MADAMFO Specialist Hospital at Essipun in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis in the Western Region is the only hospital in Ghana which performs functional urology.
Though there are a number of urologists in the country, no doctor does functional urology due to the lack of the equipment to run the tests.
The Urologist in charge of the Madamfo Specialist Hospital, Dr. Henry Atawurah disclosed this in an exclusive interview with The Spectator over the weekend.
He said urology was a wide area of study which included functional urology.
He said certain diseases could not be found or seen using only the ultrasound machine so he went further to acquire other machines that could assist him to do functional urology.
Dr. Atawurah explained that functional urology was to look down the lower urethra by inserting a tube and observing the function on a monitor to identify the problems with the function of the urethral tract.
He said this investigation could only be done in uro-dynamics studies and it was only at the Madamfo hospital that this uro-dynamics studies could be done in the whole country.
He said though there were many urologists in the country, the absence of the machines to carry out the test hampered the work of these urologists. He said “colleague specialists from Korle Bu, Komfo Anokye, Cape Coast and Tamale Teaching Hospitals and the Nyaho Hospital in Accra all send cases to Madamfo Specialist Hospital for observation in our machines for the doctors to receive reports to diagnose”.
“I run the Uro-Dynamics with the samples sent by my colleagues from the different hospitals and return the results for them to manage the cases” Dr Atawurah told The Spectator.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is also the Urologist Specialist in charge of the hospital said various urologists had their areas of interest since urology was very wide but I decided to go for the functional urology.
He disclosed that the bladder tumours were resect endorscopically without opening the bladder and this was done through the urethra adding “it is also a trans urethral resection of the prostate or bladder tumour”.
The Urologist Specialist said he had been doing uro-dynamics since 2001 because of his special interest in functional dynamics.
He disclosed that he started doing prostate biopsy under ultrasound guidance in 2004 and this was the first prostate biopsy to be done in the country.
He acquired the machines with the support of some friends from the Netherlands.
Dr Atawurah said some of the old machines had been replaced with the state of the art machines to give accurate results like the air-charged transducers, one of the most modern hospital equipment.
The Specialist Urologist mentioned that the cost of treatment for these ailments were affordable but the delay in claiming money from the National Health Insurance Authority was discouraging him to join the NHIA.
He said the hospital was sited at a deprived area so if health insurance claims were paid promptly, it would help the rural people.
He advised all health facilities not to delay in referring cases involving disorders in urethral because the tube was only a temporary measure and the longer the tube stayed in the urethral tract the more complicated it would be.
He said catheterisation was costly especially at Madamfo Specialist Hospital where silicon catheters were used for better results.
On challenges faced by the hospital, he said staff have to work very hard in order to get their salaries. Motivation for the staff was further training outside in new fields like the training at Einthowen.
Dr Atawurah appealed to the government to assist private health facilities with equipment.
He intimated that the private sector would add value to the equipment supplied because only qualified technicians would operate and service the machines for a longer life and the private hospitals would pay back what government has invested into the private sector.
He appealed to the government to remove taxes imposed on some medical machines in order to encourage the private sector to bring in modern machines to treat Ghanaians.
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Photos 8140, 8141 and 8142 show the operating theatre with the state of the art equipment.
From Peter Gbambila, Essipun