A gospel musician, Nii Okai, has launched another campaign to raise funds to support open-heart surgery for 40 heart patients.
Dubbed the “40 hearts campaign”, it is to mark his 40th birthday and it would be implemented under the auspices of the Nii Okai Saving Hearts Foundation.
The seed money for the campaign, which is the second to be carried out, would be realised from the proceeds of the launch of a single and latest album, Yes Hi (God is Good), on September 24, 2017.
Launching his new campaign at a press conference in Accra last Tuesday, Nii Okai said the initiative was to show appreciation to God for the good done him in his 40 years’ life and in his music career.
The first campaign was to mark the 10th anniversary of his debut hit album-Moko Be. He used the proceeds to help 10 patients to undergo open-heart surgery successfully. The beneficiaries are said to be doing well.
The success of the initial campaign led to the creation of the foundation in collaboration with the Ghana Heart Foundation.
He said his decision to choose to help heart patients was underpinned by the fact that statistics from the National Cardiothoracic Centre and other sources had indicated that many people suffered from serious cardio-vascular diseases but could not afford the cost of treatment, especially when surgical interventions were required.
Surgery is estimated to cost $6,000
Nii Okai also expressed worry over the difficulty people with such conditions outside of Accra encountered in seeking medical care because there was only one Cardiothoracic Centre in Ghana, located at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
“We must laud the sterling effort of the centre, which serves not only Ghana but the entire sub-region, as well as the Ghana Heart Foundation for the good work both entities are doing considering the number of patients involved,” he said.
Nii Okai described his initiative as not a mere fundraising to facilitate heart surgeries but a “force-for-good” in shaping national policy on heart diseases in particular and to promote healthy lifestyles.
He appealed to all benevolent institutions and well-meaning Ghanaians to come and support the album launch and in effect help save 40 hearts. He also expressed gratitude to all his partners and donors over the years.
In a video documentary played at the ceremony, Dr Samuel Blay, a heart surgeon at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital said one out of every 100 children had a heart disease in Ghana but their families could not afford the cost of treatment.
The occasion was graced by other renowned musicians such as Joe Mettle, Eugene Zuta, Cwesi Oteng and many others.