Mr Mark Anthony Azongo, the Head of the Paediatric Department of the Upper East Regional hospital in Bolgatanga has called for financial support to sustain the "Needy Child Fund" of the hospital.
The fund, which was initiated by the hospital, was launched by Madam Tangoba Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister on July 10, 2019, to aid sick and needy children on admission at the facility to access quality health care services within and outside the Region.
The "Needy Child Fund" is also intended to support needy children within the facility, who are referred to other hospitals outside the Region for management, and to help renew inactive National Health Insurance cards or register needy children onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Mr Azongo appealed to philanthropists, religious groups, government and Non-Governmental Organisations among others to donate towards the Fund to assist needy and sick children on admission at the hospital.
He made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sideline of the Chocolate Day celebration organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) at the Paediatric Department of the hospital.
He recalled that "Last year, we did our assessment and realised that some of the children on admission needed some medications that were not covered by NHIS or medications that were covered but were not available in the facility."
He said the Children's Department of the hospital lost three children in the first quarter of last year, whilst several parents and guardians absconded with their sick children because they could not pay for treatment.
According to Mr Azongo, who is a Clinical Nurse Specialist and the Chairman of the "Needy Child Fund" Committee of the hospital, the introduction of the Fund and other measures instituted by the facility reduced child mortality at the unit.
"We have realised that mortality is decreasing even though admissions are increasing, and that is yielding results for us. Benevolent donors can support the fund via the Regional Hospital Donor Pool Fund account number: 1000200302201, National Investment Bank, Bolgatanga." he said.
"The sustainability of the fund is an issue, and we are appealing to the public to show interest to help support needy children on admission to seek medical services. Currently, we have a two-week old baby with Biliary Atresia; we can't manage the baby here."
"The baby needs to be referred, and the amount involved is too huge that the Needy Child Fund cannot afford it. So we are appealing to the public to support the Fund to reach out to needy children with critical conditions in the Department."
Checks by the GNA at the Department revealed that there were four needy children in critical conditions, some of whom were referred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) in the Northern Region benefitted from the Fund.