For several years, some women in labour who visited the Tema General Hospital had to sit in chairs or lie on the floor while waiting to be attended to because the Maternity Unit of the hospital was under resourced.
It is also very common to see mothers and their newborn babies sitting on the floor of the corridors of the ward to make room for new admissions.
The MTN Viva choir and the Tema General Hospital choir entertained the guests.
According to the Head of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Dr Sylvia Degasus, there had been many instances when some expectant mothers who needed medical attention had to be sent home because the facility could not accommodate them.
To help alleviate the discomfort, MTN Ghana Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility wing of MTN Ghana, has handed over a fully furnished maternity block at the cost of GH¢5.5 million to the hospital.
The 40-bed facility, which is the foundation's single most valuable project, has a theatre, two consulting rooms, a nurses station and changing room; a store, washrooms, an eatery and a waiting area.
Some of the equipment include an incubator, baby cots, patients’ monitors, a radiant warmer, an anaesthesia machine and a diathermy machine.
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The facility has a 20-bed first stage ward and a 20-bed lying-in ward
At a ceremony to officially hand over the facility to authorities of the hospital, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, said he believed it would reduce the burden of accommodation for expectant mothers and newborns at the maternity unit.
"Aside from bringing relief to staff and patients visiting this hospital, it is our hope that the provision of this facility will improve maternal and neonatal health in Tema and its environ, improve quality of care, as well as help reduce Ghana's maternal mortality rate which still remains high," he stated.
Mr Adadevoh said to help maintain the facility, which has a 12-month warranty, the foundation together with the hospital management has agreed on measures to sustain the project.
Mr Selorm Adadevoh (4th left), CEO of MTN Ghana together with Nii Adjei Kraku II (2nd left), Tema Mantse, Ms Tina Mensah (3rd left), Deputy Health Minister, applauds after he unveiled a plaque for the official opening of the Maternity Block.
A board member of the foundation, Professor Plange Rhule, explained that the decision to build the maternity block was triggered by a news item which highlighted the struggles of the maternity unit of the hospital.
For his part, the Medical Superintendent of the Tema General Hospital, Dr Kwabena Opoku Adusei, expressed gratitude to the foundation and promised that the management of the hospital would set up a committee to oversee the maintenance of the facility.