Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has officially launched an initiative to mobilise US$10 million for the renovation of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
The event took place at the hospital on Friday, November 10, 2023, and had in attendance the King himself, traditional rulers, market women, legislators, lawyers, actors and actresses, corporate institutions, religious bodies and others.
Hailing Otumfuo for the project, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KATH, Prof Otchere Addai-Mensah, said the renovation had been on the drawing board of the hospital Board for the last 50 years but had to be shelved due to lack of funds.
He highlighted that persistent over-utilisation and consequent wear and tear over the years have made the structure unfit for the provision of contemporary healthcare services.
“Plumbing, electrical wires, windows, roofing, washrooms and all ancillary facilities have for years now deteriorated beyond maintenance,” he listed as he explained the structure has never tasted renovation since its existence.
Describing the initiative as a bold mission that reflects the embodiment of the Asante Kingdom, the Chairman of the Project, Mr Samuel Adu Boakye, urged stakeholders to contribute to the facelift initiated by the King.
He noted, “Our mission is to join great forces to rehabilitate, revitalise, to heal Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the largest and most critical healthcare facility serving our dear Asanteman and 12 other regions in Ghana and also some neighbouring countries.”
He continued, “Komfo Anokye has been the healing point for every soul within this part of Ghana. Today, Komfo Anokye is sick. Let us all contribute to running behind our great long and healing Komfo Anokye. As we gather here today, I implore all to consider the gravity of this situation to acknowledge the significance of collective responsibility. The Heal Komfo initiative is not a project, it is a testament to our unity, to our strength and our determination to secure a healthier, more prosperous future not just for the people of Asanteman but for Ghana as a whole.”
The financial partner to the project, Fidelity Bank Ghana, expressed its excitement to be the lucky partner.
The Managing Director of the Bank, Julian Opuni said the Bank will renovate one floor as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Hospital’s Board of Directors, Nana Effah Apenteng assured of accountability and transparency in the utilization of the funds.
State of KATH Embarrassing
Speaking at the event, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II characterized the current state of the hospital as embarrassing and stressed the urgent need to raise funds to attend to the building which is close to 70 years old.
He disclosed he personally inspected the hospital on two different occasions- all at midnight- to ascertain the degree of its dilapidation and then charged the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Prof Otchere Addai-Mensah and some executives of the hospital to develop a financial proposal for the renovation.
“I’ve been there twice all at midnight to inspect the hospital. I saw the sorry state it sits in…Why should the hospital suffer this fate if Komfo Anokye himself never got ill? So I promised to amass help for this project.”
“12 of 16 regions have their patients referred here. Patients get drenched when it rains and the exposed wires can cause fire outbreaks when rainwater comes into contact with the wires. Even the new Emergency Ward is in dire need of renovation. We will be brought to this hospital when the need arises and so there is a need to work it out.”
According to him, the project cannot wait for any government since many governments reigned and ended their tenure without any particular attention to the hospital.
“Governments come and go but the building remains and it is up to us to renovate it. It shouldn’t therefore be politicised….Though the amount is huge, if each household on this land decided to contribute each month, we would go a long way to heal the hospital.”
Genesis of KATH
In his speech, Prof Addai-Mensah recounted, “As oral history tells us, one Friday-Fofie- in 1695, history was made on this very ground when the foremost high priest of Asanteman, Okofo Anokye led the chiefs of 11 Asante States to undertake a series of customary rites and rituals that culminated in the birth of the Asante Kingdom with King Osei Tutu I as the first Asantehene. One of the most significant artifacts of the momentous occasion was the Komfo Anokye Sword which is buried over here.
“As history tells us, the number of bold declarations that Okomfo Anokye made on a historic day was that this place where the sword is buried will eternally be the place of births, rebirths, healing and unity. It was therefore not for nothing that 250 years later when it became expedient in the 1950s Kumasi and for the matter the northern hub of the country needed a hospital to cater for health needs and the burden of the population at that time, the colonial government awarded to a contract…to put up the magnificent hospital on this grounds.”
Three payment options are available for contribution to an account with Fidelity Bank including a cheque, Mobile Money (MoMo) and a short code.
Contributors can use the *77*1955# option for the shortcode mode or MOMO their contribution to 0544195525 with the Merchant ID195525.
One can also donate to the Cedi account number 2400302340016 or the dollar account 1951302340017.
All these payment modes are under the name “Heal Komfo Anokye”. Meanwhile, the public has been cautioned to be wary of fraudsters who may take advantage of the project.
During the event, individuals, politicians, corporate institutions and religious bodies contributed to the project.
Prophet John Steven Wesley Kofi Amponsah, Founder and leader of House of Ezra Worldwide Ministries donated GHC3,000,000; CEO of UNIJAY Company donated GHC1,000,000; Kumasi Traditional Council also gave out GHC1,000,000, a coalition of Market Associations in Kumasi gave GHC50,000, Presbyterian Church donated GHC10,000 while Goil offered GHC200,000.
Justmoh Construction has taken up the responsibility of renovating a block of the hospital while Western Pharmacy will renovate a floor of the hospital.
Actors and actresses from the Ashanti Region pledged to lend their faces, influence and platforms in promoting the good course for free.
It was relayed that any person who donates certain thresholds will have their names labelled on a wall at the Orange Ward whereas others will have their names displayed in fountains that will be raised at the two entrances of the hospital.