First Lady Health Initiative Receives Major Boost
There has been very positive response by Ghanaians to the appeal for funds to build a new mother and baby unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), following two fundraising events in Accra and Kumasi, by the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo- Addo.
Accounts verified by Deloitte and Touche as at 31st May 2017, indicate that organizations and individuals have donated an amount of GHs 6,170,686.23, with an outstanding amount of cash pledges of GHs1, 489,500.00 yet to be redeemed.
Additionally, in- kind pledges and donations including cement, electrical cables, windows, pipes, baby cots, hospital beds and incubators have been made.
The new mother and baby unit is in direct response to severe congestion in the current maternity unit, which has inadequate space and medical equipment to cope with the volume of births, surgeries and neonatal care at KATH, leading to high volumes of avoidable death of babies and mothers.
According to authorities at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, most of the deaths are attributed to higher-than-normal infections and cross-contamination due to lack of space and equipment. Lack of hygiene is also a factor as the space is so little that there is no practical way to clean the wards due to overcrowding.
The new baby unit, a 1,500 square metre one storey building with the capacity to take five times the current number, will solve the current capacity of KATH and give it additional capacity to grow over the next 5 years while they wait for the completion of a 43-year-old uncompleted building by the government.
“The urgency of the situation demanded that we build a new unit as an immediate solution while we wait for the government to complete the old building, which would take about two years, by conservative estimates. The longer we wait the more babies and mothers we lose.
The current situation of averaging the loss of 4 babies a day is simply unacceptable”, the First Lady Mrs Akufo- Addo explained.
Whilst expressing her gratitude for the positive response, the First Lady is encouraging Ghanaians to continue to donate, noting that the minimum amount needed is GHs 10,000,000 for the KATH project, while additional funds will be needed for similar projects her office intends to execute in the health sector across the country.
The KATH mother and baby unit fundraising drive is a collaboration between The Rebecca Foundation and Multimedia Group.