Panic at Fajikunda Health Centre

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Nearly 15 patients on admission at the Fajikunda Health Centre were scared out of their wards following a “major” power failure that plunged the entire facility into a two-and-half-hour long blackout.

Patients and nurses fled the health facility in fear of a fire outbreak on Sunday night, after sparks erupted from within the wires, apparently caused by failure of one of the socket breakers in one of the two distribution panels.

Officials of the Department of State for Health and Social Welfare, led by Dr Tamsir Mbowe, the director of Health and Medical Services, shuttled to the health centre as soon as the incident was reported through the Divisional Health Team.

According to sister Julah Jaiteh, the officer-in-charge of the health centre, this was not the first time that such an incident had happened. However, she noted that the Sunday incident was the single most serious one as the nature of it scared the hell out of them.

Although she blamed the distribution box for the problem, Sister Jaiteh did not rule out problems with the wiring system, which is said to have remained unchanged since in the 80s.

She told journalists that all the patients were evacuated successfully, but that one of them sustained minor bruises during the rush-out. She appealed for a lasting solution to this uncertainty.

As staff narrated the circumstances that led to the subsequent blackout, the savvy health, director Dr Mbowe, contacted the managing director of Nawec who dispatched a team of electricity experts to the scene. About half an hour later, the Nawec team, mainly from Transmission and Distribution Unit, restored power supply after series of test conducted on the wires in the distribution box.

Bambo Komma, the head of the team, told journalists that one of the socket breakers, which serve as a protection against any major incident, was faulty. Although Komma could not say exactly what might have caused the problem, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the obsolete wiring system and recommended its replacement.

Author: by Ebrima Jaw Manneh