The young nurse who grabbed headlines early in 2018 for constructing a dream mega hospital unassisted to make healthcare services more accessible in his impoverished region has taken one more compassionate step, sponsoring 15 poor patients to undergo surgical operations.
The operations were carried out without a hitch at the Azimbe Hospital, the health facility put up at Atuba in the Binduri District of the Upper East region by the 34-year-old nurse, Emmanuel Abugri Azimbe.
About 100 persons, including women and children, also turned out for a free Hepatitis B screening exercise organised in Bolgatanga, the regional capital, by the Azimbe Maternity Home, another facility owned by the nurse.
Doctors who handled the surgeries at the Binduri-based hospital say hernia dominated the cases received, with some of the patients below 30 years. A general surgeon at the hospital, Dr. Seidu Sukenibe, advised the public in a Starr News interview to report immediately “whenever there is a swelling in their groins” before it develops into a complicated hernia.
The nurse, whose ambulance is the only hospital wagon the region now depends on for referrals in and out of the region as all the ambulances in that part of the country are reported to have broken down, said he footed the surgery bills because “they are not insured and they are too poor to afford drugs, let alone the cost of a surgery”.
Nurse explains why he built Maternity Home
One of the outstanding contractors in the north, Mr. Azimbe has at his maternity home the latest machines overwhelmed observers say are not found yet even at the Upper East Regional Hospital.
“I decided to establish this facility after I had realised that we did not have a private maternity home in the region. Pregnant women used to travel from here to Kumasi, Brong Ahafo, Accra, to be delivered simply because they needed a place where they could have their privacy and utmost convenience.
“You can imagine the stress. I remember a pregnant woman lost the baby simply because of an unexpected delay she encountered on the road as she was travelling to a private maternity home outside the region,” the unassuming nurse, who also owns some laboratories, told Starr News in Bolgatanga.Experts who conducted the Hepatitis B screening told journalists men dominated in carrying the virus because they were more sexually “unstable” and “they don’t come for checkups”.“The men are not stable. They move from one woman to another, infecting others. The women have, but they are dominant in the men. The men, unlike most of the ladies, don’t come for checkups.
“They don’t want to come and check and know that they are infected. Most of the ladies who have it also do not go for antenatal care services when they are pregnant,” observed Joshua Boateng, a laboratory officer at the maternity home.
Watch out for Fake Hepatitis B vaccines— Public warned
Some individuals in the country, according to Mr. Boateng, are still insecure despite having gone for Hepatitis B vaccination. This, he said, is because the system has been corrupted with counterfeit Hepatitis B vaccines.
“Hepatitis B kills faster and it’s deadlier than HIV/AIDS. I want to encourage the public, especially workers who mostly spend the whole day in office, like bank workers. If they can’t come to our facility, we can come around their workplaces to screen if they so wish,” the laboratory technician said.
He stressed: “If you have been vaccinated, you still have to check if you have developed antibodies. Some people are injected with ordinary water and as a result do not develop antibodies. Some people know they have been vaccinated. It is when they check their profiles they realise that they have not developed antibodies. After you finish vaccination, go and check; otherwise, if you go and mess up with an infected person, you would get it. You need to be sure the vaccines are not fake.”The matron in charge of the maternity home, Janet Ayamga, advised Hepatitis B patients to stay away from alcohol, fatty foods and too much intake of pepper.
“When you test and you are positive, there is no drug that can cure Hepatitis B. We give you advice on your diet. You shouldn’t take alcohol and fatty foods. Hepatitis B patients should not take fresh meat. If you want to take meat, smoke it. The disease can be transmitted through sweat, sexual intercourse and contact with contaminated blood among other routes,” she stated.
The risk of transmission of the disease is said to even be greater with oral and anal sex. Use of contaminated tools for male and female circumcisions can also spread the disease.