In an attempt to improve heart-related treatment at the Ho Teaching Hospital (HTH), the management in collaboration with ICS Africa, a communication firm based in Accra has launched a campaign; Save a Heart, Save A Life Project to build an ultra-modern Cardiothoracic Disease Center.
The project which is estimated to cost about $3.2million is also targeted at equipping the Center with state-of-the-art equipment. The centre, when completed, will also serve as a training centre for students of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).
According to Professor Frank Edwin, the Head of the cardiothoracic Centre at HTH and UHAS, the treatment of heart diseases at the hospital leaves much to be desired because the current unit is not well equipped and conducive for full-scale treatment.
To this end, the cases are treated at the outpatient department and mostly transferred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. That notwithstanding, the facility has from last year till May 2021 attended to about 1752 clients.
According to the Ghana Health Service, one of the leading causes of death among adults is heart-related diseases, notably hypertension and its complications. Apart from that, there is also a shortfall in providing adequate treatment for infants who are born with heart-related ailments diseases.
In Ghana, only about 20% of parents of children less than 15 years old requiring surgery were able to finance the operation within 12 months of diagnosis as of 2016. The majority of the remaining may never find help and die from complications as the children become inoperable victims.
Prof. Frank Edwin corroborated this by adding that about 8000 children are born with congenital heart diseases annually in Ghana, yet very few get the needed treatment due to inadequate facilities.
These statistics and the rise in population vis a vis increase in heart-related diseases among the populace overburdens the National Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital which is the leading referral facility in the country.
It is for this reason that Prof. Frank Edwin stressed the need for the general public, faith-based organizations, and philanthropists to assist in establishing the HTH Cardiothoracic Disease Centre which will be able to serve the Volta Region, Oti Region, Eastern Region, and even neighboring countries like Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.
Dr. John Tampouri, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the HTH added that the benefits of the projects are limitless. He said health education and research will improve as more specialists are trained and retained to impart the knowledge in the lives of Ghanaians. It will also cut travel time to Accra and the cost of seeking heart-related treatments.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa pledged the government’s support towards the project. He added that the project which requires the only support of all will also make the HTH and UHAS world-class institutions, improve tourism and attract both human capital and investment to the region.