Akosua Frema Osei-Opare (2nd left) with Dr. Samuel Kaba Akoriyea (right) and Justine Bansah, mother of conjoin twins. Picture by Gifty Ama Lawson.
The government has decided to fund the cost of separating the Siamese twins currently at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, formerly the Ridge Hospital.
The decision was announced by Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, on behalf of President Akufo-Addo, when she visited the hospital in Accra yesterday to meet parents of the babies and medical experts who are going to undertake the complex medical procedure.
The Siamese twins, born to Samuel Addo and Rebecca Bansah, were joined at the head when they were delivered at the hospital recently.
Specialists at the hospital have offered to perform the procedure to separate the twins but would need an initial amount of GH¢3 million to begin the procedure.
They would also need an additional GH¢12million for the purchase of equipment needed for the complicated surgery which is expected to last for about 50 hours, bringing the total amount to GH¢15 million.
The Chief of Staff, during the visit, said the President was concerned about the situation of the children when Cabinet was informed by the Health Minister and inspired by the resolve of a cross section of experts from medical facilities, both private and public nationwide, to carry out the complicated surgery, locally.
According to her, the situation informed President Akufo-Addo’s decision for the government to bear the full cost of the operation and all other expenses needed for the procedure.
She commended the team of medical experts who would be performing the surgery locally for their courage since it would advance Ghana’s record in the field of medicine.
She also noted that the government has plans to upgrade the infrastructure to ensure the success of the surgery, after which a centre would be established for similar procedure with the aim of making the country a go-to destination for medical operations hitherto obtained elsewhere.
“This is going to be a historic opportunity for Ghana to take the lead in many medical spheres on the continent, and contribute to the vision of Ghana being a medical hub in West Africa,” she held, adding that the government would release funding timeously and give the team all the support to ensure that they are able to save the children.
Neurosurgeon and lead surgeon at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr. Samuel Kaba, said the surgery when completed would put Ghana on a higher pedestal in the curative sphere.
He was optimistic that the equipment to be purchased for the operation would bring to an end the situation where Ghanaians sought medical help abroad.
He intimated that some 160 medical and non-medical personnel, including all specialties have been drafted for the operation that would be carried out in five stages over a one-year period.
Dr. Kaba said when successfully undertaken, the procedure would be one of the most historic achievements in Ghana’s medical history and the first in the sub-region, and commended the government for the decision to sponsor the procedure which he said reposes confidence in the country’s medical facilities and professionals.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu