Vodafone Ghana Foundation, the charity arm of Vodafone Ghana, has launched its 2020 “Homecoming” project to free 300 people kept in hospitals for their inability to settle medical bills.

The project is to reunite the individuals with their families after the Foundation had paid general hospital admission bills for beneficiaries, supported women at the maternity wards with auxiliary cost, and paid medical laboratory service costs.

It also provided fund for medicine for the patients adversely affected by the COVID-19, and for all beneficiaries, as well as National Health Insurance Scheme clients, either new or renewed, across the country.

The beneficiaries also had 500mls hand sanitizer, a packet containing 50 pieces of nose masks, a seed capital to cater for their needs and start up for a petty business.

The project, implemented in three phases, commenced in the Northern belt, where 96 patients who had received healthcare under varied medical conditions including meningitis, pneumonia, and ectopic pregnancy were covered.

Mrs Geta Striggner Quartey, the Director of Legal and External Affairs, Vodafone Ghana, said the Foundation was determined to impact lives and support the nation especially as it battled COVID-19 by helping patients, who were equally affected by the negative economic impact of COVID-19.

The annual homecoming initiative had since its inception in 2011, settled bills of thousands of patients in health institutions across the country.

“The initiative, which sought to make a positive contribution to the Ghanaian society is an indication of Vodafone’s insight into understanding the need to support the less privileged,” she added.

Mrs Quartey commended health workers for efforts at ensuring that Government achieved its vision of promoting universal health coverage, and for helping to protect the lives of citizens during the pandemic.

Mr Amaris Perbi, the Head of Vodafone Ghana Foundation, said Vodafone found the challenges of accessing quality healthcare disturbing, especially where thousands of patients extended their stay in health facilities because of their inability to pay medical bills.

Homecoming, he explained, was therefore part of a concerted plan to provide basic relief for the greater number of Ghanaians who faced that challenge.

Nabil Dekpeh, the Medical Superintendent, Wa Municipal Hospital, lauded the Foundation for the timely intervention, which he believed provided a relief to the beneficiaries.

“Indeed, the inability of many individuals to settle their medical bills is a worrying situation in many health facilities in Ghana and we are very grateful to the Vodafone Ghana Foundation for such an intervention.

“Clearly, many individuals, who may have otherwise not been able to afford their medical bills have had smiles put on their faces through this kind gesture. This, for me, is a great demonstration of Vodafone Ghana’s support for Ghanaians in diverse ways, in spite of the pandemic,” he said.

Dr Ocloo Ephraim, the Medical Superintendent of the Nadowli District Hospital, appealed to Vodafone Foundation to also support patients who attended health facilities for medical care but unable to purchase drugs, and food for their babies and also help to renovate some hospital wards.

Mr Zakaria Yakubu, the Head of Administration, Bolgatanga Regional Hospital said: “It’s a joy that hospital staff don’t need to chase patients again over non-payment of bills”.

She said the support would also stop the situation where some patients avoided the facility in future, even during emergencies, having failed to settle previous medical bills.

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