First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo yesterday cut the sod for the construction of a GH¢10 million Mother and Child Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.
The construction of the one-storey facility, which is the initiative of the First Lady, will serve as a stop-gap measure to halt avoidable deaths at the facility while the government looks for funding to complete the Maternity and Child Block project started by the General Kutu Acheampong regime in 1976.
On completion, the unit will have three theatres, five delivery beds and four emergency beds.
The facility, which is being constructed by Africa Building Partners, is expected to be completed in four months.
The sod cutting comes on the heels of two fund-raising events by the Rebecca Charity Foundation, spearheaded by the First Lady, in Accra and Kumasi.
Codenamed ‘Save a child, save a mother’, the Accra event raised GH¢8 million, while the one in Kumasi, which was held at Manhyia last Sunday, raised GH¢272, 554.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Akufo-Addo promised to give all the necessary support to the contractors to complete the project on schedule.
She said the project was dear to her because children who were the future leaders of the country must not die because of avoidable conditions.
The Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Dr Joseph Akpaloo, expressed appreciation to the First Lady and the Multimedia Group for providing a lifeline for the hospital.
He said the inability to complete work on the Maternity and Children’s Block started in 1976 had led to extreme congestion, resulting in avoidable maternal and neonatal deaths.
“We are, therefore, overjoyed that following the privileged intervention of some distinguished personalities and institutions, a new block is designed to provide interim solution to the problem at hand,” he said.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, said maternal and child health care ran high on the agenda of the government, adding that the KATH project was one of many that would soon be rolled out.
An artistic impression of the GH¢10 million Mother and Child Unit at the KATH scheduled to be completed in four months