Kidney and liver patients at Connaught hospital are currently struggling to get regular treatment following the breakdown of the only second-hand dialysis machine at the nation’s biggest hospital. The said machine was purchased a few years ago by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation at a monstrous cost of $150,000 (Le1.5 billion) but later became faulty and reportedly killed up to eight patients before it was finally shutdown but the officer in charge of the Dialysis Unit, Dr. Joshua Coker, a few months ago. Already the Ministry of Health and Sanitation are trying to get an expert from Nigeria to help fix the faulty machine.
From what this press has gathered about the breakdown of the machine, the contractor who was hired to purchase the machine brought in an old dialysis machine instead of a brand new one as stipulated in the bid advertisement contract. Details available to the press revealed that the government started the process of procuring a brand-new dialysis machine for Connaught hospital in 2016 with a single bidder under funding of the World Bank. However, because of an issue over high price between the bidder and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the World Bank decided to pull out of the deal.
Following this saga, the entire Dialysis Unit at Connaught stopped operating in 2017. However, in 2018, when President Julius Bio took over, the new SLPP government resumed the process to purchase the machine and a new bidder was hired to do to the procurement. The new bidder, believed to be one Mark Pharmacy, brought in the new machines with an osmosis (water) system.
But the new machine was later classified as faculty and second hand by some of the hospital technicians using it. It was reported that the MOHS then hired someone from Ivory Coast to fix the faulty machine and a second-hand machine was then launched by the then new Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby.
According to Nightwatch Newspaper, there are reports that the officer in charge of the unit does not have the requisite experience to run the unit. According to reports, even when the machine was killing patients, he insisted on continuing until the government shutdown the entire facility.