The Kabaka Foundation, a charitable organisation has begun the construction of an ultramodern Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the Eastern Regional Hospital at Koforidua.
The GH¢1.9 million one-storey facility would consist of a children ward for NICU babies, Out Patient Department (OPD), consulting rooms, conference rooms, high dependency ward, low dependency ward, an additional mothers hostel, stable patient ward, isolation ward, standard OPD and emergency ward.
The facility would also have a 40-bed capacity hostel within the building to house only mothers.
The project would be financed by the Kabaka Foundation owned by Nana Owiredu Wadie, Nkosuohene of Kwahu-Nkwatia and the building upon completion would be christened after him.
The project which initially started last year November was expected to be completed by September this year.
It would address the inconveniences nursing mothers go through due to lack of space at the NICU.
In an interview with the Executive Director of Kabaka Foundation, Nana Owiredu Wadie after a sod cutting ceremony, he said he decided to undertake the project following media reports as well as a plea from mothers, nurses and an official appeal from the Medical Director of the hospital which drew his attention to the difficulties the nursing mothers and their relatives go through at the NICU of the hospital due to lack of space.
“Last year, the Foundation renovated and expanded the NICU to enable the mothers to have more space but it could not solve the inadequate space and hence we decided to construct an ultra modern facility to alleviate them from their plight.”
He explained further that he took inspiration from God to alleviate the suffering of humanity, especially premature babies and their mothers.
Nana Owiredu indicated that the completion of the project would put smiles back on the faces of nursing mothers, their babies and other relation at the hospital NICU.
He hoped to handover the facility to the hospital on his birthday which falls on September 28 this year.
Nana Wadie commended the management of the hospital for giving him the space to construct the facility.
On his part, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Arko Akoto-Ampaw said the hospital was elated about the project, revealing that management was happy with Kabaka Foundation’s initiative.
He said when completed it would significantly reduce the stress that both patients and medical staff had been going through.
He expressed the hospital’s appreciation to Nana Wadie and the foundation for the assistance and appealed to other philanthropists to emulate the kind gesture by the Foundation
He thanked the media for their publications on the plight of the nursing mothers at the NICU.
Some of the mothers who were highly excited expressed appreciation to the foundation, adding they were happy their plight would soon be over.
The initiative by Kabaka Foundation followed a Ghanaian Times publication on Saturday, November 13, 2021 about some nursing mothers sleeping on the bare floor to take care of their babies at the NICU of the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua.
The story highlighted the lack of adequate space at the lying-in ward put up to accommodate mothers of pre-term babies which compelled some mothers to sleep on the bare floor.
These mothers were often discharged from the maternity ward after delivery to make way for other expectant mothers to be admitted in the ward.
Required to stay close to the NICU to breastfeed their babies, a number of them were unable to go home and therefore have to lurk around to enable them attend to their babies.
Unfortunately, at night since they were not able to secure places in the lying-in ward or a small wooden structure created by the hospital for them, they were forced to lay mats or clothes on the bare floor along the aisle of the Maternity ward to spend the night.
The mothers however appealed to the hospital management and philanthropists to come to their aid.
The Medical Director, Dr Akoto-Ampaw confirmed the situation and attributed it to the lack of space.
He also appealed to philanthropists to help.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA