The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) currently manages 6000 newborn babies diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD).
This represents the largest number of newborn babies with the blood disorder being taken care of under one facility in the world according to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana.
These babies form part of the over 10 000 people living with the inherited blood disorder receiving care at KATH in Kumasi.
Hope is on the horizon as the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has made a donation of $4.5 million to KATH for the construction of a modern sickle cell and blood centre.
The center is also to aid research and better care for patients.
According to Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor, the KATH sickle cell facility is overstretched as it sees more than 200 patients a week for routine visits.
Erastus reports that sickle cell patients who need specialist care are now mixed with the general outpatients department.
The new sickle cell center will provide blood transfusion, counseling and specialised sickle cell services including neurosurgery services.
Director of the Foundation and initiators of the project, Prof Kwaku Ohene-Frimpong, who is a sickle cell patient said the center would allow more patients to be taken care of.
“It will also give us the chance to cater for those with acute illness instead of them going to the emergency rooms,” said Prof Ohene-Frimpong.
The Asantehene, Otumfour Osei Tutu II, who received the cheque warned the facilitators of the project that, “Nobody should cut corners. Let’s cost it well and maintain quality with the construction. Don’t add any profit margin. ”
Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Mr Alexander Mould, said the donation is in line with its spirit of providing meaningful support in areas that would have a positive impact on the lives of the people.
Construction work on the project is to start in four months time.