Some victims of the June 3, 2015 flood and fire disaster refused to go home after they were discharged by the authorities of the 37 Military Hospital.
According to some of the victims, they had no home to go to as their houses were razed down by the fire while others said they had no money to travel back home.
However, after the hospital authorities had explained to them that there was nothing they could do to assist, they agreed to go home.
As of now, 22 of the 45 patients who were admitted to the hospital are still on admission. Some of the discharged patients spent close to a week after they had been discharged.
Philanthropist and psychologist support
Though the mandate of the hospital is to treat patients, the Administrative Officer of the hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Rex Adzagba, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on the issue, said the hospital authorities went the extra mile to speak to some philanthropists who gave the patients money.
“Some of them felt there was money to be given to them from the hospital to go home but it was made clear to them that the hospital had not been given any money to cater for their resettlement,” he said.
Aside from that, he said others were still reluctant to leave the hospital and therefore “we had to involve our social welfare, medical psychologists and others to talk to them. Yes a few understood our point and then left but others still wanted to be given some money”.
Abusing a misfortune
Lieutenant Colonel Adzagba said it was unfortunate that some victims as well as the general public were using the national misfortune as a means to make money.
“People should not see this disaster as a means of making money. If you will be compensated that is okay but some of them are looking at it as if this will end their poverty or this is an opportunity to make money and as such come up with wild claims,” he said.
Describing his situation as being at the wrong place at the wrong time, a victim, Bright Ohiara, whose face and two arms were burnt in the explosion, told the Daily Graphic that he was waiting patiently to be discharged so that he could go home to continue with his work.
“At the moment I stay alone and as such do not have anyone coming to visit. I hope to get better and be discharged early in order to get back on my feet,” he said.
The twin disaster
On Wednesday June 3, 2015, parts of Accra was submerged in water following a heavy rainfall which lasted more than nine hours.
During the rainfall, some pedestrians and traders who were seeking refuge at a GOIL filling station located at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra were caught in fire following an explosion at the station.
Many people were killed while others sustained various degrees of injury.
Survivors were subsequently admitted to the 37 Military and the Korle Bu Teaching hospitals and following a directive from the government, they were treated at no cost.
A three-day national mourning was also declared. Since then, some organisations and corporate institutions have made donations to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and also directly to the victims as a show of support to them.
Additionally, the government as an immediate measure allocated an amount of GHc50 million to cover relief and humanitarian operations, repair of damaged public infrastructure, and desilting and clearing of watercourses.
Other institutions and corporate bodies have also set up various disaster funds intended to support the victims.
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