The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Wednesday presented a cheque for $4.5 million to the Ghana Sickle Cell Foundation to build the country’s first-ever Blood and Sickle Cell Centre at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
It is the corporation’s second most important presentation after the $3 million sponsorship package to the Black Stars.Last year, the corporation donated $2 million to the Emergency Fund to tackle the Ebola crisis and later presented $1 million to the Burns Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The amount will be used for the construction of the centre, purchase of equipment, capacity building and the provision of other auxiliary facilities for the project.
The cheque was presented to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who mooted the idea of the establishment of a Blood and Sickle Centre at KATH.
Two years ago, the corporation presented GH¢500,000 to the foundation for capacity building of health officials and public education.
The Chief Executive of the GNPC, Mr Alex Mould, who made the presentation, said the support was in line with the company’s policy to promote good health, education and sports in the country.
He said the corporation was determined to invest in critical areas of the economy and support the government’s drive to build a prosperous country.
The foundation was mooted by Otumfuo Osei Tutu, 13 years ago when he persuaded a Ghanaian physician, Prof. Ohene Frempong, who is based in Philadelphia in the USA, to come back home and assist.
Prof. Frempong, himself a victim of sickle cell attack while at the Prempeh College, had to write his GCE Advanced Level examination while on admission at KATH.
Prof. Frempong’s 40-year-old son died from the same disease.
The Chief Executive of KATH, Dr Joseph Akpaloo, said the centre, when completed, would get the hospital close to its dream of becoming the biggest health facility in the country.
“It will be a legacy that the hospital and the foundation could bequeath to generations yet unborn,” he said.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu proposed that the Brazilian construction firm, Contracta, which is currently undertaking the Kumasi Central Market project, should volunteer to build the facility at no cost as its contribution to the country.
The Asantehene, who donated land within the KATH facility for the construction of the centre, lauded the GNPC for the support which he indicated would help sickle cell patients in the northern sector of the country.