Professor John Owusu Gyapong, Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences has appealed for the cardiac centre of the Ho Teaching Hospital to be equipped for the facility to undertake thoracic surgeries.
He said the theatre and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Hospital was “not fit for purpose”, for, which reason it was yet to undertake cardiothoracic surgeries.
The Vice Chancellor made the appeal at the inaugural lecture of Professor Frank Edwin, Head of the University’s cardiothoracic surgery, held at the main campus at Sokode Lokoe in the Ho Municipality on Thursday.
He said the Hospital’s management built and equipped Out Patients Department (OPD) for the cardio centre to cater for basic consultation, and had for the past three years, been seeking an amount of GH¢3 million to make the theatre cater for cardiovascular surgeries.
“The Ho Teaching Hospital has a spacious theatre, and a unique ICU that needs equipment. We have been seeking for support for the past three years”, he stated.
Professor Gyapong said equipping the centre in Ho would complement the facility at Korle Bu in catering for such cardio cases, and added that a team of surgeons were on standby and would be available when “things are ready”.
Professor Edwin in his lecture, which was on the topic “Your Heart in Their Hands- Decision Points in Cardiothoracic Surgery”, said thoracic surgery remained a luxury, which most countries on the African continent were unable to afford.
He said although thousands of children were born annually on the continent that required cardiac surgeries, only 33 accessed the service between the periods of 2012 and 2015.
Professor Edwin also said Africa had only 2.7 per cent of the world’s share of cardio surgeons, and that there was a 0.5 per cent probability that one would get treated within a period of two years after diagnosis.
“You are limited in healthcare delivery if you don’t have a centre”, he stated, and called on stakeholders to set up more institutions, train and retain more personnel, and provide financial risk protection for those in need of care.