Nkosuohene of Kwahu Nkwatia in the Eastern Region, Nana Owiredu Wadie(I), has built and commissioned an ultra-modern Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) complex for the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua.

The 80-bed capacity facility named Yaa Boatemma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit consists of a high dependency, low dependency, stable and isolation wards, Kangaroo Mother Care Excellence Centre with 10 bed capacity inpatient adaptation and 30 capacity unit.

The facility also has an Ambulance Bay, 50 bed capacity Conference Centre and a 40 bed capacity mother hostel named Opanyin Kwame Wadie Mother Hostel.

The edifice was built by Kabaka Foundation, a non-for-profit organization established by Nana Owiredu Wadie (I) at a total cost of six million Ghana cedis and furnished with additional one million cedis.

Commissioning the Project on Thursday September 28, 2023 to celebrate his natal day, Nana Owiredu Wadie (I), explained that he was scandalized when statistics of high neonatal mortalities came to his attention therefore decided to initiate the construction of the ultra-modern NICU project in January 2022 to drastically reduce the number of deaths to meet the sustainable development goals agenda which has been the focus of his foundation.

“To the mothers and babies who will be using this health facility, know that putting smiles on your faces is our mission, and we are here to support you on your journey to a healthier and brighter future”. Nana Owiredu Wadie I said.

Medical Director at Eastern Regional Hospital Dr.Arko Akoto Ampaw stressed that inadequate capacity and logistics at the old NICU made it impossible to meet the increasing demand for NICU services in the region.

He therefore believes the new facility would help meet the growing need for NICU services to save more lives of neonates.

“Neonatal intensive Care Unit admissions have increased overtime. We have seen over 5,175 deliveries through 2020 to over 5,550 live births last year. The number of admissions at the NICU therefore has been 2617 last year, and you can imagine a 40 to 60 bed NICU capacity serving this number of people. The overcrowding is just too much,” Dr. Akoto Ampaw stated with nostalgia.

The Medical Director also recounted the significant contributions of Nana Owiredu Wadie (I) over the years to the delivery of maternal and neonatal healthcare at the hospital.

“Nana Owiredu Wadie (I) has since 2020, been at the hospital paying all medical bills of mothers on his birthdays. He renovated the old NICU and five other wards of the maternity wing of the hospital. Nana was still not satisfied with the situation at the NICU hence initiated the construction of the multipurpose Neonatal Intensive care unit in 2022 to meet modern standards to provide quality neonatal healthcare for the region. The new facility has increased the cults from 40 to 60 increasing the capacity for the pregnant women in the line in ward,” Dr. Arko Akoto Ampaw said.

In a speech delivered on behalf of the Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebo Hammond who is Director of Health Administration and Support Services, said UNICEF has classified the first 28-day neonatal period as the most vulnerable period for any child.

He said in Ghana, the average institutional neonatal mortality per every 1000 live births was 6.5 in the year 2022 which translates to 8.5 percent reduction over that of 2021.

However, in the Eastern Region, 7.8 out of every 1000 newborn babies die, a figure which is above the national average and also above the national target of 5.

“Even though Ghana has made efforts in reducing neonatal deaths over the last decade, we are a shade behind the national target of 5 deaths per 1000 live births. National target of 5 deaths per 1000 live births. We are extremely happy about this NICU which is timely to reduce these deaths. We want to reduce it to the barest minimum.”

Dr.Ebo Hammond thus eulogized Nana Owiredu Wadie (I) and Kabaka Foundation for the intervention in the provision of the state-of-the-art NICU facility which will save lives of many newborns.

Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong stated that the new NICU represents a beacon of light for the future of the region in meeting the sustainable Development Goals. He said the old NICU was overstretched to its limit and was unable to provide the level of care required for the newborns hence too many precious lives have been lost as a result.

Present at the event included Eastern regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong, Akwamumanhene Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, Omanhene of New Juaben Daasebre Kwaku Boateng.

Kabaka Foundation paid Medical bills of all new mothers at the maternity and neonatal intensive care unit and presented drinks and water to the facility.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Kojo Ansah