Two operating theatres dedicated to children, have been unveiled at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
Following the relocation of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology block, there was the need for the facility to be refurbished for paediatric surgery.
Kids Operating Room (KidsOR), a Scottish global health charity, refurbished the facility and furnished it with 6,000 items of surgical equipment at a cost of $600,000.
KidsOR would also see to the maintenance of the theatres for five years after which KATH would be in charge.
The KidsOR operating rooms would provide a safe environment for patients and shorten the waiting time for both electives and emergencies, thus reducing complications and mortality.
Further, the facility would enable KATH to train more paediatric surgeons and anaesthetists as these State-of-the-Art theatres are training grounds for paediatric staff.
Chief Executive of the KATH, Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, was full of praise for KidsOR saying the development had brought a great relief to the hospital which needed the facility very much for the sake of children and training of other specialists.
He noted an increase in the number of paediatric workforce in the country which would have a ripple effect towards achieving access to quality healthcare and health system strengthening.
Senior Specialist Paediatric Surgeon and Head of the Paediatric Surgery Unit, Dr Michael Amoah, noted that the paediatric theatres were much needed as children needed equal attention and services which had not always been the case.
“Before this, we did not have a dedicated operating room for paediatric surgery, so we had to compete with adults, meaning we were only able to do around 40-45 paediatric procedures in a month. Most of these were emergencies.
“The theatre was not paediatric-friendly. We had to use adult-sized tools and equipment to operate on small children”, he observed.
KidsOR Communications Officer (Africa), Muthoni Wahome, charged authorities to ensure the maintenance of the facility, “when our five years maintenance programme is over”.
Realising that about 1.75 billion of children and adolescents worldwide did not have access to surgical care, she was hopeful mortality rate of children would reduce drastically as more children could also be attended to.
The installation at KATH is also a milestone for the organisation as it marked the 50th Operating Room installed since inception of the charity four years ago.
Such a landmark had created capacity for more than 30,000 children a year to access safe surgery.
KidsOR works with Ministries of Health, hospitals and local surgical teams to transform hospital spaces into dedicated Operating Rooms for children’s surgery.
Since 2018, the charity had installed over 50 paediatric rooms across Africa and Latin America delivering more than 3,000 individual items of surgical equipment at a cost of USD300, 000 per theatre installation.
It has bases in Edinburgh, Dundee and Nairobi with an ambition to provide all children around the world with access to safe surgery.