More lives could not be saved in the Wednesday night accident on the Kintampo-Tamale Highway, due to logistical challenges facing the Brong Ahafo Regional Ambulance Service.
The accident claimed sixty-one lives, and left 25 others with injuries.
According to reports, the Ambulance Service’s attempts to convey the victims to the hospital, delayed because the nearest and only ambulance at the Kintampo Municipal Hospital had broken down.
As a result, it took emergency services several hours after the accident to arrive at the scene.
The acting Administrator of the Ambulance Service in the region, Samuel Karikari, bemoaned the logistical challenges facing the service, adding that but for that, more lives would have been saved.
“We have 12 ambulance stations in the region but five of them are out of commission. The exact location where the incident took place in Kintampo has its ambulance out of commission. Techiman which is also the nearest station to Kintampo is also out of commission. That of Duayaw Nkwanta, Hwidiem and Goaso is also out of commission. So that is the challenge we are facing now,” he said.
He explained that after the accident “when the patients were ready to be conveyed to the Komfo Anokye and Sunyani Regional Hospitals”, they had to deploy ambulances from other stations which were still inadequate.
He said although the ambulances used were all from the Brong Ahafo Region, they delayed in accessing them because the nearest ones were not functioning.
Ghana has one of the poorest emergency services with very few ambulances that struggle to move through congested streets in case of emergency.
The inefficiency of the emergency system, has encouraged the practice where private cars and sometimes taxicabs become the alternative ambulance in case of emergency.
In most cases, the inefficiencies have led to the loss of precious lives as it happened in the Kintampo-Tamale accident.