Bahrain sickle cell centre faces delay
Manama, January 21, 2012
A BD2.5 million ($6.63 million) blood disease centre at Bahrain's main hospital which was due to open in July could be delayed by up to five months.
According to officials, there have been some changes in the design of the four-storey facility which inturn has pushed back the launch to the end of the year.
Health Ministry engineering and maintenance director Mohammed Al Qahtani said work was now in full swing following the modifications.
"We had to create more facilities and some re-designing was required, so there has been a slight delay," he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The work is, however, progressing well and there are no other issues with construction."
The 90-bed facility will treat all patients with blood diseases, but will be of particular help for those suffering from sickle cell disease, said Al Qahtani.
"This centre will be a major infrastructure development at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) and will benefit hundreds of patients who suffer from blood diseases, particularly those who have sickle cell anaemia," he said.
Al Qahtani said the unit will have an accident and emergency department, an out-patient department and a ward each for children, men and women.
"Work on furnishing the centre will begin after the construction is completed in the next few months, he said. The centre will be connected to the SMC with a walkway.
Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Anaemia Patient Care chairman Zakareya Ebrahim Alkadhem said the society was looking forward to the building being completed.
"We have been demanding more facilities where our patients can be taken care of better and, hopefully, this will solve a lot of problems we face," he said. "Hopefully, it will serve the purpose it is being set up for."
The centre is being constructed opposite the Al Fateh Specialist Centre within the SMC complex. An old building at the site was earlier demolished to make way for the centre.
Twenty-seven people have already died of sickle cell disease this year with campaigners alleging negligence by SMC staff and inadequate facilities.-TradeArabia News Service