News and Events

NHS Doctor Guy Stanley visits Ghana as deadly floods strike

Floods in Accra

Floods in Accra

NHS Doctor, Dr Guy Stanley, with a special interest in Burns and reconstructive surgery is visiting Accra in Ghana as part of a research project.  Dr Stanley arrived on June 3rd as deadly floods were striking Accra.  He writes from Ghana:

“I arrived in Ghana on Weds 3rd June at 8 pm, during torrential rain. ¬†I was picked up in a van, which got stuck in a river, with rising water. ¬†There were many objects, which struck the van – furniture, building materials and vegetation but fortunately we didn’t get washed away. ¬†The van did take on a lot of water and needed bailing out for 4 hours. ¬†When the flood eventually subsided, the driver and I tried to push the van out of danger and jump start it, to no avail. ¬†Consequently, I walked to my accommodation with all luggage, making the first day pretty scary and eventful. ¬†While I had a prolonged journey, I would later find out that many people lost their lives in the floods. ¬†I’m currently learning about the clinical duties required of a plastic surgeon, spending time on the wards and in theatre. ¬†This involves caring for two young victims of a tragic explosion, which killed many people, during the flooding. ¬†These patients have sustained substantial facial, thoracic and upper limb burns and are both being treated on the unit, as there are not enough Intensive Care beds available. ¬†There is a great deal of media interest and we have had visits from the presidents of Ghana and Togo as well as a delegation from Ivory Coast along with a prominent religious leader, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams.”

Dr Guy Stanley

guy stanley

Dr Guy Stanley



Floods in Ghana, and subsequent gas explosion brings tragedy to many

Flooded Gas station

Flooded gas station

Explosion at Gas Station

Explosion at gas station

The devastation brought about by deadly floods in Accra Ghana on 3rd June and subsequent gas station explosion has brought tragedy to hundreds of individuals either killed or injured.

The major fire which arose after the gas station explosion caused major burn injuries.  Survivors are being looked after by the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit in Korle-Bu Hospital, Accra.  Major burn injuries are complex and require ongoing intensive medical care, and reconstruction.  Patient rehabilitation and reintegration is vitally important and requires intensive therapy, which will support the survivor in the years after.

We at ReSurge Africa extend our sincere sympathy to those affected by the recent devastation.

We also realise that Ghana has become a centre in west Africa for Gas and Oil exploration and production.  There are no purpose built facilities to manage burn injuries in the appropriate setting.

With our Reconstructive Surgery colleagues in Ghana we recognise the urgent need to develop the infrastructure necessary to manage major burns in the future.  This tragedy reinforces our commitment and vision for a regional burns centre in Ghana



Mr Odhran Shelley FRCSI, FRCSI(Plast) FEBOPRAS

Mr Odhran Shelley FRCSI, FRCSI(Plast) FEBOPRAS


Take part in ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’


Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth was inaugurated on Commonwealth Day 2014 and was immediately embraced as a pioneering and innovative new way for people to celebrate the Commonwealth in local communities. Flags were raised at over 750 places across the
Commonwealth in 2015, and all looks set¬†for there to be more than 1,000 local¬†ceremonies and celebrations on¬†Commonwealth Day 2016. ¬†If your community would like to take part then you will find instructions on what you need to do in the ‘Guide to Taking Part in ‘Fly a Flag’. ¬†Click on the link below and follow the points 1,2 and 3 on page 5. ¬†You will also find instructions on purchasing your own Commonwealth Flag on page 5. ¬† ¬†If you buy a flag then you will be able to store it away ready for the next time as this event is an annual one.

Fly a Flag Guide 2016

If you are a school, or club you could use this occasion as a fund raising event. ¬†ReSurge Africa is one of the ¬†registered charities. ¬†The Guide has been updated with this years events and illustrates¬†who took part and will give you an idea how your community could¬†get involved and ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’

Allan Robert Burns receives his MBE


Allan and his family at Buckingham Palace

In May Mr Allan Robert Burns collected his MBE from HRH Prince Charles, at Buckingham Palace.
Allan received this honour for setting up Bobath Scotland, a centre that helps children who have Cerebral Palsy and also for his 14 years of tireless work with ReSurge Africa. During those 14 years Allan raised a great deal of money for ReSurge and his significant contribution to the building of the Charity has helped to transform countless lives.
ReSurge are proud of Allan and congratulate him on receiving this very well deserved honour.

Proposed New Laundry and Theatre Sterile Services in Sierra Leone


Funding is in place for the building of a modern, properly equipped, effective laundry and theatre sterile service unit at The Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni, Sierra Leone.¬† ReSurge Africa is working with their local partners to replace the current outdated and unsafe ‚Äėlaundry‚Äô facilities with a cost effective solution.¬† This sterile services unit will serve theatre in the first instance, but the whole hospital will ultimately benefit.

This is a wonderful opportunity to develop a really good system, and the outcomes will be multiple.

  • ¬†Better cleaned and more hygienic linen for patients
  • More hygienic working conditions for the laundry staff
  • Better isolation of clean and soiled linen
  • High temperature sterilisation, reduced chances of infection
  • Faster and efficient turnaround reducing infection risk
  • Clean, regularly changed linen which instils psychological confidence in the patients.
  • Better disposal of waste products; better control of pathogens

Plans are being worked on and we will keep you updated as the project progresses.

Osha – documentary from Sierra Leone

Shot in Sierra Leone in 2014 on the last Resurge surgical mission before the Ebola crisis took hold, this video trailer gives a glimpse of the project to establish Sierra Leone’s first plastic and reconstructive surgery department. The film was made by Surg+Restore, our partner based in Oregon, USA, whose particular mission is to train a consultant anaesthetist for Sierra Leone, and thereby double the number of physician anaesthetists in the country.

Dr Paa Ekow Hoyte-Williams attends 12th Biennial Flap and Microsurgical course in Ibadan, Nigeria

Between the 16th and 21st March 2015, Dr Paa Ekow Hoyte-Williams from the Komfo Anyoke Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana attended the 12th Biennial Flap and Microsurgical course in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Dr Hoyte-Williams writes:

 “The 12th Biennial Flap and Microvascular course organised in the sub-region provided a unique opportunity for me as a trainee in plastic surgery to get to know from first hand, microvascular techniques and also add-on to my armamentarium of reconstructive flaps.

The faculty members for the course were mostly Nigerian Surgical consultants who had all participated in various flap courses in different parts of the world and have brought their experience to bear in designing the Ibadan flap course.¬† The Surgical expertise included Plastic Surgeons, an Oculo-plastic Surgeon, Urologist, Maxillofacial surgeon and an Orthopaedic Surgeon.¬† The only external faculty member was Mr Augustine Akali MBBS, FRCS(Ed) MSc (UCL), FRCS(Plast) from Yorkshire who was participating for the first time.¬† Mr Akali shared his experience in microvascular surgery in the UK, the challenges he faced, and how he overcame them, inspiring all the residents to aspire to excellence.‚ÄĚ

Hoyt williams flap course 2

hoyt williams flap course 3


Hoyt Williams flap course 1Hoyt williams flap course 4‚ÄúThe introduction to basic microvascular techniques has been a great eye opener and indeed has stimulated my interest to pursue it and further develop the skills to enable me to practice in my centre.¬† The interactive environment, especially meeting colleagues at the same academic level in different institutions with similar challenges was a great motivation to develop my practice to the highest standards.‚ÄĚ

Dr Paa Ekow Hoyte-Williams

Dr Edem Anyigba attends WSRM Conference in Mumbai

In 2014 Edem Anyigba returned to Ghana from a year-long surgical fellowship in India, supported by Resurge Africa.

His abilities and outstanding attitude were highly commended by Professor Raja Sabapathy, and he was invited to return this year to attend a major international conference and continue to build ties between the units.

Dr Anyigba writes:

Edem and Wayne Morrison

Wayne Morrison & Dr Edem Anyigba

Edem and Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor & Dr Edem Anyigba

Dr Edem Anyigba & Kunihiro Ishida

I had the opportunity to interact with many consultants and fellows I had previously met during my stay in Ganga hospital, as well as photo opportunities with giants in the field including Wayne Morrison and Ian Taylor. This meeting offered me the opportunity to see what others are doing, on the flip side.

There were several presentations on the use of flaps without the need for microsurgery and this I find particularly relevant in my setting. An important lesson I also learnt was that, ‚Äėnot all new things are the best and also not all old things should discarded‚Äô. Another important lasting lesson was also that when people see success, what they don’t see is the persistence, multiple failures, sacrifice, good habits, hard work and dedication that lie beneath the success iceberg.

I would like to thank the Director and Board of Resurge Africa and I would also like to extend my heart-felt gratitude to Dr Sabapathy for an excellent conference and the invitation to attend, and I can assure one and all that this will transform patient management at our Center‚ÄĚ.

I arrived in Mumbai on the 19th March.  I attended the opening ceremony later in the evening, and I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural display.  The scientific sessions started on the 20th of March and I elected to attend the master class session on lymphedema, and was priviliged to listen to David Chang a leader in microsurgical management of lymphoedema

Wayne Morrison - WSRM Mumbai march 2015

The plenary session later in the morning featured leaders in the field who delivered various talks on the theme of the conference: Looking back, surging ahead.   I was particularly inspired by the talks delivered by Scot Levin, Wayne Morrison and Ian Taylor.  Dr Morrison’s talk traced the history of plastic surgery, and recognized the efforts of the pioneers including Dr Gibson of the Canniesburn plastic surgery unit.

Dr Taylors talk on vascular pathways was also particularly fascinating.   The talk detailed the meticulous research they carried out the determining blood supply to the skin.   Later in the day I attended sessions on perforator flaps and the emerging workhorse flaps

On the second day, the session of particular interest was one on microsurgical training and international fellowships, this featured a talk by Dr Sabapathy in which I was mentioned as one of the fellows at Ganga hospital Р it was a proud moment for me.   Other speakers also detailed training opportunities in microsurgery in the various units across the world.
Anand Sharma, who had earlier given a talk on leadership, was available for an interactive session during the lunch break. I attended this session and again picked up some potentially life-changing tips.

Dr Sabapathy's talk - WSRM Mumbai march 2015Dr Sabapathy again delivered a theme lecture ¬†“Looking back, surging ahead- limb salvage – achieving outcomes worth the effort”.¬†¬†The lecture was particularly intriguing because it is making a shift towards limb salvage in cases where the limb would have otherwise been amputated. A case in point was a cross hand replant whose follow up shows good function with the prostheses on the other upper limb as a supporting limb

On the last day of the congress the most interesting session was ‚Äú my most challenging case‚ÄĚ ¬†Six accomplished surgeons were given 10 minute slots to present their most challenging cases . ¬†Although some presented multiple cases, this session highlighted the difficulties one will face in¬†his career and the outcomes which depend on the relationship between patient and the surgeon. One striking case was a patient with massive lymphedema with imminent cardiac failure. She had surgery,¬†and 47 kg of diseased tissue removed at surgery.

The last session I attended was on ‚Äėmicrosurgery in war and mass casualties‚Äô it was an instructive session that also features the use of cutting edge technology to preserve tissue in injured patients.

Dr Edem Anyigba

Martyn Webster’s visit to Ghana – March 2015

In the middle of March, retired surgeon Martyn Webster paid a visit to Ghana, to teach trainee reconstructive plastic surgeons and to visit the facilities available.

There has been concern about the high mortality associated with Burn injuries in Ghana (and in all of West Africa!)

The introduction of Oil and Gas into the community has been responsible for an alarming increase in burns with an unacceptable mortality.   Better facilities are required and Ghana is setting about providing these and also ensuring that Surgeons, nurses and therapist are trained to familiarize themselves with up to date techniques.

A visit to the offices of the National Petroleum Authority in Accra, showed that they are concerned about the situation and want to help to improve it.  A very helpful visit was made to the Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Victor Asare Bampoe, Dr Sylvester Anemana, the Director of Health Services and Dr Gilbert Buckle, The Chief Executive of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital  all of whom were enthusiastically supportive of a programme to improve the service .   Hopefully this will happen!


An interim improvement has been promoted by using a vacant building next to the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and burns Centre, although that building is inherently unsuitable and another purpose built unit will be required to make full use of the techniques required.  Land has been secured for this purpose.

Two trainee Reconstructive surgeon will be sitting their final exams for the West African College in April.  Dr Pa Hoyt РWilliams from Kumasi and Dr Priscilla Biney are good candidates and are expected to pass this exam with flying colours.  They took part in tutorials arranged by Martyn which also included other trainees.


A quick visit to Kumasi where the new Accident and Emergency Department at the Komfe Anoyke Teaching Hospital was admired.  Plans to build a self contained Reconstructive Plastic surgery unit there are also under consideration.

A & E CENTRE kath

A successful visit, with the impression that everything is being pursued with great enthusiasm!

Martyn Webster

Update from Holy Spirit hospital – Makeni, Sierra Leone

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Positive¬†news¬†from the Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni, Sierra Leone – Dr Patrick Turay, ¬†a trustee of ReSurge Africa and Medical Director of the Holy Spirit hospital writes ¬†“We have reopened to inpatients admission. ¬†The turn out is low as expected but gradually it will pick up. ¬†There is a need to rebuild confidence in the populace about hospital settings. ¬†The transmission rate of the Ebola virus is decreasing in most parts of the country and there is growing confidence that it will soon be contained”.