KATH to set up Paediatric Cardiac Unit

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), the nation’s second largest referral facility is receiving support from the Boston Children’s Hospital in the United States of America (USA) to set up a cardiac unit which would enable it perform its own all-year-round corrective congenital heart abnormality surgeries.

The Boston Childern’s Hospital Cardiac Mission, led by Dr. Francis Fynn Thompson, a Ghanaian Cardiac Surgeon, has for the past eight years been frequenting the Hospital once every year to conduct free corrective heart surgeries for selected children born with abnormal heart conditions, as the hospital lacked the facilities to conduct the procedures.

Dr. Isaac Okyere, the only Cardiac Surgeon at KATH told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), that only a limited number of 16 to 18 out of about 100 of such children needing the operation are selected to undergo the surgeries each year due to the huge medical cost of 10 -15,000 US$ for each child.

“This has called for the critical need for KATH to partner the mission to provide support in the form of equipment, logistics as well as capacity building of staff to establish the facility”, he added.

He said the availability of the facility would give a more expansive and continuous medical intervention to save the lives of these children suffering from the life- threatening condition, a substantial portion of whom are compelled to wait in a queue for their turn the ensuing year.

Dr Okyere, the only Paediatric Heart Surgeon at the Hospital said the team would arrive in the country tomorrow-Wednesday November 11 to commence this year’s edition of the surgeries, but this time beneficiaries’ parents would pay a token fee of 1,000 US$ under a flexible payment scheme, to aid the establishment of the Unit.

He said the ability to perform the operations locally would however not end the yearly visits of the mission since the more complex cases would be reserved for them.

Dr. Okyere could readily give the cost of the project but said the two partners are now working out the modalities.

He said a selection and screening exercise based on how complicated or critical a child’s condition is, and not the ability to pay, would precede the operation which would last for 10-14 days for the children aged between zero -13.

Dr Okyere said about 120 children have so far benefitted from the procedures and are now leading normal lives without any post-operation challenges. GNA

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