Many public health facilities across the country have been facing various challenges, such as limited access to necessary healthcare equipment.
Taking care of newborns in particular can be a herculean task, as many facilities do not have the requisite accompaniments to make healthcare provision much easier.
The newborn unit at the Suntreso Government Hospital in Kumasi, which has been facing challenges for years, can now breathe a sigh of relief as it has been supported with 5 MTTS Firefly phototherapy machines.
The Executive Director of the Women’s Health to Wealth Foundation, Nana Abena Akuamoa-Boateng, who led her team to present the items to the facility, said the intervention came after her outfit learned of the challenges facing the hospital.
“We were here (Suntreso Government Hospital) on March 9, 2023, to make some very necessary donations needed for the survival of sick newborns who are taken care of in your MBUs. During the presentation, the head of the newborn unit, Dr. Bakari, made a plea. In fact, when you look at the causes of admissions for the children into the MBUs, we saw that jaundice was about number 3. We all know what jaundice can do to babies. They may survive, but they could become mentally deficient as they grow up. I remember Dr. Bakari making a plea that if we could get them some of the phototherapy machines to help in the management of these jaundiced newborns. I made a promise that I would get these machines. We have partners who have a heart for babies and mothers. Therefore, when we communicated this information, they have already made a donation of about 1.6 million Ghanaian cedis and said we will go ahead and do it. I am happy to be here today to present to you 5 MTTS Firefly phototherapy machines. In addition to this, we are presenting you with touch-free thermometers.”
The head of the newborn unit at the facility, Dr. Ashura Bakari, told Citi News that out of the five MTTS Firefly phototherapy machines, Suntreso Government Hospital would use 2, while the remaining three would be given to other affiliate health facilities that usually refer cases to them. The facilities include Mampong Municipal Hospital, Mankranso District Hospital, and HopeXchange Medical Centre.
“When someone brings a baby, we don’t say the place is full. We call another facility that has the equipment. That’s why these equipment have been given to other facilities too. So we have our WhatsApp platform that all newborn units in the Ashanti region are part of. For example, if someone from Bibiani wants to bring a baby, they will put it on the WhatsApp platform, and we will see who has a space and we will say go to Mankranso, Hopexchange, etc. We prevent the case where people will travel long distances and we will say there are no beds. No.”
The Medical Superintendent of the Suntreso Government Hospital, Dr. Thomas Agyarko-Poku, says the provision of the equipment is timely.
“One of the difficult things is knowing what to do and not having the resources to do it. As a healthcare provider, when you get to that point, you can even get depression out of that. So sometimes when we talk about the condition of service, it is not about what comes into our pocket but what you can do to support the work that we do. So, we are happy that you are meeting us in that way to give us these things that we can use to work with.”