Scores of items were destroyed as fire gutted the administration block of St. Josephs health centre at Kalba in the Sawla Tuna Kalba district of the savannah region.
The unfortunate incident reportedly started around 10pm on Sunday, January 16, 2022, due to two days of low current experienced in Kalba and other parts of the SawlaTuna-Kalba district.
The Physician Assistant (PA) who is the In charge of St. Joseph health center, Mr. Sobiitey George, said with the help of the security officer and health staff of the facility present during the fire, broke the door and managed to put the fire under control.
‘The security officer and staff who were on night duty were notified by a client relative who first saw the fire. The staff managed to break into the building through one of the doors and rescued some of the items after they managed to put off the fire with water, with the help of other people around at the time, he narrated.
He said although the fire didn’t destroy the building but it destroyed a lot of vital equipment, files and personal properties. Such equipment include Printers (2)-1 single printer and 1 combined printer with scanner and photocopier, office chair, Arm chair, Plastic chair, wooden bench, table, part of roofing of the building, window curtains, two extension cord, ID card holders (unknown number).
Letters, reports, PVs, receipts, personal documents, among others were equally destroyed.
He added that some rescued but damaged items include Dell laptop, Laminator, Door.
Mr. Sobiitey George described the incident as a major setback for the facility because community members and pregnant women use the printer and scanner to photocopy their documents so that they can be attended to.
He reiterated that it will have impact on patients, particularly pregnant women, who will be particularly susceptible because they will be unable to print and scan their insurance before being screen.
The health center is the only health center in the kalba community that serve lots of communities and villages around.
The fire may be caused by arching, earthing, fire load, or grounding, according to Mr. Salisu M. Sirilbaini (DO III), the regional fire safety officer who also serves as the Public Relation Officer for the Savannah region’s Ghana National Fire Service. According to him, the fire started with the printer before spreading to the documents, chairs and other costly equipment.
He commended the staff of the health center for taking bold initiative to bring the fire under control.
“When others people see fire, they begin to run away, but you were able to manage the fire when it started, and I must applaud you for that bold and brave step,”
As a result, he requested the health facility’s management to allow GNFS officials to train some of the health center’s employees on fire safety skills.
The cause of the fire is unknown but authorities are investigating the situation.
Mr Aiden Ngmenban, the Damongo Diocesan Health Director, promised the institution’s management that they would work as quickly as possible to procure the essential equipment in order to keep the facility operational and preserve the lives of pregnant women and patients.
Mr. Aiden encourages health workers not to let the incident undermine their commitment to the community, but rather to use it to push them to do more to save the lives of Kalba residents.
“Just want to say a word of appreciation to the management and the staff of the facility for the commitment and the bold step taken to control the fire. Do not be down in spirit, but you should use that same spirit and put yourselves quickly back to work so that it will not affect service delivery”, he said.
He called on stakeholders, philanthropist, NGOs, the MP for Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, district assembly, the diocese and their donor partners to come to the aid of St. Josephs health centre at Kalba in the Swala Tuna Kalba district of the savannah region.
The health center was built in 1980 by the Catholic church and started operation in the 1981.
padfm.com.gh / Edwin Gogu