Today UNICEF and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) of the Government of South Korea donated a Newborn Care Unit and 75 new motorcycles to support Ghana Health Services. The donation will provide critical newborn care for babies within their first 30 days of life and enable the transportation of health workers during outreach missions in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana.
KOICA has partnered with UNICEF and the Government of Ghana for three years to support newborn care, pre-school education, teacher training and HIV awareness in the Upper East Region and Northern Region under the human development lifecycle approach project.
“Neonatal mortality continues to be a challenge here in Ghana where one new-born dies every fifteen minutes. That means ninety babies every day die within their first month of life and this cannot be acceptable” said Susan Namondo Ngongi.
Districts in the Upper East and Northern regions are among the most deprived in terms of quality education and the survival of newborns. The program focuses on improving new-born care for babies in their first month of life and improving the quality of education in these districts.
The South Korean Ambassador, H.E. Ambassador Lyeo, Woon-Ki, KOICA Country Director, Mr. Woochan Chang and UNICEF Representative Susan Namondo Ngongi met with the Regional Minister of the Upper East Region, Hon. Albert Abongo and Regional Minister of the Northern Region, Hon. Abdallah Abubakari as part of the visit.
The delegation also handed over a total of 75 motorcycles to the Ghana Health Services department, 45 for the Northern region and 30 for the Upper East Region. The newborn care unit and motorcycles are part of a $4.5 million package from the Government of South Korea to reduce newborn deaths in the Northern and Upper East Regions.
In his remarks, H.E. Ambassador reiterated that through KOICA, the Government of Korea pledges its commitment to strengthen the cooperative ties particularly in the Northern Ghana and to create a platform for a dynamic partnership with other Development Partners.
“We are happy for the people and mothers in Builsa and beyond for the chances of survival of neonates are improved and they will grow into healthy adolescents and adults. Who knows, one of these neonates benefiting from this new born care unit will one day be the President of Ghana” said Dr. Kofi Issah, Regional Health Director- Ghana Health Service, Upper East Region.
This donation will strengthen efforts by the Government of Ghana to ensure more children are saved at birth and more communities are reached with vital health services in these regions.
“We are confident that new-born lives will be saved, thanks to this program, and thanks to the Government of South Korea. Ensuring that Ghana’s youngest citizens can survive and thrive is fundamental for a greater future Ghana” said Susan Namondo Ngongi, UNICEF Ghana Representative.