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Businessman builds block for Korle Bu Child Emergency Unit

BY: Kester Aburam Korankye
The 30-bed out patient department (OPD) block constructed by Mr Seidu Agongo. INSET: The current state of the old OPD of the Child Emergency Unit. Pictures: Benedict Obuobi
The 30-bed out patient department (OPD) block constructed by Mr Seidu Agongo. INSET: The current state of the old OPD of the Child Emergency Unit. Pictures: Benedict Obuobi

A Businessman and philanthropist, Mr Seidu Agongo, has constructed an Out-Patient Department (OPD) block at a cost of GH¢857,000 for the Child Emergency Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (K’Bu) in Accra.

The 30-bed capacity block was completed in December 2018 and is now ready for use by the unit after it has been handed over officially.

The Matron of the Child Emergency Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Mrs Evangeline Narh, told the Daily Graphic during a site tour of the block, that the capacity of the unit would more than double and make it possible for Korle Bu to attend to more cases.

She said the old block which had 22 beds was overwhelmed by the increasing number of cases that were being admitted to the emergency unit.

Congestion

Mrs Narh said about 30 cases were reported daily during peak periods, with the figure rising to about 50 cases per day – almost twice the capacity of the unit.

That, she said, put both patients and workers under pressure and hampered the delivery of quality service.

She was optimistic, however, that with the addition of the new block, pressure on the unit would ease up and make it possible for more patients to be admitted.

She disclosed that the Child Emergency Unit was the only referral facility for child emergency cases in the Greater Accra Region, but in spite of that it had been operating in the old structure for over five years now.

Appeal for help

While on the tour, Mrs Narh appealed to Mr Agongo to help fix air conditioners (ACs) in the building and to also erect sheds outside the block as a waiting area for parents and visitors who came to see patients.

Mr Agongo, in his response, said three air conditioners would be fixed in the block and tents erected outside to provide shade for visitors.

The Head of the Department of Child Health at Korle Bu, Prof. Ebenezer Badoe, thanked Mr Agongo for his kind gesture.

He pledged to ensure that the block was well maintained and put to good use.

He further appealed to corporate institutions and individuals to come to the aid of the unit.

He said the department could function more effectively in spite of the overwhelming numbers of patients it received only if the government and private sector resourced it adequately.

He mentioned the department’s immediate needs as space for staff and patients and skilled human resource.  

Secretary’s plight

Mr Agongo, who is the Founder of Heritage Bank Limited (under receivership), told journalists after the tour that he took the decision to construct the facility for the unit after witnessing at first-hand congestion at the place.

He recalled that in 2017, he visited the unit to console one of his secretaries who had lost her baby and noticed that there were four babies sharing a cot meant for one while some patients were receiving treatment on the bare floor.

He said upon enquiry, he was told that the unit had space limitation.

“One officer, Dr Otoo, jokingly asked if I was going to build them a new block and we all laughed over it,” he said.

He said he later contacted the unit formally and requested to construct an additional block for the unit and land was provided.

He explained that he was from humble beginnings and had strived often to ensure that his God-given successes impacted on others positively in whatever small way he could.

Mr Agongo said he was currently taking care of the educational needs of about 81 children at various stages of their education from basic to the tertiary level as his contribution to the society.