BY PHILIP ANTOH firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THEIR quest to possess their ancestral land, the chiefs and elders of Domeabra in the Domeabra-Obom Constituency in the Greater Accra Region have painfully evicted Amurtel Domeabra Clinic, the only community clinic which had provided healthcare in the area for 20 years.
The action of the Domeabra Stool Council has led to the denial of basic healthcare services to about 3,000 residents, who now have to travel six kilometres to Kasoa and 20 kilometers to Obom before accessing healthcare.
On a visit by to the Domeabra Primary Health Clinic, the DAILY HERITAGE found the harsh reality of residents being denied access to healthcare. Six sick residents were seen on the premises of the clinic stranded because the clinic had shut down and relocated to a distant place in the Central Region.
The patients, in an interview, vowed to organise the youth to demonstrate against the chiefs.
Turn of events
Narrating the chronology of events to the paper, a senior staff member of the clinic and member of the Domeabra community, Mrs Sarah Sackey, said the Amurtel Group came to the community in 1984 to establish the first nursery school but sometime in 1998, the school collapsed and with the help of the community, the group established the clinic to take care of their health needs.
Until recently, the clinic had been providing services such as practical midwifery, deliveries, first aid and outpatient department treatments to the residents.
The nursing officer said at a point the clinic liaised with the Ga West Municipal Health Directorate from where two government nurses were brought to the area to help other staff members but “they couldn’t stay because they complained of poor conditions of service.”
“Later, the Ga South Municipal Health Directorate brought two government nurses again but as usual they also left complaining of the same conditions of service,” she stated.
Mrs Sackey said sometime in 2014, the Domeabra Stool Council had a meeting with management of the clinic and demanded that management accounted for their activities for the past 16 years and “when we refused they asked us to vacate the place.”
She added that on December 29, 2017, management of the clinic received a letter from the Stool Council, the contents of which gave them up to January 12 to vacate the premises or incur their wrath, hence their eviction last Thursday.
Reaction from the Council
Defending the decision taken by the Stool Council, a former Assembly member and head of the Nii Tackie Family of Domeabra, Nii Agyiri Paul Coffie, said evicting Amurtel was the best decision ever taken by the chiefs and elders.
Nii Coffie said they took the decision because they wanted the government to take over the clinic, adding that they were told at the Ga South Municipal Health Directorate that the government could only occupy the place when it was empty.
He denied allegations that the chiefs and elders might sell the land to any developer and assured the public that plans were underway for the construction of a bigger health facility.
The assembly member for the area, Mr Bartholomew Gadese, expressed disappointment in the way the chiefs and elders handled the transition, adding that they should have waited for the government to absorb the place before evicting management of the community clinic.
Mr Gadese, therefore, called on the youth to exercise restraint while he talked with the traditional authorities to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Ga South Municipal Health Directorate
Information picked from the Ga South Municipal Health Directorate last Thursday indicated that the Domeabra Community Clinic was providing good healthcare to the people.
According to the directorate, their attention was brought to the issue in the community but they were unable to mediate because it had to do with tenancy and rendering of accounts.