The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Wedesday cut the sod for the construction of a one-storey Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra.
Sponsored by the Rebecca Foundation, of which the First Lady is the Executive Director, the building, which will admit 41 children at a time, is expected to be completed in six months’ time.
The unit will have six different admission suits, five beds in the main Pediatric Intensive Care Room, one bed at the Pediatric ICU Isolation Room, 14 beds for the Pediatric High Dependency Ward, 10 for the Neonatal ICU Ward, seven for the Neonatal High Dependency ward and four in the Neonatal Isolation Ward.
The admitted children and neonates up to 12 years, will use specially built-for-purpose beds, cribs, cots and incubators and will be supported by a full set of medical equipment for pediatric health care.
The new facility will apply the same green technology used in the Komfo Anokye Mother and Baby and Paediatric Intensive Care units which will make the building extremely energy efficient.
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Mrs Akufo-Addo said the facility was urgently needed to save the lives of children.
“Paediatric services in Korle Bu are suffering from lack of space and resources to welcome and host emergency paediatric patients and neonates born outside the hospital,” she said.
The new PICU will be supported by its own infrastructure, including medical gases, solar water heaters, voltage stabilisers, water storage and pumps and solar power generation.
Mrs. Rebbeca Akufo-Addo, together with Dr Felix Anyah (2nd right), cutting the sod for commencement of work on the new paediatric unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
The First Lady was hopeful that the new unit would help health professionals working there deliver quality health care to children.
“The Rebecca Foundation will continue to support the health and other sectors, but we ask that the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, the board and the management of Korle Bu ensure we have the numbers and calibre of staff essential for quality service delivery. Only then can we make progress,” she added.
The Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Dr Felix Anyah, said the Department of Child Health at Korle Bu was the largest facility in the country, with an annual outpatient attendance of 30,000 and 6,000 admissions.
Built 55 years ago, he said, the building had not received any expansion or renovation to cater for the increasing patient load.
Dr Anyah, therefore, commended the Rebecca Foundation for taking up the challenge to help build a new unit for the department.
The Head of the Department of Child Health, Professor Ebenezer Badoe, told the Daily Graphic that the construction of the facility was welcome news for the department.