Accra, Oct.7, GNA - Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday spent his 56th birthday with sick children, vulnerable and socially-excluded persons in the society.
Dr Bawumia first visited Princess Marie Louise Children's Hospital in Central Accra where he presented assorted items to the sick children and gave a cash donation of GH¢10,000.00 to the facility.
He was joined by some children and management of the Hospital as well as some invited dignitaries to cut his birthday cake, amidst singing of birthday songs and merrymaking.
He toured the various wards and interacted with the nurses and medical officers, and also presented gifts to sick children at the facility.
Vice President Bawumia also made a whistle stop at the Autism Awareness and Training Centre at Komkomlele where he made a cash donation of GH¢20,000.00 to the Centre and presented 25 bags of rice and five cartons of cooking oil for the children's up-keep.
Dr Bawumia, dressed in all white outfit, while addressing the gathering at the Hospital, expressed appreciation to God for the gift of life and granting him abundant grace and mercies throughout his 56 years in existence.
He therefore, urged people who had been blessed financially and material and found themselves in privileged positions to share their wealth and blessings with the less privileged in society since that was the essence of life.
Vice President Bawumia, while responding to a request by the Board and Management of the Hospital for support, assured of Government's commitment to fast-track expansion of the facility and provide the needed logistics to improve the quality of healthcare delivery.
In line with government's vision of digitising the operations of health facilities across the country, Dr Bawumia assured of government's resolve to digitise the operations of Princess Marie Louise Hospital as soon as possible, it was the largest and oldest children's hospital in Ghana, in order to offer quality healthcare services.
Princess Marie Louise Hospital was established 94 years ago by the British Colonial Administration and currently has a 180 in-patient bed capacity and between 150 and 200 bed capacity for out-patients.
Earlier, Dr Maame Yaa Nyarko, the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, was full of admiration for the Vice President for showing love and care to the sick and vulnerable in society.
She asked for God's blessings and long life to continue supporting the less privileged in society.
As Oliver Twist asked for more, Dr Maame Nyarko appealed to the Vice President to use his high office to support the rewiring and refurbishment of the facility, in order to provide the medical needs of the increasing number of patients.
The Reverend Father Andrew Campbell, the Board Chair of the Hospital, asked government to build a new children's Hospital at the outskirt of the national capital, Accra, in view of the increasing number of admissions at the hospital, which is located at the Central Business District of Accra.
At the Autism Awareness Centre at Komkomlele, the Vice President observed that, the nation had not paid much attention to the needs of persons with Autism.
He underscored the need for the nation to show much concern to the neglected and socially-excluded people in the society.
He noted that, over the years, persons with Autism had been discriminated against by the society, adding that, “it is about time we all show love and understanding to children with Autism”.
Dr Bawumia pledged government's support to the Centre and lauded Mrs Serwaa Quaynor, the Founder and Director of the Centre for her dedication to the needs of persons with Autism over the past 20 years without any reward.
"As a country, we have not done well with people with special needs, and it's about time we change as government and people and show love and support to children with Autism and provide the needed resources," the Vice President stated.
Earlier, Mrs Serwaa Quaynor appealed to government and philanthropic organizations in the country to come to the aid in order to cater for the wellbeing of the children.
She said Autism was a disorder in communication of affected persons and not a curse and asked the society to desist from discriminating against victims.
She said Autism could happen to anybody's child regardless of one's social standing in society.
Some government officials and Ministers of State that joined the Vice President to celebrate his birthday included Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, Mrs Cynthia Morrison, the Minister of Gender and Children's Protection, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, a Deputy Minister of Energy and Mr Mohammed Adjei-Sowah, the Mayor of Accra Metropolitan Assembly.