FIRST LADY BUILDS SUNSHINE HOSTEL FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER
First Lady of the Republic, Mrs Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo has commissioned an ultra-modern hostel at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, to house childhood cancer patients and their families, during the period of their treatment.
Named the Rebecca Akufo-Addo/GHAPACC Sunshine Hostel, the 54 bed facility, the first of its kind in Ghana and the largest in Africa will provide great relief to children with cancer and their parents who sometimes have to travel long long distances, repeatedly, to seek medical treatment at the Korle Bu Oncology Department.
In a brief speech to commission the facility, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said on 15th February, 2017, as Guest of Honour at a ceremony to mark International Childhood Cancer Day and ground- breaking for the construction of a hostel to house children undergoing treatment for cancer and their parents or guardians, she took up the challenge to expedite the construction of the hostel to not only bring relief to children with cancer and their parents, but also provide a better chance for childhood cancer patients to receive full treatment.
She said when caught early, treated early and comprehensively and when the necessary resources are available, recovery is pretty high for childhood cancers. The absence of suitable accommodation for the duration of a child’s treatment, especially for those who travel from afar often led to the abandonment of the treatment mid-stream. This, she said could be the reason why about only 30percent of expected number of children suffering from cancer attend the two treatment facilities in Accra and Kumasi.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo said while putting up the facility was an arduous task and she was not sure where the regular flow of funds to execute it would come from she believed the project to be imperative to enhancing chances of recovery for childhood cancer patient and thus persevered to its completion.
She said the facility was named “Sunshine Hostel” because children are a ray of sunshine and their very presence encourages us that tomorrow will be a better day. She prayed that the facility will bring a ray of hope and provide respite from the rigours that come with childhood cancer treatment.
She extended her appreciation to her husband, President Akufo-Addo, and the Board, Management and Staff of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for their support in diverse ways, to realise this vision.
On his part, President of GHAPACC, Dr. Felix Kwame Aveh thanked the First Lady for her immense support in realising a long cherished dream and said the hostel will greatly facilitate the treatment of cancer patients and increase the rate of recovery. He however appealed to Mrs. Akufo-Addo to assist them push for childhood cancer treatment drugs to be covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), as they are very expensive and serve as a discouragement to parents and guardians who seek treatment for their wards.
Chairman of the Board of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr.David Nkansa-Dwamena on behalf of management and staff, expressed their profound gratitude to Mrs. Akufo-Addo and the Rebecca Foundation for the enormous support extended to the Hospital since she became First Lady which includes the construction of a paediatric and Intensive Care Unit (PICU), a Waiting Lounge for patients and their guardians, and now the second and largest hostel in Africa for Childhood cancer patients.
Also present to witness the commissioning were the Deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Tina Gifty Mensah, Mayor of Accra, Hon. Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, Chief Executive of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, former Board Chairman of Korle Bu, Dr, Bernard Oko Boye, former Minister of Tourism Hon. Barbra Oteng Gyasi, the CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority,Dr Dsane-Selby as well as management and staff of Korle Bu