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Opinions of Thursday, 17 March 2016

Columnist: PR Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital

Korle Bu – A national asset that needs the support of all

It was a bitter sweet moment for Mr. and Mrs. Boakye as they sat in the ambulance with their new born twins. They had been treated for infertility for almost 8 years and Mr. and Mrs Boakye had finally delivered twins at a private health facility a few hours ago. The twins had to be transferred to KBTH for highly specialized care.

Tears of joy soon turned into tears of sorrow when Mr. and Mrs. Boakye were confronted with the situation of “No bed” at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to receive the new born babies. They opted to wait it out. Finally, one bed became available and baby Yaa, the first twin, was accepted into NICU. Mr. and Mrs. Boakye were advised to seek care in another health facility for baby Yaw the second twin as time was of essence. Yaa survived in KBTH.

This and many more cases are what confront patients every day and it tells a story of limited facilities and space for patient care.

The current Board conducted an assessment after it was sworn into office and discovered that many patients go through the experiences of Mr. and Mrs. Boakye. The Board resolved to do something to improve the situation.

Moreover, the assessment brought out the fact that government financing and revenue from patient fees could not support the infrastructure and equipment needs of the hospital. The idea of establishing a trust fund was discussed and accepted.

Establishment of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Trust Fund

The fund is envisioned to complement government’s efforts and not replace it. It is intended to serve as an independent, reliable and transparent vehicle for mobilizing resources to address some of the critical challenges facing the hospital.

To ensure transparency, the trust fund will have a Board of Trustees made up of accomplished and distinguished men and women in business, industry, academia and other relevant fields. These carefully selected individuals will assure benefactors that their donations will be strictly used for the intended purpose. The trust fund, will be formally launched on Saturday, March 19, 2016. The intention is to raise a seed capital of GH¢3million by the time of the launch.

List of Projects to be Executed under the Trust Fund

The hospital has generated a list of essential needs referred to as priority projects. Support is being solicited from philanthropic organisations and individuals to adopt and execute them under the aegis of the Trust Fund. Ways have been devised to sufficiently recognize and honour donors. Some of the priority projects identified by the hospital are as follows:

Children's Emergency Block: This is a three-storey ultra-modern facility which will attend to all children’s emergencies. The facility will have the capacity to support subspecialty care, particularly those that are currently unavailable. When completed, the Emergency block’s bed capacity will increase by 30 percent.

Gynaecological Care Complex: Currently the Gynaecology Emergency, where our female patients are seen, is a structure cladded with roofing sheets. A new Gynae Complex is proposed.

Water Reservoir: The hospital receives water mainly from the Weija headworks for its clinical and non-clinical activities. Our current reservoir can serve the Hospital for just four hours when supply from Weija fails. Management hopes to build a 7million litre water reservoir.

Sewerage Project: Korle Bu’s sewer lines are over 90 years old and, thus, very weak. The health benefits of rehabilitating these lines are obvious as we will now treat our waste before discharge.

Surgical Out Patient Department [OPD] & Endoscopy Suite: The current OPD is over-crowded during clinic days. The Endoscopy Unit is housed in an inappropriate structure. The hospital intends to construct an OPD, which will also house the Endoscopy Unit. Central Sterile Supplies Department [CSSD] Retooling: The CSSD sterilises all the surgical equipment and linens used in the hospital, but only one autoclave, instead of four, is working. As a result of this, sterilisation orders are queued based on the urgency of the department. This causes undue delays.

Pledges and Donations Individuals and corporate bodies can support the fund through cash donations and cheques. Donors also have the option of delivering an entire project (plan, design, funds, construction, etc) till completion. Please note that cheques should be written in the name of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (Trust Fund).

Conclusion Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is undoubtedly an important national asset and all philanthropic corporate bodies and individuals are called upon to donate to the Trust Fund to improve the quality of care we provide to our patients.

Donate now to save a life. It may be yours or a loved one!