A disability advocacy organization, RICKMENS FOUNDATION has reached out to children born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SBH) at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge-Accra.
On Monday, March 21, 2022, the organization donated 20 pieces of ventricular draining system, 20 pieces of low Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt pressure, 20 pieces of medium VP shunt pressure, 30 VP high pressure, and 30 cerebral catheters, all valued at over GH₵50,000.00.
Spina Bifida is the inability of the spinal cord to form properly in the womb, which affects mobility and also leads to infections of the kidney and bladder; while Hydrocephalus is the accumulation of fluid in the head that affects the formation of the brain which also leads to swelling of the head. The two almost always come together.
A VP shunt is a thin plastic tube that is inserted from the head to the abdomen of victims of Hydrocephalus to help the draining of the cerebrospinal fluid from the brain, in order to prevent swelling of the head.
Unfortunately, most parents in Ghana who have children with SBH are unable to afford the shunt. And that was the motivation for the Rickmes Foundation donation to the pediatric and neurosurgeon departments of the Hospital.
The foundation had earlier made similar donations to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi and the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
The Executive Director of the Foundation, Patrick Essuman, said their aim was to put smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries and their parents.
Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Ridge Hospital, Dr. Samuel Kaba Akoriyea, who received the items, was thankful for the gesture.
He noted that parents who gave birth to children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus at the Ridge Hospital were mostly people who did not have the means to afford the shunt, and that was a major challenge for their department.
Ideally, the shunt should be inserted within the first year of birth to prevent escalation of the condition, but most of the cases at the Hospital take longer than one year before the procedure is done.
Dr. Samuel Kaba Akoriyea who is also the Director of Institutional Care at the Ghana Health Service promised that the Hospital would collaborate with Rickmes Foundation to solicit support to acquire more of the device. He said that would enable them to give children born at the Hospital with SBH the best of care.