MoH gives reasons to pull down old uncompleted maternity block at KATH

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A new 500-bed capacity maternity block is to be built at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in place of the abandoned 45-year old uncompleted weak structure which is set to be demolished.

This was disclosed by a team from the Ministry of Health, KATH and the contractor in charge of the project.

The €155 million Deutsche Bank fund, which was to be used to complete the abandoned project, is the same amount that will be used in funding the new six-storey building. It is scheduled to be completed within three years.

The Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Dr Oheneba Owusu Danso, joined by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, KMA Boss Osei Assibey Antwi, officials from MoH, consultants and the contractor on the site, showed journalists and some stakeholders round the old building site to witness the said damages in the building.

Risk assessment

The old uncompleted block has weak and rusty, exposed iron rods, with some portions of the concrete showing cracks and weakness and which easily falls off with just a little force.

According to Richard Vanderpuije, head of the Architecture Engineering Infrastructure Directorate at the MoH, the decision to demolish the building followed a comprehensive risk assessment undertaken by relevant engineering companies, including Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL).

He also noted that “the old building cannot last for the next five to 10 years if repaired and when left alone, the old building could fall on its own without anybody touching it. The building has exceeded its life span and in terms of risk, cost effectiveness, it would be more expensive to maintain it than rebuild.”

“As we speak, shoring has been applied to keep the building standing and a little vibration at the site will cause a disaster. Testing also showed very low concrete compressive strength (C7/C9a) and this is not acceptable,” he added.

The facility, which was initially designed to have a 750-bed capacity, will be reduced to 500 beds when redeveloped.

President Akufo-Addo in May 2020 cut the sod for the construction of the project and gave a completion deadline of 36-months.

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