President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut sod for work to begin on the construction and equipping of a 12-storey 400-bed Maternity and Gynaecology Block, as well as a two- storey 101-bed Urology and Nephrology Centre at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
It will be recalled that, on December 6, 2018, during his visit to the hospital to commission the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre, the President was struck by the poor state of the Maternity Block.
“I promised to remedy the situation, as the current state of the building is not fit for purpose. Today’s ceremony is a fulfilment of the pledge I made,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the commencement of work on these two projects, in addition to the re-activation of construction work on the abandoned 750-bed Maternity and Children’s Block at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, in Kumasi, will significantly reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country.
This, he explained, are further testimony to the commitment of his government to improving the country’s healthcare infrastructure, and move the country steadily towards the goal of achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage for all.
Once completed, the 400-bed Maternity Block, President Akufo-Addo said, “will contribute to addressing the persistent challenges of high maternal and child health morbidity and mortality in Ghana.
“It will also accelerate our progress towards the achievement of the SDGs through enhanced access to quality maternal and child health services,” he added.
Government has secured an amount €145,220,000 from Standard Chartered Bank to cover the cost of the project, with an export credit guarantee from Swedish Export Credit towards the reconstruction of the maternity block.
Additionally, the project has an insurance cover of €18,973,024.85, and it is to be constructed through a joint venture entity, HEDEBI JV. The partners of this group are Rizzani DE ECCHER, Bergam, and Hospital Engineering Ltd.
Once completed, the 12-storey facility will have 20 labour delivery rooms; 100-seater waiting area; 26 recovery wards; 18 treatment rooms; 24 consulting rooms; seven theatres; IVF services; 10 room accommodation for new mothers; 32 seater restaurant, with a preparation area; and an emergency unit with its own triage and operating theatre.
It will be the first public facility to deliver IVF services in the country.
Cutting sod for the construction of the €38 million Urology and Nephrology Centre of Excellence, the President stated that the project is being funded by Raiffessen Bank International AG Ltd of Austria, with OeKB Group, also from Austria, providing insurance cover of €4,666,950.
Once completed, it will offer advanced treatment for persons with genito-urinary conditions, chronic and acute kidney failures, as well as nephrology services such as kidney transplants.
“The two-storey Urology and Nephrology Centre will have a 31-suite dialysis station for persons with kidney disorders, and 70 beds for genito-urinary patients. The Centre will also provide out-patient services, and serve as a resource base to conduct research into urology and nephrology cases,” he said.
The President was confident that the construction of these facilities at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital will put Korle Bu “in a strong position to give meaning to medical tourism services to neighbouring countries, thereby increasing its revenue base to expand services”.
La General Hospital
Later in the day, the President was at La General Hospital to cut sod for the reconstruction of the hospital. He observed that the redevelopment project has been occasioned by a report from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) indicating that the five-storey structure of the hospital is no longer fit for purpose.
“Upon completion, it will be transformed into a 160-bed facility. It will be fitted with an out-patient department, in patient wards, maternal and neonatal services, surgical unit with four theatres, accident and emergency department, public health department, pharmacy unit, laboratory, administration, imaging area with CT scan, x ray room, ultrasound, fluoroscopy, mammography units, physiotherapy unit and a mortuary,” President Akufo-Addo outlined.