First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo has inaugurated a hostel to house children undergoing treatment for cancer and their parents or guardians.
The 54-bed Sunshine hostel, built by the First Lady’s establishment, The Rebecca Foundation and located at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, is the first of its kind in Ghana and the biggest in Africa.
The facility is expected to relieve the stress of patients and their families to travel several hours repeatedly for treatment, along with its associated costs and risks.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo speaking at the commissioning of the facility yesterday said the denial, agony, desperation, and the financial burden associated with childhood cancer make it almost a taboo subject.
She, however, noted that when detected early and treated comprehensively, recovery is high for childhood cancers.
“As we all know children with cancer and their families face many challenges. One major challenge is the lack of suitable accommodation for the duration of a child’s treatment, for those who travel from afar,” she said.
She noted that due to the lack of accommodation facility only about 30 percent of the expected number of children suffering from cancer, attend the two treatment facilities in Accra and Kumasi each year.
“We needed a hostel urgently and time was of the essence. It took a while because it was not always easy to find the finances to do so. But today the Sunshine Hostel is standing and I give God the glory,” she noted.
She said the hostel will offer children receiving cancer treatment and their families, a safe, comfortable place to stay.
“We named it Sunshine Hostel for a reason. When a child is down with cancer, we need a ray of hope to urge us on-To believe the light will follow the darkness. We named it Sunshine Hostel, also because children are a ray of sunshine. Their very presence encourages us that tomorrow will be a better day. Let this hostel bring a ray of hope.
My prayer is that this place will provide a respite from the rigours that come with cancer treatment,” she added.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo commended the many individuals who encouraged her to see the construction of the hostel is completed.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri