Roads leading to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital are becoming a death trap, with their depressed surface, bumpy rides, traffic chaos, filth, pits and asphalt cracks, such as alligator cracks.
The main road, officially known as Guggisberg Avenue, as well as the Ring Road West, also popularly known as the Mortuary Road, are meant for emergency health delivery, but they are rather threatening lives, given their poor nature.
For a road that leads to the country’s premier referral hospital, Guggisberg Avenue should be a first-class one to contain the moving pace of ambulances and other vehicles that call at the hospital for emergency purposes.
However, in cases of emergency, ambulances and other vehicles transporting people on emergency to the nation’s premier referral hospital have to devise strategic means to do that safely.
Not only that; the immediate environs leading to the main entrance of the hospital have been taken over by commercial vehicles (trotros), a situation which makes the area congested with vehicular traffic.
The Daily Graphic, on a tour of the area, observed that while the road leading to the hospital was anything but first class, the internal roads within the hospital had received a facelift with a touch of re-asphalting.
There are cracks on the main road, some of them so wide that they could cause a tyre to burst.
From the Bukom Arena Traffic Light through the Korle Bu Polyclinic to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the Daily Graphic counted about 80 asphalt cracks and potholes.
Also, road markings, such as the Zebra crossing, on that stretch had partially been wiped off, making them almost invisible. As a result, pedestrians were left with no choice but to look out for oncoming vehicles on both sides before proceeding to cross the road.
As if that was not enough, the gutters on the sides of the road were also open and filled with filth, a situation that posed a health hazard, because there were food vendors around.
Additionally, encroachers had taken over the shoulders of the road, engaging in various activities such as vulcanising. Some vehicle owners had also used the shoulders of the road as a haven and ‘garage’ for their vehicles.
It was observed that for a road that led to the premier referral hospital, it was too busy, and plying it for emergencies, such as childbirth and surgery, was not the best.
Although some officials of the hospital expressed concern about the situation, particularly what pertained at the main entrance, they did not want to be placed on record and thus pleaded anonymity.
“It has been a worrying situation, especially the use of the space directly opposite the main entrance, which has been completely taken over by commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, we can’t do much, as it is the responsibility of the municipal authorities to do so.
“However, it has been an issue from time immemorial and because it was not dealt with from the beginning, it has become the status quo. But that is not ideal for a national referral hospital,” an official complained.
Some drivers who ply the route, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, bemoaned the state of the road, stressing that it was not befitting of the hospital.
“The roads are bad and so we dodge these potholes in order not to damage our vehicles. Any delay in fixing the roads will result in the wasting of productive man-hours.
“The activities along the road are also too many and sometimes they cause traffic jams which are not good for emergencies,” a driver, Peter Ansah, who drives from Accra to Mamprobi and uses that route, said.
Another driver, Frank Appiah, who also operates along Guggisberg Avenue, said the state of the road was an eyesore during the rainy season.
“The potholes get flooded; the gutters get choked and are too small to contain the huge volumes of rainwater.
“We have had instances when some people fell into the gutters. Efficient road infrastructure is essential for the economic growth of any country. This one serves an important facility — the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital,” Mr Appiah stressed.
An engineer with the Department of Urban Roads of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Adjoa Duku, reacting to the concerns raised about the road, said steps were being taken to deal with the concerns.
She said a maintenance exercise was ongoing on many major roads within the capital and the Guggisberg Avenue and the main Korle Bu roads were part of the routes earmarked.
“Maintenance is part of our job and we are aware of the state of the road in question. We have made arrangements with a contractor to get it done as soon as possible,” she indicated.