Lifeline for Childhood Cancer Ghana has cut the sod for the construction of a 40-bed multipurpose paediatric oncology block for the children’s unit at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The project is part of the infrastructure projects being undertaken to commemorate the hospital’s centenary celebration.

The multipurpose paediatric oncology block will have consulting rooms, playrooms, and single-room wards.

Speaking to journalists, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, said early detection and diagnosis could make a significant difference in reducing childhood cancer deaths in the country.

“The paediatric oncology unit has been in existence for many years and has been at the forefront of helping to treat children with childhood cancers. However, the facility is not adequate for the number of cases we are now seeing.”

“Children with cancer need a certain environment to be treated, as they are very vulnerable to infections and other issues. This project will expand the number of rooms available, expand the facilities, and create the right ambience for patients to be treated. We hope that this addition and other resources that are coming in, such as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), will increase the survival rate.”

The Executive Director of Lifeline for Childhood Cancer Ghana, Akua Sarpong, explained that she embarked on the project after losing her daughter to cancer five years ago.

She appealed to stakeholders to support the project, which is expected to be completed in October 2024.

“Five years ago, I lost my child to cancer, and I have been a regular visitor to this hospital ever since. After my time here and seeing that the NHIS does not cover child cancer, I realized that out of every five children, four were dying. They were not bringing the children on time, we were getting late referrals, and they did not know about the early signs and symptoms.

Someone just needed to step up and raise funds to help. We also provide education and nutrition for our children, as well as awareness creation. Cancer can be cured if it is detected early. We hope the project will be completed in a year’s time. It is tied in with Korle Bu’s centenary celebration. We are appealing to corporate bodies and individuals to support us in finishing the project.”

The company also supports Tema General Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, and other health facilities.