The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has inaugurated a modern newborn care unit for the Princess Marie Louise (Children’s) Hospital in Accra.
Work on the unit, which has six incubators, five treasure cots, two suction machines, three monitors and one baby warmer, was financed by a philanthropist, Mrs Hannah Moore, upon request from the Board Chairman of the Hospital, Reverend Father Andrew Campbell.
For the past 10 years, the hospital, which is the premier children’s hospital in the country, had been without a neonatal unit and had had to transfer children in need of special care to other facilities.
The opening of the unit formed part of activities to mark the hospital’s 92nd anniversary celebration.
Built in 1926, the hospital delivers maternal and child healthcare services and is recognised for laying the foundation for integrated medical care for mothers and children.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included the Greater Accra Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Charity Sarpong, and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Madam Joyce Aryee.
The First Lady, on behalf of the Rebecca Foundation, also donated five complete delivery systems, five advanced wound dressing materials, five pressure bedsheets,10 gowns and 20 packs of diapers to the unit.
In a brief speech, she thanked the benefactors and staff of the hospital for the establishment of the unit and also for supporting the administration to run the facility.
Mrs Akufo-Addo emphasised the importance of having the right logistics and equipment in order to take proper care of newly born babies.
“Every step must be taken to ensure that newborns are well cared for; and this can only be done when we have the necessary equipment and services available,” she stressed.
Support for mothers
For her part, Madam Aryee entreated women to take antenatal care more seriously as it was a sure way of reducing infant mortality.
“The best way of ensuring safe pregnancy is antenatal care because that is the best time we identify risk factors in pregnancy and prevent them from affecting unborn foetuses and manage them appropriately,” she said.
She called for psychological support for mothers in order to manage postpartum depression and the anxiety they go through during the prenatal and postnatal stages.
In his remarks, Dr Sarpong, who chaired the event, advised health professionals to give their utmost best in providing care to patients.
She asked personnel who would be deployed to the unit to maintain a high standard of professionalism and team work.
In an interview, Rev. Father Campbell expressed concern about the lack of adequate medical personnel at the hospital to attend to more than 200 patients who patronised the services of the facility daily.
He appealed to the Ghana Health Service to deploy more medical personnel to the place to help deliver quality health care to children.
“According to health regulations, we should have had about 19 doctors but we have only eight,” he said.
Princess Marie Louise Hospital
The facility is an 84-bed capacity centre which caters for children up to 18 years of age.
It offers services in general paediatric care, paediatric surgical services, dental care, eye care and ear, nose and throat (ENT) care.
It also has special clinics for sickle cell diseases, neuro-developmental disorders, asthma and malnutrition disorders.