Managers of the Kwesimintsim Government Hospital in the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipality in the Western Region have expressed worry over the rate of neonatal deaths at the hospital which was 19 per every 1,000 live births as of December 31, 2018.
According to the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Ernest Anderson, though the hospital has a dedicated unit for the care of new-born babies with complications such as prematurity and neonatal jaundice, it still needed equipment for its effective operation to save the lives of such babies.
The Neonatal Unit currently has only one “second hand” incubator which was donated to it six-years ago, but that is not enough for the hospital, as it breaks down frequently and takes weeks to repair.
He said the hospital also had one improvised phototherapy machine to take care of new-born babies with jaundice and that could not provide adequate care for the babies.
The managers made the appeal after the Ahantaman Rural Bank donated a modern phototherapy machine at the cost of ¢24,000 to help reduce the rate of neonatal deaths.
The target of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is to achieve a neonatal death rate of between 10 to 12 per every 1,000 live births.
Dr Anderson, who made the revelation at a presentation ceremony said there was the need for more modern phototherapy machines to help reduce deaths among babies within 28-days of birth.
Each month, he said the unit admitted averagely 28 babies with medical complications and mentioned that the unit had attended to a total of 2,787 newborns since it was established in 2013.
The unit, he said, also served as the second major referral facility after the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Referral Hospital.
As a matter of urgency, Dr Anderson said the management of the hospital had turned to the corporate world for support to procure essential equipment as part of efforts to re-equip the NICU and ultimately reduce neonatal deaths
For his part, the Head of the Neonatal Unit, Dr Anane Frimpong commended the bank for its swift response, pointing out that the machine would be used for the intended purpose.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Benjamin Afful-Eshun said the bank made the donation as part of its corporate support for society.
He used the opportunity to appeal to other institutions to come on board to help eliminate the neonatal deaths in the area,saying it was preventable.