Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, raised funds through The Rebecca Foundation to build the new Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.
The 160-bed facility houses the maternity, neonatal and pediatric intensive care units of KATH. Africa Building Partners (ABP), with a work force that is almost entirely Ghanaian, built the facility.
The building envelope of the new MBU is insulated against sweltering outdoor temperatures, with small windows made of double-glazed, insulated glass.
Solar technologies help to produce hot water and power the hospital, with energy-efficient lighting and air conditioning systems using that power more effectively.
The MBU has been built to withstand earthquakes, fires and explosions and has temperature insulation and noise isolation capabilities.
The new MBU has filtered fresh air, with three operating theaters and nine birthing beds (instead of the former two). There are 130 cots and 15 incubators, so that babies no longer share cots and incubators as they had in the past, and two infant ventilators have been introduced. Sinks have been added to all birthing rooms for hand-washing purposes to help prevent cross-infections.
The plight of the former MBU was brought to the First Lady’s attention with the documentary “Next to Die” by Joy News’ Seth Kwame Boateng, which created national outrage that nearly one out of four babies were dying annually, translating to as many as seven infant deaths per day.
Conditions were precarious for mothers as well, with nearly 100 dying annually. The new MBU demonstrates how operational savings can be re-channeled into creating a more nurturing environment that improves the well-being of patients.
“When it comes to hospitals, resource efficiency literally translates to saved lives,” said Eric Gené, the CEO and Founder of ABP. “Lower operational costs, which are many times superior to savings in construction costs, free up cash flow to purchase better equipment and pay for the best medical professionals available. This results in a higher level of patient care.”
Gené estimates the extra costs for the MBU’s green design at about 10 percent in plumbing, 20 percent in electrical, and 10 percent in materials, or roughly 3 percent overall. Operational savings from lower utility bills are projected to be more than $23,000 per month.
The payback period will end after four months of operation.
The MBU at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has received final EDGE certification from thinkstep-SGS.
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