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Dr Nana-Akyaa Yao: Ghana's only specialist who takes care of children's heart problems


The entire country of Ghana has one paediatric cardiologist in the person of Dr Nana-Akyaa Yao and although one in 100,000 births in Ghana is a baby with heart complications, Dr Yao is the only one we can call.


Dr. Nana-Akyaa Yao is the only doctor who specialises in taking care of the hearts of infants and little children in Ghana. If you think the country lacks general health workers, it is worse with specialists. According to a Myjoyonline.com report sighted by YEN.com.gh, every heart defect of any child living anywhere in Ghana requiring special attention must find Dr. Yao. This, a silent crisis, is compounded by the fact that one out of 100,000 babies born in Ghana is statistically at risk of heart complications. The delicate nature of infant and toddler bodies makes paediatric cardiology a bit different from the work of your everyday cardiologist, the latter, even an area Ghana lacks.

Dr. Yao, a veteran of over 20 years, admits the obvious that more hands are needed on deck. Basic measures such as screening of babies so that complications if any can be detected early is unavailable. She worries that most children who are luckily detected early hardly make it as a result of lack of resources to cater for them. Their only hope is to seek health care abroad but majority of parents cannot afford it. But the Rotary Club of Accra wants to change things. The club is sponsoring two doctors to harness skills in Pediatric Cardiology to help salvage the situation.


Dr. Yao notes that the call for government to broach the subject and find solutions has been difficult. The hope is now that the gesture of the Rotary Club will provoke a national conversation and focus one of the most difficult aspects of health delivery.


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