Friends of NICU, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has presented medical equipment and supplies estimated at a cost of GH₵ 5,000 to the maternity ward of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra.
The items donated included gloves, sanitizers, antibacterial floor cleaner, bleach, cot sheet, diapers, baby milk, baby clothes, and hand washing soap.
The exercise, which took place at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital, was funded through contributions by the foundation’s members and some benevolence.
Members of the group also provided food to the medical staff and paid the hospital bill of a needy parent whose ward was on admission at the time.
The donation was made during the just-ended Christmas festivities.
A similar exercise was carried out by the group on December 26, 2019 to the NICU Techiman Holy Family Hospital in the Bono East Region.
What is NICU?
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a nursery in the hospital that specializes in the care of ill or premature newborn infants.
It has healthcare providers who have special training and equipment to give babies the best possible care.
At a brief presentation ceremony, the founder of the organisation, Mrs Abena Afriyie Kwarkye Gyang, said the donation was the organisation’s token of giving back to society.
She said that it was purposely meant to help address the challenges faced by the unit in the discharge of its duties.
“Experience teaches you so many things. I experienced the NICU in September 2018 when my daughter was born preterm. I couldn’t help but notice how challenged the unit was.
“So as part of giving back to the unit, together with our donors, family and friends, we decided to make this presentation to help alleviate the pressure on the facility’s equipment as well as put a smile on the faces of both the staff and patients,” she said.
According to her, the foundation has also foot the bills of some parents who could not afford to pay for the medical bills of their wards.
“In 2020, we will intensify our campaign by venturing into other regions of the country,” she added.
Receiving the items on behalf of the unit, the Nursing Officer and Kangaroo Mother Care Coordinator, Ms Angela Sarpong, said the items came in handy, and would go a long way to lessen the burden on the unit.
She added that the exercise would inculcate the spirit of giving into the beneficiaries and give them hope that society cared for their afflictions.
She commended the organisation for the continuous support, and called on other benevolent individuals and organisations to emulate the gesture.
“I will plead with the government and other concerned bodies to come to our aid. We currently have pressing needs for oxygen humidifiers, phototherapy machines, washing machines to wash hand towels, and renovation of the milk kitchen to make it more efficient, among others,” she stated.
The excited parents also praised the foundation for the show of love.
Every year, 15 million children are born prematurely worldwide, one million do not survive.
In Ghana, about 144,000 babies are born prematurely every year. About 9,000 of these babies do not survive.
The ‘Friends of NICU’ foundation was formed in 2018 to provide both medical and nonmedical support to NICUs in Ghana.
The Foundation embarked on its first donation exercise in December 2018 and the second in April 2019. This exercise was the third the foundation had done to the KBTH.