MTN Ghana Foundation has once again demonstrated its commitment to reducing infant mortality with the construction of anultra-modern 40-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit(NICU)for the Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern Region.
Constructed at a cost of GH₡335,000, the facilityhas two Incubator Rooms, a Milk Room, Crib Room, Kangaroo Mother Care Room, Tutorial/Conference room, Nurses and Doctor’s Stations and rest rooms, and is expected to impact over 1,200 neonates annually.
Technology partners Huawei supported the center with medical equipment worth Gh₡69,650.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Tamale Teaching Hospital is the main referral center for the northern sector of Ghana. Prior to MTN’s intervention, the NICUwas operating as a one cubicle unit at the maternity block of the hospital. The constant congestion at the center necessitated the need for a separate and a well-equipped block to handle neonatal cases referred to the hospital.
At thewell-attended and colourful event to officially hand over the facility to the authorities of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, The Executive Director of the MTN Ghana Foundation, Mrs. Cynthia Lumor, reiterated the position of the World Health Organisation (WHO)on health ,which states that everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including access to all medical services, sanitation, healthy working conditions, and a clean environment.
She said, “the critical role a Neonatal Center plays in reducing child mortality cannot be over emphasized.The provision of this essential centre will therefore relieve the anxiety of parents and health professionals who have to care for pre-term babies.”
Mrs Lumor also statedthat apart from the centre helping to reduce infant mortality, it wouldalso serve as a center for the training of medical students from the University for Development Studies.
The Director of Public and Government Affairs for Huawei Technologies, Mr. Chenhui Li, pledged Huawei’s continuous partnership with the MTN Ghana Foundation to undertake subsequent Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects to improve the social economic development of the country.
The Chief Executive Officer ofthe Tamale Teaching Hospital, Dr. Prosper Akanbong,stated in his address that the reason for Ghana’s inability to achieve the target for MDG 4 is the slow progress being made in reducing neonatal mortality.“He said, almost 50% of infant mortality cases occur in the first 28 days of life.”
“With this improved facility,Tamale Teaching Hospital will be better positioned to play its role in providing tertiary specialist care for the critically ill neonate, provide training in newborn care for peripheral facilities, monitor and supervise newborn care activities in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and other partners,” he added.
The Northern Regional Minister, Honorable Alhaji Mohammed Muniru, commended both MTN Ghana Foundation and Huawei Technologiesfor ploughing back part of their profits to support their communities. He indicated that government alone cannot shoulder the burden for the provision of health facilities andencouraged the combined efforts of government and Corporate Ghana to intensify community development in the health sector.
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion include the country representative for UNICEF, regional Director of the National Communications Authority for Northern Ghana, andmembers of the Board of Directors of the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
Other heath projects undertaken by the MTN Ghana Foundation include the refurbishment of the labour ward of the 2nd Floor maternity unit of the Korle Bu Teaching hospital, support towards the provision of an emergency unit of the Princess Marie Children’s Hospital and the provision of potable water to 20 communities in the Upper West region. Other health facilities which have benefited from the Foundation include the EffiaNkwanta Government Hospital, TwifoPrasoHospital, Ejisu Hospital and the Fomena Health Center. In all the Foundation has invested in 30 Health projects which areimpacting thousands of people in Ghana.
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