Statistically, one child out of 100 births has a heart or chest condition. Smoking, excessive drinking, long exposure to X-rays and poor eating habits by pregnant women are some of the causes of heart and chest conditions in children. The taking of drugs without prescription and the failure of some expectant mothers to attend antenatal care are the other causes.
On the average, heart surgery in Ghana costs between $6,000 and $13,000. With the cost of heart surgery out of the reach of most Ghanaians, many patients are left to wait for the benevolence of individuals and organisations and in some cases die before care would arrive.
It is for this reason that, the Fifty 50 Club an Obuasi based non-profit association made up of employees of AngloGold Ashanti and its subsidiaries, as well as employees of other corporate organizations across the country and abroad has donated a total amount of GH25,000 to a 2-year old old Hole in heart patient, 42-year old man diagnosed with Severe Mitral Valve Regurgitation, a 9-year old girl diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (cancer) and a sickle cell patient.
Founded in 2020, the Fifty 50 club with members totalling 245, make monthly contributions in support of the Club’s objectives.
Blessing Ama Woode Kwamba, a 2-year-old girl from Obuasi diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD, or hole in heart) at the National Cardiothoracic Center, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital was given an amount of 10,000 towards a procedure/surgery to correct the defect.
James Danquah, a 42-year old man from Obuasi was diagnosed with an acquired heart disease called Severe Mitral Valve Regurgitation at the University of Ghana Medical Center. The condition as reported was seriously affecting his health and required an open heart surgery to replace the diseased valve with a mechanical prosthetic valve.
Mr. Danquah was given GHS 10,000 by the Club towards the cost of his surgery.
9-year old Federica Owusu Yeboah on the hand was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (cancer) at the AGA Health Foundation in 2022. She was referred to KATH in April 2022 where cycles of treatment were started on 5th May 2022 and completed on 27th May 2023. After her treatment, it was prudent to know if she had been completely cured of the cancer. As a result, she has to do a CT Scan of her neck and chest, costing GHS 3,440, an amount Frederica’s family could no longer afford due to previous expenditure on her treatment.
The foundation came to his aid with an amount of GH3500 to pay for the cost of the CT Scan.
Whiles Frederick Agyeman Duah a 6-year old with a sickle cell disorder with increased susceptibility to infections, low blood levels, bone and joint pains was supportedwith an amount of GHS 1,000.
The President and Founder of the Club, Jacob Edmund-Acquah, lauded members of the Club their generous contributions towards the objectives of the group. He was optimistic that the donations will go a long way to ease the plight of the beneficiaries.
He appealed to Government to set up a national program that will help in early detection of health related diseases. ” When some of these health related diseases are diagnosed earlier, I believe some deaths could be prevented”.
He further made an appeal to corporate institutions and individuals to consider joining the club or making a donation to the club to support its activities.
Dr. Kwadwo Anim, the Executive Director of AGA Health Foundation lauded the Fifty 50 club for the donation which he described as a swift intervention to help the beneficiaries undergo treatments.
He said what has made the fight against the conditions an uphill task was the Socio-Economic background of the family of the beneficiaries in Ghana.
“The Socio-economic background of the beneficiaries make it difficult for patients to undergo the right treatment in the short time hence some of them live with the conditions for a longer time thereby resulting in seeking advanced solutions to their plight”.
He said whiles there are advancement in technology for the treatment of heart conditions in particular, financing it has always been a challenge. He called on individuals and organisations to emulate the example of the Fifty 50 club to donate towards the treatment of such diseases.
Awie Frey, Head of operations, AngloGold Ashanti and a member of the Fifty 50 club in an interview said the club is making significant contributions towards the development of mankind.
Gladys Adu, the mother of Blessing Ama Woode Kwamba, thanked the club for coming to the aid of her daughter. She said battling the disease has been a problem for the family putting huge burden on their finances.
She said the intervention will go a long way to support the treatment of her daughter. She appealed to well-meaning individuals and institutions to come to their aid.
The Fifty 50 Club since 2020 has made several donations towards the cost of surgeries and/or medical treatments for kids and other individuals with various heart/medical conditions, supporting community clinics with medical equipment and supplies, providing scholarships to brilliant but needy students, and setting up many people with trading businesses.