Agenda 111: Government to build hospital at Agbogbloshie cleared site

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Government has announced plans to use a portion of the Agbogbloshie land that was cleared recently to build a hospital under the Agenda 111 project.

This was revealed by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey when the Agenda 111 team led by Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare inspected the project site for work to start.

Agbogbloshie was considered one of West Africa’s biggest slum and major health hazard zone because of the heavy metals and acidic billows of smoke that emanated from the area, together with the burning of mounds of trash until the Greater Accra Regional Minister cleared the site.

As part of its ‘Let’s Make Accra Work Again’ initiative, the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (GARCC) decongested the area by relocating onion sellers and scrap dealers to Adjen Kotoku.

This gave the GARCC access to more than 80 acres of land, about 15 of which will now be available for what will be known as Ablekuma Central Municipal Hospital.

On completion, the single-storey and yard will have a patient reception and processing area, administration, pharmacy, laboratory/diagnostics, physiotherapy, public health, accident, and emergency facilities.

There will also be wards for surgical and paediatric cases, maternity, isolation, and four theatres for surgery.

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There are provisions for a mortuary, waiting and security pavilions, accommodation facility for families and doctors (separated), a laundry, waste management and energy centre, kitchen, central store, and maintenance yard.

Speaking to the media after inspecting the site, Henry Quartey said President Akufo-Addo has directed for the land to be used as a hospital which he believes will be completed in 18 months.

According to him, “the parcel of land that we reclaimed, Mr. President has directed that Agenda 111; that is the hospital designed to be located in some parts of the country also comes here. Now the advantage that it brings to this area is that we have Ablekuma Central Municipal Assembly, AMA, the North Industrial Area and you have Abossey Okai; that is about 40,000 people come in and out every day. Now if we have a hospital located strategically in this area, it will serve over a 100,000 people directly or indirectly because it creates jobs as well. I believe that in 18 months this vision will be reality.”

“So we thank Mr President that he has once again shown leadership by sighting the hospital here and there are other projects that will be equally essential and beneficial to the community that will be placed here,” he added.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister recounted how for two decades several attempts by successive governments failed to reclaim the land due to strong resistance from traders who occupied the area.

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However, he is happy that has been achieved and his goal to see Agbogbloshie redeveloped into something beneficial for the community is coming to fruition.

“Over two decades, it has been a challenge for successive governments to be able to as it were to reclaim the land. The support, the encouragement that the president gave to this exercise today has made us make solid gains,” he noted.

Dr Nsiah-Asare commended the Minister for the good work it had done by reclaiming the land to ensure it was put to good use.

He said the maximum acres of land needed for the project were 15 and the GARCC had provided enough land for other facilities such as extra accommodation for the hospital staff, ensuring a complete medical village.

Aside from that, Dr Nsiah-Asare said it would also contain other important facilities to supplement some of the operations of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Dr Nsiah-Asare hinted that clearing of the land would soon commence and once that was done, the contractor would move to the site to begin work.

“This is the essence of what the government is doing. We want to bring health care closer to the people so this project together with the National Health Insurance Scheme will help us achieve the Universal Health Coverage, which is the Goal Three of the Sustainable Development Goals, even before 2030,” the Presidential Advisor said.

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