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MTN Ghana Foundation earmarks 200,000 to support children with hole in heart

By: Daniel Ofosu Dwamena
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Under the partnership of MTN Ghana Foundation and 3 Foundation, an amount of 200,000 has been earmarked to support the surgeries, admissions and medication for children with hole-in-heart conditions in the country each year.

 Fifty thousand cedis will be disbursed quarterly to support two children each quarter to undergo surgery at the Korle-bu and Komfo Anokye hospitals.

The stipulated amount will also be subjected to review each year to ensure that the needed impact in the lives of the children are met.

The Acting Corporate Service Executive of MTN, Mr Samuel Koranteng, revealed this at the launch of the ‘Think Heart, Save a Child Project’, an initiative that seeks to help save the lives of Ghanaian children with hole-in-heart conditions.The launch took place at the Cardiothoracic Centre of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital on May 9.

He said as part of the corporate social responsibility of MTN, health had been one of the areas that the company had  focused on by giving preferential attention to matters of children since every child deserved a healthy happy childhood devoid of pain and misery.

Mr Koranteng said statistics available to the foundation indicated that one child out of 100 children born had a hole-in-heart condition, and added that the country recorded about 7,000 cases of children with a hole-in-heart each year.

“Out of these 7,000 children, 2,000 die with their parents looking at them helplessly because they don’t have the needed funds to enable the children to undergo surgery.”

“It is against this backdrop that MTN Ghana Foundation continues to search for like-minded institutions to partner with to support in delivering quality health care to our communities,” he said.

He added that through the initiative, the foundation was optimistic that more children with the condition would receive the needed medical attention.

He, therefore, appealed to other institutions, corporate Ghana and the general public to support the initiative of the foundation since there were numerous requests from families and healthcare institutions to financially support children with the condition.

“We cannot overemphasise the need for more collaboration if we are committed to addressing the healthcare needs of our people,” he said.

Criteria for sleeting beneficiaries
Mr Koranteng said in order to ensure fairness in the selection process for those who would benefit from the fund, a patient would be chosen through a criteria that had been designed by a joint team from MTN, 3 Foundation and the National Cardiothoracic Centre.

He highlighted some of the criteria to be eligible for the funds, stating that the patient should be between the ages of zero and five, a national of Ghana and willing to be operated locally by the Korle-bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals respectively.

Some legacy projects
The foundation has implemented over 142 projects nationwide of which 50 are health projects.

Some of these legacy projects include the construction of a theatre and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to facilitate efficient child healthcare delivery for the Princess Marie Louis Children’s hospital in Accra, construction of Neo-natal centre for the Tamale Teaching Hospital, provision of a Children’s Ward for Twifo Praso Hospital and a Maternity Ward for the Ejisu Government Hospital.

Additionally, the foundation has refurbished the 2nd floor of the Labour Ward of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, donated medical equipment to health facilities across the country and constructed CHPS compounds in various communities.

Mr Koranteng also revealed that the foundation would be inaugurating a fully furnished  ultra-modern 40 bed Maternity Ward for the Tema General Hospital.

“This will help Ghana achieve the Sustainable Development Goal number 3 which is ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of the healthcare sector,” he added.