, adding that the Ghana Health Service had partnered an NGO to provide free hepatitis ‘C’ treatment to clients who tested positive. He called for intense public education on the disease as some members of the public were not aware of their hepatitis status.
Source: Ghana News Agency