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Two Sick Children At KATH Benefit From May 9 Project (PHOTOS)
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Some two sick children at the Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospital’s Pediatric intensive care unit and surgical wards have benefitted from a philanthropic initiative by the May 9 foundation dubbed ‘Save A Sick Child Project’.

 The Foundation is a philanthropic organization that emerged out of the need to remember the tragic events of May 9 2001 in which there was a stadium disaster that claimed 126 lives of soccer fans at the Accra sports stadium. Herbert Mensah was chairman of Asante kotoko FC during the stadium disaster 17 years ago.

The ‘’save a sick child’ initiative was created by the President of the May 9 Foundation Mr. Herbert Mensah after he received a petition from some health workers at KATH about an alarming health condition among children involving accidental ingestion of caustic soda, a soap manufacturing raw material.

 Explaining the condition, Dr. Michael Amoah, a pediatric surgeon at KATH said, ‘’Caustic soda is worse than acid. It is used to make soap.  When children mistake it as water and drink it, it destroys their food pipe, resulting in their inability to eat through their mouths. Such children can only eat through a tube inserted directly into their stomachs.’’

 He added, ‘’It was a rare condition here some time ago but it has now become so prevalent these days. It is becoming alarming especially because most of the victims are children of poor parents trying to make their own soap at home’’.

 Dr. Amoah explained that most parents refuse to raise funds for the needed surgery to repair the food pipe of the children and restore their lives to normalcy because parents think that they can always give birth to another child – a mindset that has left many of the affected children suffering for years.

 The cost of carrying out food pipe repair surgery on each child is close to GH20.000, according to the pediatric surgeon.

 The May 9 Foundation’s ‘save a sick child project’ therefore came as a rescue mission to sponsor the surgeries of some children at the pediatric intensive care unit of the KATH upon realization that the parents can either not afford or are refusing to pay for the cost of the expensive medical procedure required to repair damaged food pipes of these children who accidentally ingested caustic soda.

 Speaking at a short ceremony to make donations to both the surgical units and the pediatric intensive care unit of the KATH last weekend, Mr. Herbert Mensah acknowledged that since government cannot solve all the problems of the citizenry, it behooves on individuals and organizations especially within the middle class brackets to intervene in cases where people really need help.

 "My friends and myself at May 9 Foundation decided do something about the situation which came to our attention upon a petition we received from some people in the medical field. We located one child from Asankragwa in the western region who has lost both parents, and we also located another child from Wa in the upper West region. We hope we can raise more funds to sponsor the surgery of another child from Agogo in the Ashanti region.’’

 He called on other private individuals and organizations to come to the aid of these needy children since the May 9 foundation and its sponsors can only do as much.

"We like to touch the people directly to be sure that the help we give reach the people. Everyone can try to help in their own little way according to their conscience. It is all about the little contributions from individuals. It is not about having big money before you can help though these surgeries are expensive’’.

 'I acknowledge and thank the sponsors of the project including the media for massively highlighting the problems of the sick children, Sunda international for providing toiletries and detergents for the sick children in the hospital, Conservaria Ghana Ltd. for providing food stuffs, Interplast, Kwabena Kese of Kesben, Ransford Antwi of SunCity and all the sponsors for both cash and kind donations to the ‘Save a sick child Project’ of the May 9 foundation’’. Mr. Mensah praised the doctors as the real heroes who are doing a lot under difficult circumstances to save lives with very little resources.

Dr. John A. Appiah, head of the pediatric intensive care unit of KATH expressed gratitude to the May 9 Foundation and Mr. Herbert Mensah for their timely intervention and appealed to the general public to emulate the good example of the Foundation.

Source: Peacefmonline.com

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