The 1975 year group of the Wesley Girls High School Old Students Association, has presented a cheque for GHS100,000.00, to the Paediatric Society of Ghana’s (PSG) advocacy towards the purchase of Phototherapy equipment for neonatal jaundice care.
Professor Bamenla Goka, a Past President of the Paediatric Society of Ghana and Member of the 1975 year group of the Association, at a brief presentation ceremony in Accra on Wednesday, said the Group deemed it a privilege to willingly contribute towards the wellbeing of children in the country.
She said although neonatal (Newborn) jaundice, was one of the serious illnesses that could contributed to high morbidity and mortality in children, yet very little was known about this killer disease and the havoc it could create in the lives of individuals, families and the country as a whole.
Prof. Goka said the Group was of the hope that their initiative would encourage and energies other year groups from all educational institutions, as well as corporate bodies and individuals to donate towards the purchase of more phototherapy equipment for the treatment of neonatal jaundice.
Dr Hilda Mantebea Boye, the Vice President of the Paediatric Society of Ghana, thanked the Association for their kind gesture, saying “this will go a long way to support our efforts to secure more of these equipment for distribution to the major health facilities in all the 16 regions of the country”.
Dr Boye who also doubles as the Chairperson for the National Newborn Jaundice Awareness Month Celebration Committee, explained that the target was to raise about GHS800.000.00 for the purchase of these equipment for distribution to each of the 16 regions, hence the present donation would be used to address the urgent need of two facilities in the Central and Western regions.
“We are prioritising for facilities with the requisite skills and personnel to manage the equipment, while we work towards the building of capacities for others nationwide to be able to effectively use the machines when they eventually get them,” she said.
She stated that it was very sad for doctors to helplessly look on as more children continue to suffer and die from neonatal jaundice, due to the huge existing gap due to the very limited number of phototherapy machines and other facilities for treating this illness.
She encouraged all well-meaning persons and institutions to get on board to make this dream a reality, saying “you can use your birthdays as a landmark to donate your quota towards this worthy course”.
Dr Cyprian Birmeh, the Chairperson for the Greater Accra Branch of the PSG, in a brief background said neonatal jaundice was a liver condition that caused yellowing of the eyes and skin of newborn babies, and it was common in those born preterm, however infection, medication or blood disorders may cause more serious cases.
He explained that in most cases, treatment was not required as light therapy (phototherapy) could help resolve moderate or severe cases, and encouraged all mothers to frequently bring their newborn babies outside of the room to observe their skin and eye colour to ensure they had no visible symptoms.
He further advised mothers and relatives of newborn babies to report immediately to nearby facilities for immediate diagnosis and treatment of their children to prevent brain damage and hearing impairment among other later effects.