First Lady Expresses Confidence in The Ability of Ghanaians
The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo says Ghanaians are better together and capable of solving our challenges as a people.
“A people united, with a common purpose, for the common good is all that we need to develop our country”, she said.
Speaking at the inauguration of the newly constructed Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Mrs Akufo-Addo said considering the shame and outrage regarding the vulnerabilities of mothers and children who used the old facility, she was happy that Ghanaians responded to her appeal in May last year, out of which the facility has been provided to the health sector.
She said she was proud and grateful that Ghanaians from all walks of life came together to provide “a place where our mothers and babies can receive care in dignity, with all due respect to people who give us life and to future generations.”
She commended all those who gave out equipment, supplies, cheques, cash, and mobile money transfers to support the building of the project, saying, “Women, men, corporate bodies and even children sent in their contributions”.
The USD 2.5 million ultra-modern facility, built in a record of five months, was spearheaded by Mrs Akufo-Addo and her team at the Rebecca Foundation, following the Multimedia’s Seth Kwame Boateng’s “Next to die” documentary on the deplorable conditions mothers and babies who attended the hospital for healthcare were going through.
The world class facility that had earned EDGE certification, from a group affiliated to the IFC/ World Bank, for being the only green hospital in Africa, covers a total build area of 2,722 square meters, with an internal indoor area of 1,724 metre square, instead of the old MBU that had 350 metre square.
The building, which would house the Maternity, Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive care and operating theatres of the Hospital, had been built to withstand earthquakes, fires and explosions and has temperature insulation and noise isolation capabilities.
It also has been well equipped with nine birthing beds instead of the former two at the old MBU, with three operating theatres, 130 baby cots, in addition to the 46 existing ones, as well as 15 incubators in addition to the three older ones.
It has 11 paediatric beds, two infant ventilators, filtered fresh air and independent post-delivery and post operatory rooms while the faucets, showers and toilets use low volume of water.
It has five different sources of power, which are, the national electricity grid, solar panels, battery power bank, the KATH’s main generators, and the facility’s own generator, while its main power source is from Solar Energy Panels.
Commending the contractors, African Building Partners for completing the facility within record time, Mrs Akufo-Addo said Ghana needed to go green in the construction of public facilities to save money over the long term and help preserve our environment.
She said “projects like this, together with the needed interventions like the elimination of mother to child HIV transmission, will get us closer to achieving our maternal and infant mortality goals.”
The First Lady also urged management of the Hospital to help maintain the facility to ensure it lasted as long as possible “for children who will be born in this facility now to come back to have their own babies in a well-functioning, well maintained facility.”
She said the construction of the KATH facility has taught her three lessons of unity, of purpose, and the need to brace all gender together with the combined force of the media, as a powerful mobilisation tool, Ghanaians could pool resources together to build the nation.
She said the first lesson was that Ghanaians in unity, could attain solutions to all our challenges, adding that the facility further affirms her confidence in the President’s dream of a Ghana beyond Aid.
She said given Ghana’s enormous natural and human resources, “we are capable of developing a truly strong independent country which sits at the negotiating table as worthy partner and from a position of strength.”
The First Lady said the second lesson learnt was that gender, tribe, religion, political affiliation, age and economic status did not matter.
“A people united, with a common purpose, for the common good is all that we need to develop our country. This is what struck me when Ghanaians from all walks of life came together to support this project”, she said.
The third lesson learnt by Mrs Akufo-Addo was that the media was a very powerful tool for national development and urged the media “to take on more of the social issues that affect our people”.
Meanwhile, Ms Francisca Osei Tutu, a senior Staff Midwife at KATH, told the GNA that she was very happy with the new facility since it would help ease the congestion that was the main cause of infections among babies and their mothers.
Madam Amina Mohammed, a mother admitted at the old Ward, thanked the First Lady for the facility, saying, she would rather prefer to be admitted at the new facility the next time she is placed on admission.