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Gas Explosion And Flood Victims Join May 9 Walk To Save Sick Children
 
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10-May-2018  
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Some families of victims and survivors of both the June 3 Accra flooding disaster and the Atomic gas explosion this year joined regular participants of the annual May 9 remembrance walk in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital to remember and pray for all those who have lost their lives needlessly through various national tragedies such as the May 9 2001 Accra stadium stampede which claimed 126 lives as well as all the several lives that have been lost through preventable flooding and gas explosions in the country.

Championing the memory of these perished souls for the last 17 years, is a philanthropic organization led by former Asante Kotoko chairman and philanthropist Mr. Herbert Mensah who has used several charity activities including donations to families of victims, prayers and donations at the central Mosque in Kumasi for the departed souls, football gala games with cash prizes between various local community teams as well as remembrance street walks to remind Ghanaians of the tragic day which should never be allowed to repeat itself.

Some victims of the 2015 Accra floods including Alex Korankye, whose wife died at the Kwame Nkrumah with her little son surviving on top of her, joined the May 9 march in Kumasi along side Rockson Ahmed Cort, who suffered severe burns during the Atomic gas explosion in 2017 but who survived after intensive care treatment at the 37 military hospital.

The two have been beneficiaries of donations from the May 9 foundation and Mr. Herbert Mensah since their tragedies occurred and travelled to Kumasi this year to join in the charity walk to show solidarity with, and appreciation for the Foundation’s humanitarian cause.

‘’Before I came out of hospital, my wife left with the little child, leaving the older one behind. But all the same, I thank God to be alive today after all the injuries I got from the gas explosion at Atomic junction’’, Rockson Ahmed Cort remarked. ‘’I was a driver, and became a victim of the gas explosion. Because of my condition, I met Mr. Herbert Mensah who came to help us at the 37 military hospital, So today since I am well, I am here to join him and others to remember all those who died during the Accra stadium disaster’’.

Ahmed Rockson cort added, ‘’There are many victims of the atomic gas explosion still at the hospital today. They need help. Government should help. We pay even today when we go back to dress my injuries. It is not true that government has given us money. The only person who helped us is Mr. Herbert Mensah, that’s why I am here today.’

Alex Korankye on his part said ‘’Mr. Herbert Mensah has been helping me even though he has nothing to do with the Accra floods which took the life of my wife. He has been helping me and the little child left behind through his foundation. My son is now 7yrs old. That is why I am here to participate in the May 9 walk. I came from Accra to join’’.

The June 3 2015 Accra floods claimed the lives of over 159 and injuring scores of others whiles the Atomic gas explosion also killed at least, 7 and injured over 132 people.

This year, the two-day May 9 remembrance events started with prayers at the Kumasi central Mosque for the departed souls of all those who have perished during national disasters, and where a donation of 100 bags of cement (in cash) in response to a request from the Imams for renovation of the Mosque as well as cash, food items and toiletries to the chiefs and clerics.

With focus on helping sick and dying children in dire need of medical surgeries at the Komfo – Anokye teaching hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit, Mr. Herbert Mensah and other members of the May 9 Foundation proceeded to visit the sick children at the pediatric intensive care unit at KATH, many of who suffer from a condition caused by the accidental ingestion of caustic soda, a soap making raw material that has resulted in the destruction of the food pipe in their throats.

According to Dr. John A. Appiah, head of the pediatric intensive care unit of the KATH, children who suffer this condition can only eat or drink through a plastic tube inserted into their stomachs until a medical surgery is carried out to repair the damage in the throat.

‘’This condition has become prevalent in our unit here in recent years and many children from all over the country are brought here for treatment because it is the only pediatric intensive care unit in the country but the cost of carrying out the surgeries are high and many parents cannot afford to pay’’, Dr. John A. Appiah said in welcoming the May 9 Foundation team to the KATH.

He revealed that, it cost close to GH20,000 to carry out a surgery to repair the food pipe of one single child. And since many of the parents cannot afford the high cost of treatment, most of the children are left eating through plastic tubes inserted into their stomachs for several years until someone or organization comes to their rescue.

The President of the May 9 Foundation, Mr. Herbert Mensah whose attention was brought to the dire situation at the unit by some medical personnel at the KATH expressed sincere worry about the alarming rate at which the condition is affecting many children especially when it is through the carelessness of the parents and not any fault of the affected children.

Mr. Mensah who is also President of Ghana Rugby Football Union said he was moved to take action through the May 9 Foundation after he received a petition and the organization located children suffering from such conditions from Asangragwa in the Western region as well as from Wa in the upper West region to undergo life-saving surgeries at the KATH.

‘’My friends and myself who are involved with May 9 we try to help. Every year we are involved in something else. May 9 is something we do every year for seventeen years. We received a petition this year from some people in the medical field about this incredible problem of caustic soda ingestion among little children in the unit here. And so we got involved to try and help, bring about change, and secondly highlight the problem for others to get involved in bringing about change.’’

Mr. Mensah continued, ‘’we like to touch the people directly to be sure that the help we give reach the people. Everyone can try to help in their own little way according to their conscience. It is all about the little contributions from individuals. It is not about having big money before you can help though these surgeries are expensive’’.

The President also added 'I acknowledge and thank the sponsors of the project including the media for massively highlighting the problems of the sick children, Sunda international for providing toiletries and detergents for the sick children in the hospital, Conservaria Ghana Ltd. for providing food stuffs, Interplast, Kwabena Kese of Kesben, Ransford Antwi of SunCity and all the sponsors for both cash and kind donations to the ‘Save a sick child Project’ of the May 9 foundation''.

In a speech to climax the yearly memorial events after the long awareness walk in Kumasi, Mr. Herbert Mensah thanked the people for coming out massively in their numbers to participate in memory of all those perished souls. The President also called on other Ghanaians with the means especially the middle class to support the initiative to save children from dying needlessly.

The ‘Save a sick child project’ is an ongoing, all year-round sustainable project that seeks to restore the health of sick children whose parents are unable to personally afford the high cost of treatment specifically targeting victims of accidental ingestion of caustic soda at the pediatric intensive care unit of the Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.

 



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