$250m International Children’s Cancer Research Centre for Kyebi

Wish4Life Foundation, a global humanitarian organization has performed a sod cutting ceremony to commence the construction of an ultra-modern cancer facility at Asikam, a farming community near Kyebi, the capital of East Akim Municipality of the Eastern region.

The Hospital, which is designed by Jeffrey Berman Architect, a United State of America (USA) based firm will meet high international standards for delivery of quality cancer care that will translate to enhanced capacity to cure patients.

The entrance of the state of the art hospital when completed

The International Children’s Cancer Research Centre, which is valued at $250 million, will include an innovatively designed and constructed 100-bed hospital and outpatient cancer clinic that will deliver state-of the art cancer care.

The model integrates the African culture of the region in its design, enhances the power grid of the locale by utilising sustainable energy resources (solar powered or a hybrid to reduce operating costs for electricity over time) and creates a soothing, open and restful environment for treatment that promotes healing and recovery for children with cancer and their families.

Key areas of excellence will include state-of-the-art suites in radiology (including CT, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine capability), radiation oncology, pharmacy (meeting international standard for sterility), operating suites (3-4 suites), pathology and intensive care.

As part of a conscious effort for international standard the hospital will provide nourishing food on the Hospital campus for patients and their families and housing for children, their families and Hospital staff.

A full view of how the hospital will look like after the construction

There will be training in food safety and preparation which will take place in training kitchens and cafeterias embedded in the Hospital facilities, as well as outreach to local community leaders and farmers to ensure an ongoing supply of food to support children with cancer and their families.

Speaking to the media shortly after the impressive and timely ceremony, the Founder of Wish4Life Foundation, Dr Tanya Trippett, explained that the state of the art medical facility would serve as a bridge to eradicate prevalent cancer diseases among children in Ghana and other African countries.

She disclosed that the project, which will start in April 2024 and complete in June 2026, enable Africans to have quality access to cancer treatment and reduce mortality, especially with Ghanaian children.

Given the circumstance that led to the birth of the Foundation, the President hinted that her outfit was birthed through the inspiration of a 13-year-old boy who was fighting cancer.

According to her, the young boy, who was her patient, realised that where you are and where you are being treated really determines your outcome, a position she totally agreed to and hence that simple idea has blossomed into one with worldwide reach.

The Founder of Wish4Life Foundation Dr. Tanya Trippett addressing the media shortly after the sod-cutting ceremony

Dr. Trippett, who completed her medical and specialty training in Pediatrics at Duke University School Medical Center continued that Wish4Life Foundation decided to, therefore, embark upon a long-term strategy to create five pediatric cancer research and treatment centers on five continents.

The first of these Centers is the one to be built at Kyebi, Ghana, on 50 acres land donated by tribal leaders and it would serve as a regional referral Center of Excellence for the treatment of children with cancer in Africa.

Dr. Trippett, who is the Director and Co-Founder of POETIC (Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigator Consortium), a collaboration between multiple academic Centers in North America specialising in cancer care whose mission is the development of biologically targeted treatment approaches for children with cancer, that has recurred after standard therapy said 90,000 are succumbing to cancer, especially children in limited resourced nations each year.

She stated that the facility would be founded as a teaching facility for training and knowledge transfer for medical and allied professionals and as a technology hub for Ghana and the countries of West Africa, one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

To her, many hospitals in developing countries lack certain benefits that are common in developed countries, such as clean water and healthy food, which are key ingredients, especially in the treatment of youths with cancer, as patients undergoing chemotherapy have limited diets.

On his part, the overlord of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II commended the foundation for its vision to ensure the health and well-being of children suffering cancer disease.

Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin said that the project would help relieve the burden of Ghanaians who are having problems with cancer treatment and urged the foundation to provide the facility with good health expertise to deliver quality health care to Ghanaians.

Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin conceived that the facility would go a long way to address the healthcare needs of rural folks, adding that HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis have been contained in other countries, but are still here in Africa.

To him, no child should die of malaria anywhere and was glad with the effort of the Foundation.

He was, however, quick to mention that “this facility is nothing that we have ever seen before, but we have to understand that buildings, state-of-the-art equipment, computers and large equipment do not fix human lives, people do.”

He, therefore, encouraged management of the Foundation to ensure that people who are committed to the well-being of humanity are employed to work at the facility.

The founder of the Foundation completed her Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and served in the US Air Force as Head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.

She  is a Board Certified Pediatric Hematologist Oncologist practicing at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with areas of subspecialty expertise include the care of children with lymphoma as well as children with cancers that have returned despite prior treatment.

She is also a clinical researcher and specialises in the design and assessment of investigational therapies – particularly antibodies and new targeted agents that take aim at the molecular signaling pathways that drive cancer growth – for children with all types of cancer disclosed that each year 160, 000 children are diagnosed with cancer.


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