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Readout of First Lady Melania Trump's Visit to Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana

October 03, 2018

First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Accra, Ghana Tuesday morning. Mrs. Trump was greeted by the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States Embassy to Ghana, Christopher Lamora. Flowers were presented to Mrs. Trump and local schoolchildren greeted her waving United States and Ghanaian flags. Mrs. Trump was welcomed to the Jubilee Lounge for an official meeting with Mrs. Akufo-Addo.

In the afternoon, accompanied by USAID Administrator, Mark Green, Mrs. Trump visited the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, also known as Ridge Hospital. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provides robust assistance to this hospital, specifically to support maternal, newborn, and child health. The First Lady and Administrator Green were met by Mrs. Akufo-Addo, the Hospital Medical Director, Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison, who escorted them on a tour of the hospital. The first stop was to the old wing of the hospital, the Child Welfare Clinic, where they observed how newborns were weighed with cloth bags hanging from a scale, and their vitals recorded in a ledger. The medical staff showed Mrs. Trump and Administrator Green how they educate new mothers on infant care and the importance of immunizations and good nutrition. The second stop was to the new wing of the hospital, where the First Lady and her delegation visited the newborn intensive care unit. Mrs. Trump also had the opportunity to meet with new mothers being trained in the hospital's Kangaroo Mother Care – a method used in caring for premature babies where infants are held skin-to-skin with the mother. Before departing, Mrs. Trump donated baby blankets, teddy bears, weighing sacks, and diaper bags to the hospital. All donations were personally selected by the First Lady.

The First Lady then traveled to the Jubilee House to meet with Mrs. Akufo-Addo at her residence on the grounds, where they discussed the importance of maternal and newborn health in all communities.

In the afternoon, the First Lady met with the Chargé d'Affaires, Christopher Lamora, and his staff at the United States Embassy to thank them for their service to the United States.

On Wednesday morning, Mrs. Trump traveled to the central region of Ghana to meet with Chieftains at Emintsimadze Palace and tour Cape Coast Castle, one of about 40 castles used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. As is custom, before touring Cape Coast Castle, Mrs. Trump had an audience at Emintsimadaze Palace with Cape Coast's Paramount Chief, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II and chieftains to be granted permission to visit the Cape Coast Castle. During a cultural ceremony, the chieftains gifted the First Lady with a traditional Kente cloth, hand-made sandals, and a hand-made necklace and bracelet.

Following her visit to Emintsimadze Palace, Mrs. Trump walked throughout Cape Coast Castle, visiting significant locations, including rooms that were formerly used as slave dungeons. The First Lady placed wreaths in the Male Dungeon and the Female Insurgents' Cell in memory of the tens of thousands of innocent people brutally impacted by the cruel injustices that took place at Cape Coast.

"I want to thank the people of Ghana for such a wonderful visit and the opportunity to learn about their history and culture," said First Lady Melania Trump. "My time in your country was filled with so many meaningful stops. It was encouraging to see the commitment and compassion of Ridge Hospital staff and their focus on maternal and newborn health, and I want to thank Mrs. Akufo-Addo for accompanying me. I also enjoyed visiting with the Omahen of the Oguaa Traditional Area Cape Coast, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, queen mothers, and other traditional leaders at Emintsimadze Palace, and it was an incredibly moving honor to have the opportunity to pay my respects at Cape Coast Castle. Thank you to President and Mrs. Akufo-Addo for their hospitality and to the hardworking Embassy staff who helped make this visit possible. I look forward to visiting Ghana again in the future."

Melania Trump, Readout of First Lady Melania Trump's Visit to Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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