MTN funded Neonatal Care Unit improves survival rate of children

The Neonatal Care Unit of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, has seen an increase in the survival rates for at-risk newborns, thanks to a Neonatal Intensive Care facility funded by the MTN Ghana Foundation.

In April, MTN inaugurated the GH¢ 335,000 facility as part of its Saving Lives campaign, to replace an older facility and ensure improved healthcare for an estimated 1,200 neonates annually.

In the first two months following the inauguration (April and May), the new Unit recorded a total of 300 admissions, representing a significant increase over an average monthly figure of 230 admissions at the old facility for the same period in 2014.

Impressively, the new Unit also saw a drop in mortality rates from double digit figures for same period in 2014 to nine deaths during the same period in 2015.

Speaking on the development, Mrs Cynthia Lumor, the Executive Director of the MTN Ghana Foundation, expressed gratitude for the impact MTN is making in the lives of infants and their families.

She said: “A key priority for MTN’s corporate social interventions is to save lives and prevent avoidable deaths. We believed that if we should significantly improve the survival rates for critically ill neonates, we would be taking a giant step towards satisfying the Sustainable Development Goal 3–Good Health and Wellbeing global initiative to reduce infant mortality.

“We are optimistic that the decline trend in neonatal mortality rate at the Unit will continue.”

Established in 2010, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital is the main referral centre for sick neonates in the three northern regions of Ghana.

It has been operating as a single cubicle unit until MTN’s intervention, when it became a multi-functional facility.

Before MTN’s intervention, the department lacked the needed basic facilities for effective management of critically ill neonates.

The unit was limited in capacity both in space and equipment as there was only one bed that served a client base of more than three million compared to WHO recommendation that prescribes about 30 beds per one million populations.

The neonatal intensive care unit equipment had outlived its use, making neonatal care relatively ineffective.

The new neonatal building constructed by the MTN Ghana Foundation includes two incubator rooms, one open crib, a kangaroo mother care room and breast milk expression room.

It also has a conference room furnished with 22 chairs, a projector plus screen and a 42 inch LCD TV.

There is also a changing room for staff, nurses’ rest room, doctor’s rest room, nurse manager’s office, space for dispensary and a doctor’s office. Additionally, there is a waiting area for new patients and a kitchen for breast milk storage.

In the eight years it has been in existence, the MTN Ghana Foundation has undertaken the refurbishment of hospitals and wards for maternity, pediatric and emergency care.

The Foundation has also been very helpful in the provision of critical medical equipment. Additionally, the Foundation has provided potable water for communities by funding the drilling of boreholes. GNA

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