Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A SENIOR pathologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr S.E. Quayson, has raised alarm at the rate at which young people, who constitute the productive age group of the country, are dying.
“A lot of young people are dying; most of them at home, which is unacceptable,” he told the Daily Graphic and warned that there could be something wrong, especially with the health system and how people toyed with their lives.
He said at the Pathology Department of KATH, 45 per cent of the cases that they worked on between January and March this year were people aged between 15 and 49.
Dr Quayson said the trend could have dire consequences on national development if it continued and, therefore, called on the youth to lead healthy lifestyles to avoid preventable deaths.
He further disclosed that cancer was killing many people in the country and stressed the need for people to seek early treatment.
Dr Quayson pointed out the need for pathology to take the centre stage of medical care in the country and said physicians and other doctors could undertake their work without any blemish if pathological services were readily available.
Against that background, he expressed delight that post-mortem reports from the hospital could now be obtained within one week.
That, he said, had placed KATH as the only facility in West Africa where the reports could be given in such a short period and explained that such quick service delivery had become possible as a result of the establishment of the ultramodern pathology department at the hospital and the determination of personnel at the department to give their best.
The Pathology Department now has seven permanent specialists and consultant pathologists, as well as six resident medical officers.
Dr Quayson further noted that cases handled at the department were audited to ensure qualitative service delivery.
“The auditing is very essential because of quality assurance,” he stressed.
Dr Quayson commended various international institutions, including the Pathologists Overseas Programme and the University of Western Norway, for supporting the department.
The senior pathologist disclosed that the department would start full-scale immunohistochemistry services by the end of this year.
Immunohistochemistry is a special method of detecting the presence of specific proteins in cells or tissues.
Dr Quayson called for some financial autonomy in the operations of the hospital and explained that if the Pathology Department, for instance, were given autonomy, it would be able to raise adequate funds to finance its operations.
Currently, the KATH Pathology Department serves the northern part of the country and, sometimes, specimens have to be taken from faraway places such as Bolgatanga to Kumasi for examination.

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