Construction works begin on Blood and Sickle Cell Centre

Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, Minister of Health, on Thursday performed the ceremony for the construction of a 13.66 million-dollar Blood and Sickle Cell Centre at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

The three-storey building complex would be implemented in phases under a Brazilian Government’s grant.

It is expected to be completed in two years and would have a Blood Transfusion Unit, Out-patient Sickle Cell Clinic, Research and Training Centre that would undertake blood collection, modern processing and determine the specific blood product needs of hospitals.

The project comes as a big relief to sickle cell patients, who would now be assured of quality care.

The present sickle cell clinic at the facility serves more than 11,000 patients.

Dr Kumbuor said the blood transfusion unit would provide services during emergencies, including accidents, surgery and other vital needs.

He expressed appreciation to the government and people of Brazil for their generosity and said this tied in with the spirit of South-South co-operation.

The centre would serve as a lasting bond of friendship between the two countries, he said.

The ceremony coincided with the launch of the National Programme of Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease and the inauguration of its 12-member Technical Advisory Committee.

Dr Kumbuor gave high marks to the Sickle cell Foundation of Ghana for its untiring efforts and advocacy to improve the health and quality of life of patients and playing a leading role in securing the Brazilian funding.

Mr Luis Fernando Serra, Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana, said they were eager to support efforts at preventing the sickle cell disease.

He said they were happy with the health cooperation between the two countries.

Professor Ohene Adjei, Chief Executive of KATH, said research had shown that over 90 per cent of all children born with sickle cell disease died before the age of five if their conditions were not diagnosed early for prophylactic treatment to start.

He renewed the hospital’s plea for the release of the adjoining military land to the facility to provide more space for its expansion.

He said due to the problem with space, the hospital was finding it difficult to respond to the request by the Health Ministry to accommodate the National Anaesthesia School on its premises.

Source: GNA

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