Malnourishment Stalls Operation Of Caustic Soda Victims At KATH

Three months after Daily Graphic broke the story of 50 children in the Ashanti region being in danger after accidentally drinking caustic soda; only seven have been successfully operated upon as malnourishment is stalling the rest from being saved. Pediatric surgeon at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Dr Michael Amoah, who corrected the damaged throats of the seven with parts of their intestines, told the Daily Graphic today that the rest risk losing their lives if operated upon because they look malnourished and boney. But the Chief Executive Officer of N. N. EST Metal Company, a Manufacturer of metal ingots and traders in scrap metals in Accra, Nidal Nasser Eddine, who doled out GHc115,000 in October to cater for the treatment of some of the patients, has given the hospital the go-ahead to use part of the cash to prop up the health of the affected children while the company tops up the remaining for the operation. Dr Amoah said it would take between three and nine months to get the patients in proper shape as well fully determine the extent of damage of the throats for a successful operation to the conducted. It would cost between Ghc 8,000 and GHc 10,000 for a patient to be treated at the health facility. The children who cannot take in solid food but liquids through a special bypass in their abdomen have been in excruciating pains as parents struggle to come to terms with the predicaments. Dr Amoah said parents have not helped in addressing the problems because since the affected children were temporary discharged with specific instructions of taking liquid foods or blended foods through the bypass, some parents have completely abandoned them. As a result, either their windpipes have been blocked due to the intake of solid foods or are not properly fed and have grown lean. Mr Eddine, who was emotionally traumatized after a visit to assess the extent of work done on the children quickly gave the hospital the green light to use part of the donation to feed the children while he consulted his management team to top up the money to save the lives of the children. Miraculously, Dr Amoah said, none of the children have died but were in ‘unimaginable pain’. Beyond the malnutrition, Dr Amoah said, the hospital being at the centre of the country where most referral cases especially those from the northern parts were brought coupled with lack of enough operating theatres have delayed surgery on the children. Currently, the Pediatric unit needs key equipments to able it handle the overflow cases. They include endoscopy tower, pediatric scopes bath, upper and lower G I, monitors and pediatric ventilators.