Tamale Adventist Hospital

By Kossi-Ekao Amouzou

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Kossi-Ekao Amouzou is a Seventh-day Adventist minister. He is the immediate past director of the Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in Tamale, Ghana. Currently, he is the Ministerial secretary and Family Ministries director for the North Ghana Mission. Pastor Amouzou is married to Delali Tendar. They have three children. 

First Published: February 6, 2023

The Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in Tamale is a 96-bed medical institution under the North Ghana Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ghana, West Africa. The hospital is sited on a 4.27 acres plot of land in Tamale Metropolis, the capital of the Northern Region of Ghana. As of the end of March 2022, the hospital had six doctors, 17 physician assistants, 168 nurses, 25 midwives, and 84 other employees, thus a total staff strength of 302.

Initial Plans for Establishing the Hospital

In 1993, Pastor S. A. Koranteng and Pastor T. K. Anane-Affari, respectively, president and executive secretary of North Ghana Mission, had a plan to establish a hospital for the Mission. They then submitted to the West African Union Mission (WAUM) and to the Africa Indian Ocean Division (AID) a proposal for the establishment of a Seventh-day Adventist hospital in Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region. Two major reasons motivated the North Ghana Mission to establish the hospital: 1) the General Hospital in Tamale was not able to cope with the increasing health needs of the populace, and 2) the Adventist Church in the North, with a predominantly Muslim population, for more than three decades had not had much success in its evangelistic outreach. The presence of the hospital was believed to be able to help with the Church’s evangelistic efforts.

The Ministry of Health eagerly welcomed the initiative: “The need for another health facility to ease the congestion in the Regional Hospital has been pressing on us for a long time. I hope that on completion, your facility will be able to ease this pressure, besides other visible benefits to the health of the people in the municipality.”1 On September 24, 1993, the Ministry of Health agreed to hand over to the Church the premises of the defunct West Hospital, an old military hospital situated in Tamale, for the purposes of establishing a Seventh-day Adventist hospital. The project had not started when suddenly a tribal war broke out in Northern Region in early 1994; This compelled the two mission administrators, namely Pastor S. A. Koranteng and Pastor T. K. Anane-Affari, to leave the North.

When Pastor Ambrose K. Waahu took up the mantle of leadership of the Mission, first as the acting president, then as the substantive president, he pursued the agenda of establishing the hospital in Tamale. The approximate cost for the rehabilitation of the building amounted to $620,000.2 While in Utrecht, Netherlands, for the 57th General Conference session (June 29-July 8, 1995), Pastor Waahu made several contacts to seek financial assistance to implement the hospital project. Subsequently, ADRA Euro-Africa Division in Berne, Switzerland, adopted the project with the promise to raise an initial amount of $25,000.00 through ingathering to support it.3

Unfortunately, during the waiting period in which the church was mobilizing resources, the government used the premises earmarked for the Adventist hospital for another project. The government offered the Church another site in Tamale, a facility bigger than the old military hospital. However, this new offer and location did not materialize, and the Church continued to search for other opportunities to open a hospital.4

On May 2, 1997, the North Ghana Mission set up a five-member committee to help plan for the development of the hospital project. Members were: Elder Abando-Sam, Nsiah Poodoh, Pastor A. K. Waahu (Mission president), Elder Amos Oppong Afriyie, and Pastor Adams A. Nwumele (Health and Temperance director).5 With financial support from ADRA EUD through ADRA Ghana, the Mission acquired a building in Jakarayili, a suburb of Tamale, in 1999 to begin the hospital. The building, previously used as a house, was renovated. At a meeting held on September 17, 1999, in Tamale, it was voted to use the name “Tamale Adventist Hospital” as the name of the facility yet to open.6

The Beginning of Operation

On November 22, 1999, the Tamale Adventist Hospital opened its doors for the first time.7 It started as a clinic at Jakarayili, a suburb of Tamale. A medical team from Florida Adventist Hospital came to assist in opening the clinic with free medical services; In three days, they treated more than 600 patients. The clinic had no resident doctor, so when the team from Florida left, the clinic could not maintain the great interest they created.

To solve that problem, Pastor A. K. Waahu, North Ghana Mission president, engaged the services of Dr. Patrick Bampoe and others from the Tamale Regional Hospital on a part-time basis. Because of the lack of medical staff, the clinic provided only daytime services to clients who visited the facility. North Ghana Mission appointed J. K. Nketia as the accountant for the clinic and Pastor Philip A. Opoku as the chaplain. Other workers included Victoria Asare of Kwadaso Hospital, Kumasi; Mary Tiika; Ramatu Fagin; Mary Antoh; and Victoria Antwi. North Ghana Mission directly managed the affairs of the hospital.

The Journey from Clinic to Hospital

Accessibility to the clinic was a major challenge because the roads to the facility were in a very bad state. In addition, the location of the clinic was a challenge to the people since it was far away from the main township. This also accounted for the low attendance recorded around that time. To achieve better results, the Mission decided to relocate the clinic to a place closer to the people and with easy access. Construction of the new facility began in 2003 on the premises of the North Ghana Mission office located at Changli on the main highway of the city of Tamale. On January 19, 2004, the Mission voted to move the clinic from Jakarayili to Changli.8 The clinic moved to the new location at Changli on the Tamale – at Salaga Road, also called Hospital Road, on February 2, 2004.

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists supported the North Ghana Mission’s building of the new hospital as the field received funds from the second quarter of 2004 Thirteenth Sabbath School offering to finish the construction of the new building. In addition, a team of 46 young volunteers from the British Union Conference came to Tamale, and from June 27-July 8, 2004, they completed the construction of the first stage of the hospital building.

On July 8, 2004, Hon. Ernest A. Debrah, the Northern Regional minister, commissioned the hospital building; it was in the presence of Pastor Desmond Boldeau, Youth director for the British Union Conference, Pastor P. O. Mensah, president of the Ghana Union Conference, and Pastor E. Y. Frimpong, North Ghana Mission president.9 The clinic assumed the status of a hospital on February 1, 2005, while on March 1, 2005, Dr. J. S. Dakorah became the first medical director. The same year, the national health insurance association granted the facility accreditation as a Primary Hospital with Prescribing Level C.

The hospital offers 24/7 services, including the following: Emergency, Outpatient, In-Patient, Maternity, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesia, Reproductive and Child Health, PMTCT/ARV, ENT Care, Eye Care, Mental Health, Community Health, HIV/AIDS, Counselling, Family Planning, Pharmacy, Laboratory, Blood Bank/Blood Transfusion, Ultrasound Scan, Nutrition, Public Health Services, Ambulance Services, Housekeeping.

On September 1, 2011, Dr. John O. Odiase, a Nigerian national who had joined the hospital in 2008, became the medical director. Under his leadership, the hospital recorded significant progress in infrastructure, equipment, and human resources. The facility gained full confidence of the people within and outside Tamale as attendance kept skyrocketing every year. In 2012, Dr. Odiase and his management team initiated the process of establishing a satellite medical facility in the Upper West Region. On April 30, 2014, Dr. Odiase ended his service in Ghana. Elder Francis Acheampong, a Health Service administrator at the facility, acted as head of the facility from that time until the end of 2015.

On January 15, 2016, Dr. Isaac Boamah became the acting medical director of the facility. On October 10, 2017, Pastor George Kossi-Ekao Amouzou, who had served the facility since March 1, 2014, as chaplain, became the hospital director. During his stewardship, the hospital implemented a full paperless management system. His leadership brought stability to the facility. On July 2, 2021, the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), an agency of the Ministry of Health, appointed him as the first CHAG regional representative for Northern Region.10 On February 1, 2022, Dr. Victoria Olubunmi Aboungo became the facility's medical director.

The work of the hospital goes beyond the boundaries of the city of Tamale. Records of the facility show that patients from other towns within the region use the services of the hospital. Being a Christian institution and a member of CHAG, which upholds a non-strike convention, Tamale Adventist Hospital has, since its establishment, been a rescue point for people whenever health workers in government hospitals, especially doctors and nurses, go on strike. This non-strike convention, in addition to the Christian values observed at the facility, has greatly contributed to the reputation of the hospital. Each year the hospital treats an average of 70,000 patients.

List of Medical Directors

Adams A. Nwumele (2001- February 2005); Joseph S. Dakorah (March 2005- August 2011); John O. Odiase (September 2011- March 2014); Francis Acheampong (April 2014- December 2015); Isaac Boamah (January 2016- September 2017); George Kossi-Ekao Amouzou (October 2017- January 2022); Victoria Olubunmi Aboungo (February 2022- to date)

Sources

“Building for Eternity.” Mission Quarterly, June 26, 2004.

Diboro, Paul Kang-Ewala. “Christianity in Northern Ghana: Missionary Impact.” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies (January 2022): 80-93.

Duah, James. James Duah to Kossi-Ekao Amouzou. July 2, 2021, CHAG/A8. Staff Personal File, Human Resource office, SDA Hospital Tamale, Tamale, Ghana.

Ghana News Agency. “SDA Church Opens a New Hospital in Tamale.” ghanaweb.com. (July 8, 2004): Accessed December 29, 2022. https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/SDA-Church-opens-new-hospital-in-Tamale-61311.

Kunze, Peter R. R. Peter Kunze to A.K. Waahu, December 2, 1995. Archives of North Ghana Mission, Tamale, Ghana.

North Ghana Mission Executive Committee Minutes, January 19, 2004. North Ghana Mission Archives, Tamale, Ghana.

North Ghana Mission Executive Committee Minutes, May 2, 1997. North Ghana Mission Archives, Tamale, Ghana.

North Ghana Mission Health Ministries Committee Minutes, September 17, 1999. North Ghana Mission Archives, Tamale, Ghana.

Owusu-Agyeman, C. C. Owusu-Agyeman to Samuel Adu Koranteng. September 24, 1993. NG-703/726. Archives of Regional Health Administration, Tamale.

Owusu-Mensa, Kofi. Ghana Seventh-day Adventism, A History. Vol. 1. Accra: Advent Press, 2005.

Rieseberg, Henry E. “Soul-Winning in Northern Ghana,” Northern Light, August 1964, 7.

Seventh-day Adventist Hospital Tamale. “Annual Report for 2011-2021.” Tamale, Ghana.

Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. Accessed December 4, 2022. http://www.adventistyearbook.org/SearchForm.aspx.

Waahu, A. K. A. K. Waahu to J. Frank Teeuwen, and to the director ADRA Denmark. July 17, 1997. Archives of North Ghana Mission, Tamale.

Notes

  1. Dr. C. Owusu-Agyeman, Northern Regional director of Health Services, in a letter to Pastor Samuel Adu Koranteng, North Ghana Mission President, September 24, 1993, NG-703/726, archives of Regional Health Administration, Tamale.

  2. A. K. Waahu, North Ghana Mission president, in a letter to Elder J. Frank Teeuwen, the director ADRA Netherlands, and to the director ADRA Denmark, July 17, 1997, archives of North Ghana Mission, Tamale.

  3. Peter R. Kunze, director ADRA-EUD in a letter to Pastor A. K. Waahu, North Ghana Mission president, December 2, 1995, archives of North Ghana Mission, Tamale.

  4. Adams A. Nwumele, interview by the author, Tamale, Ghana, September 25, 2022.

  5. North Ghana Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, “Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting” (Tamale, Ghana: May 2, 1997), 1.

  6. North Ghana Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, “Minutes of North Ghana Mission Health Ministries Committee Meeting” (Tamale, Ghana: September 17, 1999), 1.

  7. Mary Tiika, interview by the author, Tamale, Ghana, December 18, 2022.

  8. North Ghana Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, “Minutes of North Ghana Mission Executive Committee Meeting” (Tamale, Ghana: January 19, 2004), 2.

  9. Ghana News Agency, “SDA Church Opens a New Hospital in Tamale,” ghanaweb.com, July 8, 2004, accessed December 29, 2022, https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/SDA-Church-opens-new-hospital-in-Tamale-61311.

  10. Dr. James Duah, deputy executive director, CHAG to Pastor Kossi-Ekao Amouzou, July 2, 2021, CHAG/A8, Staff Personal File, Human Resource office, SDA Hospital Tamale, Tamale.

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Amouzou, Kossi-Ekao. "Tamale Adventist Hospital." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. February 06, 2023. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AF5F.

Amouzou, Kossi-Ekao. "Tamale Adventist Hospital." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. February 06, 2023. Date of access February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AF5F.

Amouzou, Kossi-Ekao (2023, February 06). Tamale Adventist Hospital. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AF5F.