By: Hamza Lansah Lolly, Tamale

Number of death at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) has risen as a result of unavailability of oxygen gas at the various theatres of the Hospital.
The hospital currently leads in child and maternal deaths in the region.
The casualties are coming from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Maternity and Surgical theatres, the accident and emergency unit is also heavily affected by the shortage of oxygen gas.

The facility has been battling with the shortage of oxygen gas for the past three months after the oxygen gas plant at the hospital became ineffective to supply gas to the various wards and theatres of the hospital.
Oxygen, a gas found in the air we breathe, is necessary for human life. Some people with breathing disorders can’t get enough oxygen naturally. They may need supplemental oxygen, or oxygen therapy. People who receive oxygen therapy often see improved energy levels and sleep, and better quality of life.

Symptoms of low oxygen include rapid breathing, coughing or wheezing, and changes in the color of your skin.
Many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) require long-term oxygen therapy.
The lack of oxygen gas has created a lot of havoc for both patients and doctors/anesthetics/nurses at the hospital.
Doctors and Anesthetics have to work under pressure with precarious situations leading to many deaths at the theatres. Patients who need oxygen gas for emergency oxygen therapy always died for either insufficient oxygen gas supply or unavailability of oxygen gas at the hospital.

Most at times, referrals are made to smaller hospitals like the West Hospital, Kamina hospital, Central hospital and other private hospitals for lack of oxygen gas at the TTH.
Again, patients who are scheduled for caesarean sections and other oxygen therapies are always postponed leading to complications and further deepening the woes of the patient. Many died as results of these complications.
Patients that require oxygen gas therapy are transfers to private clinics and hospitals operating in the region.
The situation of the oxygen gas has been a major shortfall of the facility where the number of deaths rises each day at the hospital.
Some staffs of the facility were sighted taking some empty cylinders out of the hospital for a possible refilled in Kumasi.
“A car will come and take them to Kumasi” one of them said me
Meanwhile, authorities are tight-lip about the issue.

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