The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has donated One Million US dollars towards the construction of an infectious disease isolation and treatment facility at the Ga East Hospital.
The construction of the facility is being spearheaded by the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, which expects it to be ready for use by the end of May – six weeks after the sod was cut for the project to start.
When completed, the facility will be the main treatment centre in Ghana for people who become critically ill after contracting COVID-19.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC, Dr Kofi Koduah Sarpong, said it was very easy to convince his board to approve the donation of One million US dollars in support of the facility as part of its corporate social responsibility.
The project is estimated to cost about 4.5 million US dollars and Dr Sarpong says the GNPC is very proud to have contributed almost a quarter of the project cost.
“The donation of the one million was approved by our board of directors for us to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Indeed, we came to a conclusion that if during the fight against Ebola steps had been taken to put in place an infectious diseases treatment centre in the country, maybe we won’t be caught with the situation we have on hand where we don’t have any dedicated facility for such disease.
“So, we saw the initiative from the private sector as a good one for us to join so that at least some legacy can be left from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Sarpong said.
After the completion of the project in Accra, the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund is promising to construct similar infectious disease centres in Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale. The President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo, has lauded the initiatives of the fund as very important components of the national effort to contain and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Sarpong said the GNPC was open to supporting the construction of the facilities outside Accra as well.
“Subject to the approval of my board of directors, which I don’t think they will withhold, we will be joining the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund in their bid to do similar constructions in Kumasi, Tamale and the western part of this country where the oil comes from. We are joining them in this regard to make sure that specifically our contribution will be towards the delivery of these treatment facilities,” he said.
He added: “We need to encourage the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund. We need to work with them. It is good that they are embracing the public sector like the GNPC. I’m sure there are other organisations which can help them deliver.”
Dr Sarpong said the good thing about the private sector was that they got things done as quickly as possible “and that s one of the motivations why we joined them.”
“I want to congratulate the Private Sector Fund Trustees for taking the initiative. People thought that the fight was that of government alone but they have demonstrated that together with the government a lot more can be done,” Dr Sarpong said.
The Managing Trustee of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, Mr Senyo Hosi, commended the GNPC for contributing to make the vision of an isolation and treatment facility real in Ghana.
“The nation wins when the public sector joins hands with the private sector and what the GNPC has done is a clear example that together we can achieve more and that together we can overcome COVID-19,” Mr Hosi said. “We are very grateful to the GNPC for seeing the wisdom in this initiative and supporting us with the funds to help bring this vision to fruition. We will deliver this project in good time to make us all proud,” he said.