KBTH honours 3 with Urology, Nephrology Centre of Excellence

KBTH honours 3 with Urology, Nephrology Centre of Excellence

In August 2005, the nation mourned the tragic loss of three top-notch urologists from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital: Prof J.K.M Quartey, Dr Isaac Bentsi and Dr Benjamin Osei-Wiafe.

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The three who died were among four senior doctors who were returning from a medical outreach service in Sunyani.

The fourth person, Professor George Kluffio survived and is alive and well.

In honour of the three who lost their lives, a state funeral was held, marking a solemn tribute to their service and dedication.

Following their burial, a visionary plan was set in motion to immortalise their memory.

This took shape in the form of the construction of a world-class Urology and Nephrology Centre of Excellence. 

Joint committee

The late Major (Rtd) Courage Quashiga, then Minister of Health, and the Chief Executive of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, collaborated and established a joint committee with Dr Samuel Gepi-Attee as its chairman, dedicated to realising this vision.

The committee diligently worked to secure financial backing, successfully persuading the Ministry of Finance to allocate funds for the preparatory works for the centre's construction in the 2007 national budget, under the stewardship of the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, then Minister of Finance.

However, political transitions disrupted and caused a lull in the process towards realising the vision.

 The transition somewhat marked the end of the first attempt to construct a centre in honour of the team that got involved in the accident.

The Head of department of surgery, who is also a Urologist, Professor J.E. Mensah, the then Director of General Services, Isaac Adjakwah, and others became the nucleus for the second attempt to construct a modern edifice for genito urinary services in the country.

The Eddie Annan-led Board also contributed in the agenda towards the establishment of a urology centre in Korle Bu.

Coincidentally, Dr Daniel Asare, who had bid the Urologists farewell in Sunyani in 2005 as the Medical Superintendent of the regional hospital, joined the efforts to realise the dream of establishing the Urology Centre.

 Then serving as the Chief Executive of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, he enthusiastically supported all efforts towards the construction of the centre.

Professor Mensah has always been at the centre of all the efforts to bring the project to fruition, playing significant overt and covert roles to realise the vision of establishing the centre.

Dr Asare's commitment persisted throughout his tenure as CEO, until he handed over leadership to Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah in the last quarter of 2020.

Dr Ampomah immersed himself in overseeing the construction.

He visited the site diligently, monitoring the progress of the project regularly and even sometimes at night.

Today, the completion of the Urology and Nephrology Centre stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Health, past Board and Management of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the Department of Surgery, contractors and other contributors. 

Edifice

The edifice aligns with a pivotal time in Korle Bu's medical landscape, particularly in its elevated tissue transplantation programme led by Dr Bernard Morton, under the Chairmanship of Professor Matthew Kyei and his local kidney transplantation team.

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Commendation is extended to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his active personal interest and involvement in the project.

Equally worthy of commendations are the former Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu; the current Board Chairman, Dr David Nkansa-Dwamena; the then Board and its Chairman, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye (now Minister of Health), the hospital leadership, the contractors, Ben Nkansah of the Capital Investment Unit of Ministry of Health and all those working tirelessly behind the scenes.

This magnificent building is undeniably one of the hospital's finest centenary gifts.

In acknowledgement of the diverse roles played from 2005 till today, a resounding "Ayekoo" is offered to all the actors who contributed to this enduring legacy.

The article is from the Korle Bu PR Unit

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