National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre

National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre Appeals for Support

Accra, Nov 6, 2015
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director

National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre Appeals for Support

Accra, Nov.6, GNA – Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, the Director, National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre (NRPSBC), Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has appealed to corporate entities and philanthropies for support to furnish the three-storey intensive care unit (ICU) building of the Centre.

He said an estimated amount of $1.5 million was required for the equipping of the three-storey complex; which was started in 2006 and commissioned on June 29, 2010, but had since not being put to use, because it was completely furnished.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Dr Ampomah said the NRPSBC is a strategic and vital national institution, which is playing a key role in the health care delivery system of the country and the West Africa sub-region.

He said it would require the commitment and support of all and sundry to enable it to fulfill its role as a true Centre of Excellence in the sub-region.

He recounted that the government via the Capital Investment Management Unit of the Ministry of Health had put up the three-storey building for the Centre, which was now 90 per cent complete.

The Director said under the National Medical Equipment Replacement Project, with Belstar Development LCC as the main contractor, the equipment for a six bed ICU and a six bed High Dependency Unit (HDU) had been procured.

He pointed out that work on the ICU, HDU, Theatre and Procedure room with medical gas was almost complete.

Dr Ampomah noted that out of the 18 victims of the June 3, 2015 flood and GOIL filling station explosion disasters at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, who were admitted at the Centre, one of them died as a result of the non-functional ICU of the Centre.

In his view the deceased would have survived if the ICU of the Burns Centre had been operational.

He said one critical element missing is the provision and installation of a lift; stating that “an assessment by CFAO estimated the cost of the lift plus installation at € 119,305”.

“To make the ICU/HDU fully operational and to maximise output, additional staff would have to be recruited and trained.

“A minimum of 28 critical care nurses, two Intensivists, two anaesthetist, two burn surgeons, one psychologist, one nutritionist, one microbiologist, one laboratory technician and two physiotherapists are required,” he added.

Dr Ampomah said it was also necessary to upgrade the knowledge and skills of the current staff by sponsoring them for further training at high level burn centres in Europe and South Africa.

He said a total of 12 individuals comprising two surgeons, two anaesthetists, six nurses, two Intensivists are targeted for this specialised training, which will last between 6 weeks and 6 months at an average cost of $ 10,000.00 each (including flights and accommodation); which gives total cost is $120,000.00.

On fund for patient support, Dr Ampomah said the cost of providing optimum treatment for a burn patient was very high in Ghana.

He explained that a typical patient with burns of about 40 per cent body surface area would require about GH¢25,000.00; however, currently the National Health Insurance Scheme only pays about GH¢1,000.00 per patient, during the acute stage of treatment.

The Director said this financing gap takes a heavy toll on the resources of the Centre, and the patients.
“Many patients, who could survive their burns, often succumb due to lack of funds to cater for their treatment.

“A Burn Fund with support from Government, Corporate bodies and benevolent individuals is proposed, to support the treatment of such unfortunate persons,” he stated.

Touching on outreach/support services, Dr Ampomah said owing to the fact that reconstructive surgery services are only available in only two regions; Greater Accra and Ashanti, the Centre regularly undertakes surgical outreach to the deprived regions to bring much needed surgical expertise to the doorstep of Ghanaians.

He observed that burns were largely preventable; and that the Centre was ready to partner with any interested organisation to raise the level of awareness about burn prevention and first aid.

The Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre is a sixty-eight (68) bed capacity unit commissioned in May 1997.

It is the only Centre of its kind and status in the West Africa Sub-region and it receives patients from Ghana and the sub-region.
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