'Next to Die': Individuals,firms offer to end KATH maternal,child mortality

'Next to Die': Individuals,firms offer to end KATH maternal,child mortality
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | GN
Date: 17-03-2017 Time: 03:03:54:am
The maternity block project has been abandoned for years.

Multimedia Group’s campaign to end maternal and child deaths at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has moved some firms and individuals into action.

Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Joseph Akpaloo, has revealed following a Joy News documentary that detailed the dire situation at the maternity section of the hospital, offers to help have been forthcoming.

“I can assure you that individuals and organisations are calling and asking how they can help and with this; we are going to sit down with the [health] minister [and discuss way forward]”,  he said.

A documentary by Joy News’ Seth Kwame Boateng, titled ‘Next to Die’ was premiered in Kumasi early this week and has since incited calls by individuals and health professionals for the speedy completion of an abandoned 1,000-bed maternity block at the hospital.

Seth revealed in the documentary that at least four babies die at KATH every day. On a bad day as many as seven babies die.

There are only eight beds at the maternity unit of the second largest referral hospital in the country, which takes referrals from up to eight out of Ghana’s ten regions.

There are only two surgical theatres and close to 100 mothers die every year, often while waiting to be attended to. This has gone on for at least ten years, culminating into what can be described as dire case of overcrowding at a health facility.

On the first day of the campaign on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, a victim of the challenges at KATH, Mr. Owusu Ansah, narrated his ordeal on Joy FM's Super Morning Show that was aired live from the hospital.

Mr Ansah recounted the heart-wrenching circumstances under which he lost two babies in a row at the hospital.

Next to Die

Mr Owusu Ansah

Amidst tears, intermittent sobbing and eventual loud burst into uncontrollable crying, he painted the picture of slaughterhouse rather than a hospital of KATH.

Another show on Wednesday intensified the campaign even further.

Speaking on the measures that hospital considered to end the situation at the hospital, Joseph Akpaloo also revealed that the hospital has reviewed its operations to ensure that the alarming spate of maternal and baby deaths are reduced.

“We are prepared to reduce the [maternal] and child mortality,” he told Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah.

He said the reduction in the needless deaths will be achieved by intensifying a programme that allows specialists to improve their capacity by sending them to district hospitals in other regions and even outside the borders of Ghana.

Providing further details about how the hospital hopes to solve the problem, Dr Akpaloo said there are plans to fund the completion of the abandoned maternity block with internally generated funds.

“The government is convinced that it will do it. But we want to hasten or fasten it so that at least [the project cost] can be reduced and the government will be happy,” he said.

Meanwhile, First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has also promised to look into the deaths at the hospital.

She told Joy News that she was touched after watching snippets of the documentary on television.

"I definitely will look into it and see what I can do. I am a woman like these women who go through this, and I don't think in this day and age this thing should be happening," she said. 

The First Lady and the wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia on Thursday received copies of the documentary from a delegation from the Multimedia Group Limited led by the Managing Director of MultiTV, Santokh Singh. 

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