Children with cancer receive Christmas treat from group

Children at the Cancer Ward of the Paediatric Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital received gifts, drinks, biscuits and a Christmas cake from a group of ladies from the British High Commission in Accra to give them a feel of the Christmas season.
They also presented a Christmas tree with lights and decorations to the ward and spiced the occasion with a visit of Father Christmas to the ward.

The cancer-stricken children on the ward are within the age range of one to 15 years.

A member of the group, Ms. Jillian Tay, said the gifts presented were solicited from various shops and hotels in Accra.

Orca provided the Christmas tree, lights, decorations and gifts, Golden Tulip and Accra City Hotel donated cakes, Fairway Supermarket in Labone donated biscuits and drinks, Kingdom Bookshop gave some gifts and the Ghana Chocolate Factory also donated a large sack of cocoa powder plus lots of chocolate.

Ms. Tay noted with concern the urgent need to raise funds to complete the construction of a prospective Mothers Hostel which foundation stone was laid by the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

The Rebecca Foundation, she said, played a big part by contributing a large amount of money for the early payments to the contractor.

‘’The hostel is urgently needed and we need money to complete it’’, Ms. Tay stressed, adding that, these mothers and children come from all over Ghana and it is expensive for them to stay in Accra.

She explained that the mothers do a very good job in supporting the nursing staff by caring for their children on admission.

The mothers, she added, from Accra and the regions needed to stay for the duration of treatment of their children.

But the hospital has no accommodation on site for them and majority cannot afford to hire accommodation, thus many children return to their homes in far parts of Ghana when they are not fully cured.

“ It is the young children who suffer as they do not become better without the treatment at the hospital,’’ she emphasized.

Ms. Tay said an existing Association of Parents of Children with Cancer raised some money to construct the Mothers Hostel so that the mothers, those from outside Accra, could stay on site and look after their children.

“However, much more money is needed to complete the building and we are now appealing to all in Ghana, especially the major companies, to donate towards this cause.”

She noted that in Ghana, it is projected that about one in 500 children would be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 15 years and about 1000 children below 15 years would be affected yearly.

“Our aim now is as soon as possible to ensure that no child with cancer suffers from no medical care,’ Ms Tay stated.

She called on interested companies or individuals to donate, even in a small way, to ensure that Ghana helped these children with a great need.

Ms. Tay is supported in this endeavour by her Mother, Mrs. Evelyn Tay, who has experience and success with the establishment of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre and the new Eye Centre all at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The head of the Cancer Ward, Professor Lorna Renner, and her colleague Dr. Catherine Segbefia, both oncologists, expressed their gratitude to the group for giving the children the feel of the joyous spirit of the season.