The Wish 4 Life Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has embarked on a US$20 million initiative to construct a cutting-edge cancer treatment facility in Kyebi, Eastern Region.
The move aims at improving access to cancer treatment for children in the country and across the continent.
The development comes against the backdrop that some 1,300 children are diagnosed with cancer, with the belief that a significant number of children are not accounted for due to lack of access to healthcare.
It is also understood that most children are found to have advanced diseases at the start, with only three comprehensive cancer treatment centers available in the country.
Available data suggests that eight out of ten children in the U.S. are cured of their cancer whereas nine out of ten children from developing nations do not survive their cancer.
It is against this that the initiative, dubbed the “Voices for Life campaign,” is seeking to raise an initial US$20 million as the seed capital for the state-of-the-art facility to improve access to care.
This seed capital will be used as part of the initial investment of the project, cover initial expenses, and possibly secure the support and involvement of local stakeholders.
The larger goal is to secure a total of US$250 million for the project targeted to be completed in two years.
It is expected that the remaining funding, which would be approximately US$230 million, will be sought from donor partners abroad. These donor partners may include international organizations, philanthropic foundations, or individuals who are willing to contribute to the project, it said.
The Founder of Wish 4 Life Foundation, Dr. Tanya Trippett, noted that the reason for the campaign is not only to construct the hospital. She explained that if the other sources of revenue streams for the facility pick up a large proportion of the bill, the money will then go into the operating cost.
“So, we would like to start day one with equity that’s available so patients can be treated, staff be paid without worrying about a shortage,” she added.
Dr. Trippett, who was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the campaign launch in Accra said, Ghana has one of the stellar healthcare systems on the continent and provides a stable foundation for a facility of this nature.
“The doctors are excellent; they are open to even accessing more knowledge to cure cancer. So, we are partnering together to be able to do that. And this is really an exceptional quality of this country,” she stated.
“In addition, the use of technology and information technology in particular we really jettison the center and the capability,” to make it more accessible, she added.
Dr. Tanya founded the Wish4Life Foundation in response to the wish of her young cancer patient, whom she treated and cured, that other African children have access to the quality of care that made his cure possible.
The focus of the Foundation is a global humanitarian initiative designed to provide or enhance the opportunity for a pediatric cancer cure for children in developing nations.
Through access to essential medical expertise, medicines and supplies, resources, and infrastructure support, the Wish4Life Foundation will provide capacity building in partnership with pediatric cancer programs in the global healthcare community.
The initial work of the Foundation to address this unmet need was conducted in Rwanda and now has broadened in scope with an outreach to Ghana where the Foundation will create its first sustainable International Children’s Cancer Research Centre that will later be recapitulated in other developing nations.
To make the facility affordable to the people, Dr. Trippett said there will be partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to give medicines, and structured programmes, making it possible for many of the drugs to be covered for free.
Donors are encouraged to contribute to the project through Stanbic Bank as well as through mobile money short code of *718*25*958#.