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How some health professionals are killing patients in Ghana



Medical negligence, Newscenta, patients, health professionals, needless deaths,
Felix Kwame Quainoo. Photo: Felix Kwame Quainoo

It is trite knowledge that diseases and sicknesses are consequentially an integral part of our daily lives.

No matter how well we take good care of ourselves, we can never escape the scathing sword of sicknesses and diseases.

Indeed, diseases and sicknesses are no respecter of persons.

Diseases have no regard for gender, creed, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, or social standing.

For many of us, when the unfortunate happens and we fall sick or are bogged down by an ailment our first point of call is a health facility.


Health facilities are ordinarily expected to be places of solace, tranquility, and healing.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. The work being done by some of both public and private health facilities across the length and breadth of this country leaves much to be desired.

I have had an excruciatingly unpleasant experience of losing two close relatives in recent times, one in February at a public facility and the other in August at a private facility.

This got me thinking deeply about how our very lives are virtually in the hands of health workers and how well they handle it determines our fate.

Quite often, we read in both mainstream and social media about the poor services rendered by some hospitals in the country.


And until you become a victim, you might not appreciate or fully grasp the gravity of the sad reality in a lot of our health facilities.

Some of our compatriots who have been at the receiving end of these poor services mostly complain about rude, uncaring, and unfriendly medical staff and how their negligence wreaks havoc on innocent patients.

Others also complain bitterly about substandard medical facilities as well as medical staff whose handling of patients begs the question of whether they are duly trained and certificated medical professionals or not!

The actions and inaction of medical staff in our medical facilities are partly to blame for the high mortality rates being recorded across the country.

The administration of wrong medications, wrong dosages and application rates as well as wrong surgical procedures have killed and maimed too many of our people and we should all be concerned since we are all at risk of dying needlessly from substandard medical facilities and incompetent medical staff.


Why on earth should one visit a health facility in times of sickness without returning home hale and hearty?

For me, the number of deaths being recorded in some of our health facilities in recent times is way too many and this calls for an urgent probe into the activities of our health facilities.

For instance, on February 18, this year a 40-year-old male relative of mine was suddenly taken ill and was admitted at a public health facility, and in less than 10 hours he was gone just like that.

I have a strong feeling that he could have been saved if not for the negligence and inaction on the part of the medical handlers.

Around 11 pm a particular drug was administered to the patient whose breathing was being supported by oxygen only for his breathing to sharply and irregularly rise and fall and in less than a minute after that drug was administered, he was already gone and the usual we are sorry bla bla bla was re-echoed quite painfully.


As if that was not enough, just last month my 44-year-old big sister walked into a private facility somewhere in Kumasi for a myomectomy (Fibroid surgery).

She was not ‘sick’, she was hale and hearty. The surgical process I am told was successfully done on Sunday only for her health to deteriorate afterward and by Thursday she was also gone painfully just like that.

In both of these scenarios from a layman’s point of view, I could draw conclusions of ineptitude coupled with negligence and of course lack of respect and responsibility for human lives as the common risk factor that played out.

It is therefore not surprising to know that people travel outside the country just to access good quality medical care which involves huge sums of money.

But, the question is what about the masses who do not have the wherewithal to access quality health care outside the country?


Should we continue to die needlessly like some experimental guinea pigs?

What are we doing as a people to also create a congenial medical atmosphere for the good people of this country so we stop dying like chickens?

Most medical professionals have no sense of responsibility for human lives.

They kill patients needlessly in our medical facilities through their actions and inactions ostensibly because they are sure to get away with it!

I believe that naming and shaming medical personnel and facilities who are negligent in the discharge of their duties as well as imposing stringent and punitive sanctions on culprits will go a long way to sanitize the system for better healthcare delivery.


As it stands now fighting one’s way through the justice delivery in case of medical negligence is an uphill task.

Special courts should be designated to handle cases of medical negligence and infractions for victims and their families to be able to seek redress.

To this end, I will like to urge the Ghana Health Service (GHS) which has the supervisory and regulatory authority over all health facilities in the country to intensify supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of all health facilities in the country and deal drastically with non-performing facilities.

This is about human lives and absolutely nothing should be left to chance.
I am sure that if GHS start closing down medical facilities for just a single human life lost negligently, handlers of medical facilities will begin to sit up.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA), The Ghana Medical and Dental Council,  Ghana Registered  Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and all other professional bodies within Ghana’s healthcare space should admonish their members to ensure the highest standards of ethics and professionalism for the betterment of healthcare.


It is my view that these professional bodies should endeavour to crack the whip and withdraw the license of members who breach their code of conduct and ethics.

I would like to urge the government to work hard to ensure our medical infrastructure are up to scratch whether in urban or rural areas for an efficient health administration system.

Also, government must work hard to ensure a proper and well-functioning and above all a sustainable National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to save more lives especially in low-income groups.

Remember, this is about human lives and we need to do everything within our power to make  NHIS one of the best if not the best in the sub-region.

Again, government should ensure the availability of basic drugs in our health facilities.


It is sad to visit some facilities like Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS) compounds, Health, Centers, Clinics and even hospitals only to be given a prescription to buy your drugs from outside the facility.

Indeed, this situation makes a mockery of the emergency services being delivered by these facilities. What is the usefulness of the emergency unit of any medical facility without basic drugs to respond to cases?

The issue of fake drugs purchased by our central medical stores and supplied to health facilities especially public health facilities should also be looked at for the betterment of our health administration system.

The “No Bed” syndrome in our health facilities continues to be a blot on our collective conscience as a people and there should be a deliberate and well-calculated plan in place to ensure that going forward the “No Bed” syndrome would be a thing of the past.

Never again should any patient visit any facility and sleep on the floor, on a bench, or in a plastic chair. We have come too far as a nation to allow such avoidable and disgraceful incidents to be part of the narrative. Let us all tell ourselves Never Again!


Let me quickly add that there are some medical facilities and medical staff who are doing a great job and doing their best to save lives and we doff our hearts to them for saving lives to the best of their abilities.

Kudos to all those who are holding high the flag of the medical profession and placing our country on a pedestal despite the challenges.

We are grateful for the great job you guys are doing.

Let us all put our hands to the wheel and make our country a better place to live in.

God bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong.



By Felix Kwame Quainoo  


Measles, Polio and other childhood vaccines dispatched to regions



Childhood vaccines, Newscenta, Polio, Measles, Ministry of Health, Regions,

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have received the first consignment of Measles vaccines, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccines and Oral Polio Vaccines.

The Ministry of Information in a statement said distribution to various regions and facilities was underway.

It noted that more vaccines are expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources.

“More vaccines expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources,” the Information Ministry added.

It shared pictures of the GHS receiving the vaccines at the airport noting that they have already begun distributing them to various regions and facilities.


The ministry also shared photos of regional cold vans picking their consignments of the Measles, BCG and Oral Polio vaccines received and its accompanying logistics at the National Cold Room in Accra.

Ghana ran out of essential BCG and OPV vaccines as a result of the Ministry of Health’s failure to secure procurement of these vaccines since the year began.

The BCG vaccine is primarily needed to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis in babies, while the OPV is to prevent polio infections

Other essential vaccines to prevent diseases such as measles, whooping cough, etc. are also in short supply.

Answering to parliament on the shortages, Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu said that more than $6 million has been paid to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver baby vaccines.


According to him, the government expects the shortage to end in the next three weeks when all the vaccines are delivered.

Whilst urging the Legislators to approve funds needed for vaccines, he assured that shortages will not reoccur

“The assurance I will give and I can give for the first time in the Chamber is that this will not happen again and I will advise that you help me in my advocacy to get adequate funding for vaccines even the health insurance budget,” he appealed.

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No measles deaths in 20yrs, vaccines arriving soon  



Vaccines, Newscenta, measles, BCG, polio, immunisation,

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has assured parents of children who are yet to receive their scheduled vaccines due to the vaccine shortage currently being experienced in the country that the country will take delivery of these vaccines in the next few weeks.

He gave this assurance at an emergency press briefing organised to address the raging issue which has seen many worried parents moving from facility to facility in a desperate search for the crucial vaccines.

The Minister in his address stated that the nation is currently facing a shortage of some vaccines.

He said, “it is true we have had some vaccine shortages in the country since the last quarter of 2022. The vaccines in short supply are BCG, Measles-Rubella (MR), and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). This shortage is nationwide.”

Agyemang-Manu however assured that  “the Ministry of Health has been making efforts to ensure we secure adequate stocks of vaccines despite this global challenge.”


He went further to state that, “we have made all necessary efforts to ensure that despite these challenges we secure adequate stocks within the next few weeks.”

He disclosed that the country has not recorded deaths caused by measles outbreak in parts of the country.

The Health Minister indicated that there had been no recorded measles-related deaths in the country in the last 20 years, even though there have been sporadic outbreaks.

He further indicated that besides the shortage of vaccines, there had been a global decline in vaccinations with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019.

He said, “the recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.”


Agyemang-Manu however assures the citizenry that the nation’s vaccination coverage remains robust, with immunization performance coverage being among the best in the world.

According to him, “in 2021 we recorded 95% [vaccine] coverage.”

In recent months there has been a desperate scramble among worried parents of toddlers over the apparent shortage of vaccines for the six childhood killer diseases in the nation’s pharmacies and hospitals.

This coupled with an outbreak of the measles-rubella virus has left parents worrying about the safety of their children.


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Ghana: Zipline delivers 14.8m lifesaving medical products



Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

Zipline, the world’s first and only national-scale drone delivery service has delivered some 14.8 million (14,809,463) units of lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to health facilities in Ghana as at the end of 2022

309,000 delivery flights

These items were delivered through 309,000 separate delivery flights.

4.4m units delivered

The total units delivered amounted to 4.4 million.


8.3m doses of childhood vaccines

Childhood vaccines top the list with the delivery of 8.3 million doses.

2.05m doses of COVID-19 vaccines

It is followed by COVID-19 vaccines which recorded 2.05 million doses.

48,588 doses of malaria vaccines


The company delivered 48,588 doses of malaria vaccines during the period

10,875 pints of blood

Some 10,875 blood units were also delivered during the period.

Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

6 Zipline distribution centers

The six  Zipline distribution centers delivers lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to over 2,500 health facilities.


Zipline introduced in April 2019

Ghana integrated Zipline’s medical drone delivery service into its health supply chain in April 2019 with an initial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UPS Foundation and other partners.

Instant access to health commodities

Zipline enables instant access to hundreds of health commodities for thousands of health facilities across the country.

Autonomous drones


This marked the first time in history that autonomous drones have been used to make regular long-range deliveries into densely populated urban areas.

Zipline reaches half the population

Zipline’s current network in Ghana can reach up to half the population.

Life-saving care

All too often, people requiring life-saving care do not get the medicine they need when they need it.


Reduce medical waste

To increase access and reduce medical waste, key stock of blood products, vaccines, and life-saving medications are stored at Zipline’s base for just-in-time delivery.

Health workers place orders

Health workers place orders by text message or call and promptly receive their deliveries in 30 minutes on average.

Drones deliver the orders


The drones take off from and land at Zipline’s base, requiring no additional infrastructure or manpower at the clinics they serve.

Each drone can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo

The drones fly autonomously and can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110km an hour, and have a round trip range of 160km—even in high-speed winds and rain.

How Zipline works

Each week, a single Zipline distribution centre – a combination of medical fulfilment warehouse and drone airport – is capable of the on-demand delivery of more than two tonnes of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 8,000 square mile service area.


Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

30 to 45 minutes deliveries

Each aircraft can fly 100 miles round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 to 45 minutes on average.

Zipline’s drones have flown more than five million autonomous miles to deliver more than 1.5 million doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life-saving medications to more than a thousand health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries.

Zipline in United States

In the United States, Zipline has partnered with a leading healthcare system, Novant Health, on the country’s first drone logistics operation by a hospital system for pandemic response.


To date, Novant Health has utilised Zipline to make contactless drone distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline medical teams around Charlotte, North Carolina.

Zipline operating in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria

Zipline recently commenced medical delivery services in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria as its footprint grows across Africa.

Set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya

The company is set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya this week bringing to five countries in Africa to have adopted the technology.






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