Power has been restored at the Keta Municipal Health Directorate which houses the vaccine store of the municipality.
This comes hours after the Daily Graphic published a story on how vaccines for routine immunisation, including recent deliveries, risked getting expired at the directorate because the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had disconnected the power supply to the facility for the non-payment of bills.
The move was despite the government categorising some health amenities, including vaccine stores, operating theatres, medical laboratories, designated pharmacies and consulting rooms as crucial and strategic, requiring an uninterrupted supply of power.
The Keta Municipal Director of Health, Emmanuel Kona, told the Daily Graphic that the power supply was restored at the directorate soon after 3 p.m. last Saturday.
He said the vaccines were all intact because the directorate utilised the large stockpile of ice packs in the store at the time of the disconnection to preserve them.
Mr Kona said apart from the ice packs, a downpour which followed the disconnection helped to keep temperatures at low levels and that also helped to preserve the vaccines.
Subsequently, the COVID-19 vaccination took off smoothly in the Keta Municipality last Saturday, Mr Kona revealed.
He said the five-day COVID-19 vaccination exercise targeted 3,600 people in the municipality.
Mr Kona did not immediately disclose how many people had so far benefitted from the vaccination exercise but said the response from the public was encouraging.
“Life is back to normal at the directorate, we are grateful to the Daily Graphic for showing concern over the disconnection at the directorate, we hope this never happens again,” he added.
Mr Kona’s story was corroborated by the acting Volta Region Director of Health, Dr Senanu Kwesi Djokoto.
The regional health director said the regional health directorate had held cordial discussions with the ECG and was seriously working out modalities for the regular payment of electricity bills.
Dr Djokoto pointed out that the restoration of power to the Keta Municipal Health Directorate was in the broader public interest.
For his part, the acting Volta Regional Manager of the ECG, Michael Buabin, said apart from health directorates, there was power at every hospital in the region.
He said health facilities in the Volta and Oti regions owed the ECG about GH¢8.9 million.
Mr Buabin said the debt had piled up since 2021 by municipal and district hospitals, CHPS compounds, bungalows of health workers and health directorates.
He said the Ho Teaching Hospital, which owed the ECG GH¢1.4 million before the exercise, had so far made part payment of GH¢40,000.
The Ho Municipal Hospital, Mr Buabin said, was indebted to the ECG to the tune of GH¢420,000, while the Peki Government Hospital was yet to clear its debts of GH¢362,000.
Meanwhile, the Keta Municipal Hospital owed the ECG GH¢465,400, he added.
The ECG last Monday embarked on a nationwide revenue mobilisation exercise to recover all unpaid bills, amounting to GH¢5.7 billion from its customers.
The exercise, which is expected to last for a month, targets domestic users, businesses, organisations, ministries, departments and state agencies for power consumed from 2022 to February this year.
This has led to the disconnection of power to some installations of national importance while compelling many companies and organisations to draw instant cheques to the ECG.