Plan Ghana settles medical bills for hole-in-heart, leukemia patients
The management of Plan Ghana, an international child-centred NGO, has presented three cheques for GH¢21,000 to the National Cardiothoracic Centre of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, paving way for treatment of three children with heart problems. The children include, three-year-old Christopher Elikplim Atitsogbe from Kumasi, three-year-old Princess Akwetey from Taifa in Accra and nine-year-old Charles Tetteh from Assesewa in the Eastern Region. Christopher was last year, diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease requiring a hole-in-heart surgery estimated at 10,000 Euros. Princess is to undergo an Open Heart Surgery estimated at 12,000 Euros whilst Charles, was in February last year, diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma or Leukemia. However, apart from Princess, whose family raised GH¢5,180 being part payment, parents of the others could not provide the needed funds for their treatment making them to continue to live with their ailments. In all, Christopher received a cheque for GH¢8,969, Princess’ cheque for GH¢7,960 and Charles took a cheque for GH¢3,900. The management of the Ghana Heart Foundation would assist with payment of the balance to enable a team of three physicians and specialists at the hospital perform the surgery and other treatments needed to help save their lives. Presenting the cheques at the hospital in Accra, Mr Samuel Paulos, Country Director of Plan Ghana, said the organisation was interested in the survival, protection and improvement of children. He said their objective was to work to provide an enabling environment for the well-being and growth of the children to enable them achieve their full potential in life. Mr Paulos said, apart from its social and health interventions, which were benefiting the vulnerable in society, Plan Ghana had so far offered direct support to over 30,000 children in some deprived communities across the country. Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Head of the National Cardiothoracic Centre, who received the cheques on behalf of the children, thanked Plan Ghana for its support to especially deprived children. He called for support and commitment to establish heart centres in other parts of the country to make the service available to all and sundry. Professor Frimpong-Boateng said currently, Ghana had about seven heart surgeons, who were ready and willing to work in the rural communities to render their services, and called for incentives to entice more people into the profession. He said learning to become a heart surgeon was a matter of sacrifice but remuneration for professionals in the field in the country was low and therefore, made the field unattractive to others who would want to join it. Parents of the children expressed appreciation to the management of Plan Ghana for the assistance. Plan Ghana is the local chapter of Plan International, which is working in 48 developing countries, including Ghana, and supported by 18 developed countries. In Ghana, the NGO is currently working in five out of the 10 regions, focusing on Child Survival and Adolescent Reproductive Health, Quality Education for all Children, Water and Sanitation, Microfinance, Food Security and Awareness on the rights and responsibilities of children.