Tarkwa — The Tarkwa Municipal Hospital in the Western Region is in dire need of a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to save the life of new born babies in the municipality and beyond.
The old NICU, established in 2014, could no longer accommodate the increasing number of new born babies, thereby frustrating neonatal care.
The Assistant-in-Charge of the NICU of the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital, Dr Joseph Benjamin Baidoo, revealed these Friday when the Tarkwa ‘February Borns Family’ (TFBF) donated 200 bags of cement worth GH¢22,000, for the construction of a new NICU block at the facility.
Neonatal care is the type of care for babies born premature or sick and the unit provides care for babies soon after they are born, that is, for the first 28 days of life.
One cot at the unit, he said catered for about four babies while admissions had increased from eight to about 20 new born babies a day, adding it had only one incubator and one phototherapy machine.
The scope of the project include a ward for babies, a preterm ward (for babies born earlier than maturation), a neonatal ward, breast milk expression room, mothers’ hostel, nurses’ rest room, consulting rooms, head of department’s office and a conference room.
Dr Baidoo in an interview said neonatal babies were sometimes delivered having problems with the heart, stomach or oxygen issues and needed care at the NICU.
According to him, new facility would help to improve neonatal care and accommodation for mothers to be in a good atmosphere for breastfeeding.
“We need to save new born babies from dying. The vision is not about new babies alone, it’s a whole menu of care we provide here at the unit,” he explained.
The Pediatrician stressed that it was unfortunate that one cot was caring for between two and four neonatal babies, stressing that the situation could promote infections and mortality rate at the NICU.
Dr Baidoo explained to the Ghanaian Times that incubators were critical at the NICU as it provided heat for the preterm babies.
He stated that, as part of the vision to promote neonatal care, the hospital, in November last year, formed a project committee, chaired by Nana Twum, of Brenu Akyenem with the Apinto queen mother, Nana Abena Boaduwaa II, and other staff, as members, to construct a new NICU at Tarkwa.
A Senior Administrator of TFBF, Mr Stephen Affum described the campaigns to promote neonatal care in Tarkwa as laudable and encouraged all stakeholders and philanthropists to support the worthy cause.
“We are happy that a land had been secured for this noble NICU projects. Let’s support this worthy course for the future of neonatal care in Tarkwa-Nsuaem and beyond,” he added.