Organisers of the Ho Teaching Hospital (HTH) Cardiothoracic Fundraising Project have embarked on a health walk through some principal streets of the Municipality as a pepped up measure to create awareness among the people.
The "Save a Heart, Save a Life" Project is a $3.2 million fundraiser to purchase theatre equipment for the Cardiothoracic Centre and facilitate the training of surgeons.
The Centre was established to help reduce the waiting time for clients seeking cardio services at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
The over three-hour procession with music saw the distribution of leaflets containing project information and channels through which the public could contribute.
Dr John Tampuori, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the HTH, said the existing facility needed to be modernised and the human resource of surgeons enhanced to make the Centre stand on its feet to provide cardio services to its numerous clients.
"We need the support of all. Nothing is too small," he said, as he entreated the media to lead the crusade of awareness creation to win the support of individuals, corporate establishments and benevolent institutions for the project.
He said the current situation of cardiothoracic treatment was to refer patients to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for surgery adding that the project was to bridge the gap between Ho and Korle- Bu as cases continued to increase.
Dr Tampuri disclosed that between January and June 18, this year, some 729 cardiac patients were treated at the OPD level while 1,023 patients attended cardiovascular treatment as of November 2020, which made a stronger case for the need for a modern cardiac Centre.
He assured the public of accountability of the proceeds as PriceWaterHouse, an accredited auditing firm, had been brought on board to provide value for money and guard against embezzlement of resources meant for the project.
Professor Frank Edwin, the Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery Centre of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) and the Ho Teaching Hospital, expressed worry over the increasing number of cardiac arrest cases in the country with sudden onset of chest pain.
"We believe the Cardio Centre will be advantageous for early detection and treatment of the disease and open the avenue for immense educational opportunities for training students and practicing doctors," he said.
Prof Edwin, also a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCC), said cancer of the oesophagus was common in the Volta Region, which was attributable to alcohol consumption, according to researchers from the UHAS.
He said a study showed that some 8,000 children were born annually with congenital heart disease, otherwise known as hole-in-heart condition, with majority needing corrective surgery.
However less than one per cent were operated upon due to lack of facilities to diagnose and treat with funding being another challenge, he said.
ICS Africa, an events company based in Accra, is spearheading the $3.2 million campaign to mobilise funds for standard machines for the centre and operationalise the different units to undertake major cardiac surgeries.
Contributions could be sent on merchant ID 982046 or 0555029941 with account name 'HTH Cardio Fundraising' or through accredited bank accounts at Fidelity Bank, GCB Bank Limited, Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, National Investment Bank Limited, OmniBSCI Bank and ABSA Bank Ghana Limited.
Other programmes to help create awareness would be through games and dinner activities.