The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in collaboration with the Ghana Cleft Foundation has cut sod for the construction of a National Cleft Care Centre. 

The facility located within the precinct of the hospital will provide healthcare for children born with cleft. 

The project comes after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in August 2020. 

The facility which will be the first ever of its kind in Africa is expected to be completed within 18 months.

CEO of KATH, Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso, expressed his delight at the establishment of the facility.

“The National Cleft Centre, when completed, would no doubt add to the credentials of KATH and reinforce our enviable reputation as a Centre of Excellence in advance health care delivery, research and training. 

“The project will further boost Ghana’s position as a country that is responsive to dynamics and modern trends in health care delivery, as well as our Health Tourism potential,” he said. 

The 2 million United States dollar project was fully funded by Smile Train Incorporated, a US based non-profit organization which provides corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates. 

Chief Programs Officer of Smile Train Inc., Erin Stieber indicated that the organization hopes to establish 10 more Cleft Leadership Centers (CLC) across the African continent to enhance the training and education of cleft care professionals. 

“For Smile Train, these centers are important and significant investments for furthering our commitment to improve global health equity and access to safe, timely, high quality comprehensive cleft care worldwide. 

“Over the next five years, we look forward to introducing 10 additional CLCs in low and middle income countries, expanding our sustainable model of empowering locally trained medical professionals and ensuring comprehensive cleft care is available to all cleft patients,” she said. 

Once completed, the six level ultra-modern facility will have an Out-patient Department and consulting rooms, 4 theatres with pre-operative and post-operative wards, laboratories, stores, lecture halls, library, technical services working area and a playground. 

The multi-million facility will develop mechanisms to strengthen and expand cleft lip and palate care not only in Ghana, but Africa. 

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