First lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has cut sod for the construction of a 30 bed hostel facility to help provide accommodation for child cancer patients and their parents, as they undergo diagnosis and treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The project which was initiated by the Ghana Parents Association for Childhood Cancers seeks to among other things lessen the challenges faced by parents and caregivers who travel from afar to seek treatment for their children.
Speaking at the ceremony, the first lady accepted her new role of cancer ambassador and called for collective effort to help fast track the construction of the facility to serve as a “home away from their distant homes”. Rebecca Akufo Addo also prompted of a need for the educational and nutritional needs of the children to be met at the hostel. “For hundreds of children with cancer who will in the near future be receiving treatment at Korle Bu hospital and their guardians, this should be a safe haven for them”
She added that, “beyond providing a hostel, we should go a step further to consider access to well-balanced diets for the children and their families. This is an area that will need to be explored further. As many of the children will have to live here for several months, it is also important that their educational needs are met. I have been reliably informed that teachers have been assigned to cover the children’s wards at Korle Bu and so I take this opportunity to suggest this hostel should also have teachers assigned to the children.”
Speaking to Citi News, the Chairman for the Association, Dr. Kwame Aveh said the association was in desperate need of fund to help facilitate the speedy construction of the project. According to him out of the two million Ghana cedis needed to construct the 30 bed hospital facility, the amount currently in the association’s coffers was nothing to write home about.
“The initial estimate was first done in dollars and it was estimated at five hundred thousand dollars and the rate at the time was four Ghana cedis but now we think it will go up. So now roughly we need two million Ghana cedis. We have knocked at several doors but they are yet to open so all we have done now is from our personal pockets as members of GHAPCC. Korle bu donated the land to us and when we are done we plan to construct another one in Kumasi. What we are aiming at is to make the accommodation free for the patients and their guardians so we need people to help us fund this project.” The ceremony which also commemorated the “International Childhood Cancer Day” was held at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and was attended by the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Korle-Bu, Dr. Samuel Asiamah, the Director General Of Ghana Health Services, representatives from WHO, and members of the Ghana Parents Association for Childhood Cancers.