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I was horrified by Joy News’ KATH documentary – First Lady

First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo says she was troubled after watching Joy News documentary about avoidable deaths at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

She said the harrowing story of mothers losing either their lives or their newborn babies at the hospital should prick the conscience of every Ghanaian and jolt them to take action to reverse the situation.

Speaking at the joint Multimedia Group and Rebecca Akufo-Addo Foundation Fundraising event Thursday, the wife of the President said she is committed to rewriting the story at the hospital.

The event, held at the Ridge office of the First Lady to raise the amount of GHS10 million to finance a new Mother and Baby Care Unit at KATH, attracted massive support.

The ceremony was necessitated by Joy News’ documentary titled ‘Next to die’ which highlighted maternal and infant deaths at the hospital due to the lack of space.

The documentary showed the overflowing maternity wards where one baby cot accommodates as many as eight newborn babies.

The situation at the hospital is dire to the point that expectant mothers are left to lie on benches with some sitting on chairs as they await their turn to use delivery beds.

A man, Owusu Ansah who lost two of his babies at KATH broke down in tears after he revealed the incident to Joy News.

“So who will be the next to die?” he asked.

Whilst the deaths occurred, a 1,000-bed facility that was begun in 1974 was left uncompleted for decades.

The situation at the largest hospital in the Ashanti Region feeds into UNICEF’s 2015 report on Ghana that showed newborn mortality rate is at 32 out of 1,000 babies. This means the country losses these babies before they get to one month.

Spurred on by the development at KATH, The Multimedia Group led by Joy News raised questions about the overcrowding situation at the hospital while a spacious facility has been allowed to go waste.

The company also gave a copy of the documentary to the First Lady Mrs Akufo-Addo and Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia.

After seeing the congestion at the Mother and Baby Care Unit at the hospital, Mrs Akufo-Addo said she felt the need to help as was done by Esther in the Bible.

““Like Esther in the Bible, we felt that God has put us in our positions for a time like this,” she told the gathering at the Fundraising event.

She said the drive to put up a new Mother and Baby Care Unit at KATH will bring relief to mothers and their newborn babies.

The new Unit, the wife of President Akufo-Addo said will have about 20 incubators and have a well-fitted ventilation system.