News and Events


Ebola, a personal view

Reconstructive surgery trainee Dr Abdulai Jalloh has recently returned to his 6-year postgraduate training programme in Accra following a three week holiday with his family back home in Sierra Leone. His email posted on his return gives a chilling reminder of the scale of the threat that everybody in Sierra Leone is living under.

Dr Jalloh and his son

Dr Jalloh and his son

“Just arrived in Accra after spending three weeks in Freetown with my family.

‘EBOLA is a disease for which there is no cure. If you feel unwell please report to the nearest health centre as soon as possible as early treatment improves chances of survival. Stay away from someone suspected of having EBOLA ’

These were the sentences  my son greeted me with on arrival in Freetown. No hug or handshake for me as his teacher had told them to desist from such practices.  This goes to show that even the kindergarten teachers are doing their bit in terms of sensitization and to dispel the myth surrounding the EBV infection.

The general mood in Sierra Leone as one of my friends puts it, is reminiscent of the 90’s: fear, uncertainty and general sense of paranoia, suspicion, rumours and conspiracy theories just as in the days of the civil war.

I do pray that this epidemic, which has had an adverse impact on an already weak health Infrastructure, be speedily brought under control. ”

Dr Abdulai Jalloh, Accra August 2014

Ebola virus in Sierra Leone

The Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone is a crisis which has hit hard; individuals, families, communities struggle to cope with the threat posed by the spread of a deadly virus within a country whose fragile healthcare system is struggling to establish basic care.

Holy Spirit Hospital, Resurge Africa’s Partner in Sierra Leone, along with many faith based or non-state funded institutions has worked hard to provide for the protection of its staff and patients during this crisis. Basic necessities for the prevention of infection have become expensive and hard to find, essentials such as disinfectants, protective clothing, masks, gloves, hand sanitisers, syringes. For these hospitals outside of the state system, there has been little access to the internationally funded equipment distributed through the healthcare system.

A recent grant from Irish based charity Misean Cara  has made 13,500 Euro available to Holy Spirit to supply these essentials and train staff to deal with Ebola. Resurge Africa and the staff of Holy Spirit Hospital are  grateful to our partner VMM for their help in raising these funds

.           VMM International

 

Dr Kargbo to train as anaesthetist for Sierra Leone

Dr Emmanuel Kargbo, a 2011 graduate of the medical school in Sierra Leone will be travelling to India later this year to begin a four year postgraduate training in Anaesthetics. Resurge Africa is proud to sponsor Dr Kargbo, who will be second physician anaesthetist in Sierra Leone.  We are fortunate in our partnership with Prof Raja Sabapathy of Ganga Hospital in Coimbatore, who has facilitated this training. Prof Sabapathy undertook part of his reconstructive surgery training at Canniesburn in Glasgow, and now heads the Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand and Reconstructive Micro Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery & Burns Surgery at Ganga. We are grateful to him for his ongoing support in our training programme.

Generous funding from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission will support the first year of this training programme.

Statement from Dr Kargbo

I am Dr. Mohamed Alieu Kargbo, a Sierra Leonean by nationality. I went through my primary, secondary and university education here in Sierra Leone. I spent eight years in medical school (College Of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, COMAHS – University of Sierra Leone), two years premed and six years for the medical course itself. I graduated October 2011. I did two years house job, six months at Ola-During Children’s Hospital, six months at princess Christian maternity Hospital, six months at Emergency Surgical Center and six months at Connaught Hospital respectively. I completed the house job the 14th November 2013. I was posted to Magburaka Government Hospital as medical officer effective from the 7th January 2014. During this period I had been undergoing in-service trainings organized by credible institutions like WHO, Liver Pool School of Tropical Medicine, unicef, Royal college of obstetricians and Government of Sierra Leone. In all these trainings certificates were awarded.

Honestly the scholarship is a great opportunity both for the beneficiaries and the country as a whole. At least the once a year visit home is an opportunity that will always reminds me of the need for coming home and help the country. Also  it will inspire colleagues to work hard for them to pursue for post graduate training. By so doing it increases the number of trained specialist in the country and will create significant impact on the knowledge about anesthesia as well as the health services that will be provided in the country.

Working home as an anesthetist is expected to be interesting and challenging. Interestingly with the limited number of anesthetists in the country, this will keep me motivated and providing me strength to keep working hard to achieve at least certain minimum standards locally and nationwide.  I will also have the opportunity to teach anesthesia in the medical school. By so doing more people will become interested in anesthesia, do some research work and if not frequently but occasionally giving public talks/lectures on anesthesia. Also as anesthetist, there is this feeling of being the person to depend on before, during and after surgery making me proud of the career. Another opportunity that might be enjoyed nationally is that, other organizations and government will be motivated to sponsor more doctors to specialize on anesthesia as ReSurge Africa have done. Also standards of practice on anesthesia will be improved. While the country maybe waiting for more anesthetist doctors, I may be organizing workshops occasionally for the practicing anesthetist nurses to improve on their practice.

Dr Kwame Darko begins postgraduate surgical fellowship in South Africa

Dr Kwame Darko of the Reconstructive Surgery and Burns Unit at Korle Bu, Ghana,  recently qualified as a reconstructive surgeon with his Fellowship of the West African College of Surgeons. Resurge Africa is sponsoring Kwame for a year’s postgraduat Fellowship in reconstructive surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. This intensive training in one of Africa’s top reconstructive surgery units will round of Kwame’s long training before he returns to his unit in Accra. Resurge Africa wishes him well.

Kwame Darko’s profile:

My name is Kwame Osae Darko and I am currently a senior specialist with the plastic surgery unit of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.
I had my medical school training in the University of Ghana Medical School from 1998 to 2004. I then completing two years as a houseofficer and then took on a job as a Casualty Officer at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi Ghana for six months.
Work as a Casualty Officer exposed me to a myriad of cases and it was from this experience that my interest in plastic surgery was developed.
I started my surgical residency in September 2008. I therefore wrote my primaries to enter the West African College of Surgeons’ Surgical Training Program to pursue a surgical program. I was further motivated by the fact that till date, there are only 8 plastic surgeons serving the entire Ghanaian population of 24 million, making plastic surgery a highly needed service in my country.
Since then I have passed the part two exam under the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, making me a member of the college of surgeons, as well as both my part one and part two (final) exams with the West African College of Surgeons and therefore I am a fully qualified Senior Specialist in Plastic Surgery and by this the official number of Plastic Surgeons in Ghana has been increased from 8 to 10. ( A Nigerian resident in the country also passed after training in the Korle-bu Plastics unit). I now need to concentrate on acquiring experience and more surgical skills.
I am particularly interested in breast surgery in general, but more specifically Post Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction. This is because, after my General Surgery rotation, I came to realize that most Ghanaian women refuse mastectomy for breast cancer because they assume they cannot have any form of reconstruction afterwards. Thus the decision to undergo mastectomy is sometimes delayed or not made at all. Although the Plastic Surgery unit of Ghana handles cases of Post Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction, such cases are not done on a regular basis mainly because of low patient awareness/education and the extreme work load on the regular team of plastic surgeons to cover other conditions.
My dream is to make Ghana a hub for training and surgical excellence in plastic surgery and in particular breast surgery.

Resurge scholar Dr Edem Anyigba completes fellowship in India

Dr Edem Anyigba has recently returned to Korle Bu teaching hospital following an intensive year-long fellowship in Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, under Prof Raja Sabapathy.  Dr Anyigba was very highly praised by his hosts for his attitude and commitment, and his excellent report reflects on the immense value of the learning experience

REPORT ON ONE YEAR FELLOWSHIP AT THE GANGA HOSPITAL IN COIMBATORE, TAMIL NADU, INDIA

Introduction

The purpose of the fellowship was  to increase exposure to general plastic surgery principles and practice and in particular, to gain further exposure in hand surgery

The choice of Ganga Hospital was as a result of the difficulties in placement at the Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit and the favorable “word-of-mouth” report of persons who had visited the unit.

Since the establishment of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre (RPSBC), Trainees have passed through the Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Later developments have made this training option difficult and newer options were centers in South Africa and India. The Indian Fellowship in Ganga Hospital was to be a one year hands-on fellowship with emphasis on Hand Surgery.

The commencement of the fellowship coincided with the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH) Conference in New Delhi, India. Dr S Raja Sabapathy, made arrangements such the fellowship started with participation in the conference which was sponsored by the IFSSH for postgraduates

Report on the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand

The 12th triennial congress of the IFSSH and 9TH triennial congress of the International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy (IFSHT) was hosted by India between the 4th and the 8th of March in Greater Noida, New Delhi, India. The Chairman, and host, who happened to be Dr Sabapathy, made arrangements for my colleague and I to participate in the conference, as well as sponsorship and accommodation for the two of us.

This was the first international conference I had attended and it turned out to be quite an eye opener, in particular, an introduction to outcomes of good organizational skills as demonstrated by Dr Sabapathy and his team of organizers. This was a trait I observed and hopefully have imbibed during the time I spent under his tutelage. Participation the conference also gave me the opportunity to meet and interact with some renowned surgeons in the field of hand surgery. We also benefitted from lectures and discussions with Dr Scot Kozin and Dr Scot Levine, who were guest lecturers at the Ganga Hospital in the days following the conference.

Working Experience in Ganga Hospital

My official date of commencement at the Ganga Hospital was the 11th of March 2013. However I had participated in the hospital activities and ward rounds over the weekend, together with Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah and Dr Kwame Darko.

During the first week I was able to complete registration with the Medical Council of India and registered as a foreign resident with the police, which were requirements for working and residing in the country for periods longer than 2 weeks. During the first week as well, I was also able to secure accommodation close to the hospital and moved from the hospital guesthouse and was now settled and ready to work.

The regular work schedule was in the form of morning and evening ward rounds, three times weekly outpatient clinics and daily theatre sessions from Mondays to Saturdays with Sunday usually reserved for ward rounds and was usually a half working day

 

Outpatient clinic experience 

For a greater part of the year I was in Ganga hospital, outpatient clinics were held three times a week till January 2014 when the clinics were held daily from Mondays to Saturdays. The clinics were always well attended and there was a wide exposure to general plastic surgery cases as well as a plethora of hand cases ranging from fingertip injuries to complex brachial plexus injuries.

There were teaching sessions at the clinic and demonstration of clinical signs and examinations. The only limitation at the clinic was a language barrier when instruction were given to the patients in Tamil.

I also observed, and was impressed, with the doctor-patient interaction and the manner in which the patients were counseled and the surgical options, postoperative management, physiotherapy and follow-up plans explained to them. More importantly the patients were encouraged to ask questions which is not a common practice in my working experience in Ghana.

Another impressive feature was the promptness with which patients needing surgery and willing to have the procedure were admitted and prepared for theatre with no issues regarding waiting list.  Patients admitted for surgery were promptly reviewed by the anesthetist and prepared for surgery the same day or the following day if it was considered a major case.

Operating theatre experience

The operating theatres were run on a daily basis. On non-OPD days, the theatre sessions started after ward rounds in the morning and were a combination of both elective and emergency cases as and when they presented.

The patients for elective surgery were prepared the evening before surgery, consent was taken and pre-operative instructions were conveyed to the ward nurses and explained to the patients as well. An electronic booking for surgery was also made for the patient, which is a simple and innovative method and excellent for record keeping, markedly reducing laborious paper work.

During the first month of my training, I had several opportunities to assist Dr Sabapathy as well as the other consultants in the hospital. The first case I had the opportunity of assisting was an Adult post-traumatic Global Brachial plexus palsy were we performed an exploration of the brachial plexus and neurotization of the biceps muscle with a sural nerve graft. I subsequently had the opportunity to assist more of such cases and several cases of brachial plexus injures who had free functioning muscle transfers for elbow and finger flexion.

Free flaps and local flaps were done almost on a daily basis and I had the opportunity to assist a large number of such cases.

Hand injuries and less frequently amputations also presented an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the management of such cases from presentation and also subsequent secondary procedures carried out for such patients

I gained lot of operating experience during the on call duties which were averagely once weekly with an average of 10 patients presenting during the night and more during the day.

The theatres were well equipped and well stocked with consumables, which made working very stress free, and something to look forward to.

There was absolutely no hesitation to use the operating microscope when it was indicated and I thereby gained a lot of experience in both assisting and performing microsurgery cases.

I also gained a wealth of experience with maxillofacial surgery cases when I joined Dr Ravindra Bharathi during my last three months in Ganga hospital and at the completion of fellowship, I had participated in over 600 hundred surgeries.

Clinical experience on the wards

The wards also presented opportunities to interact with patients and also for teaching during the rounds with the consultants. Doctors generally carried out a number of wards duties, which included writing the case sheets of patients and documenting the daily progress of the patients. Wound dressings and care was also part of the doctor’s duties and I have gained a wealth of experience with wound care from simple wounds to large and complex wounds, including burn wounds, and it also gave the opportunity to detect problems in the early stage and promptly manage them.

Evening rounds, sometimes with Dr Sabapathy and the consultants, were valuable learning experiences and generally included both clinical and non-clinical tutorials. Dr Sabapathy shared important life lessons with Fellows during the ward rounds as well as practical clinical points and technical tips and always emphasized the correct methods of immobilization following surgery and little important detail on postoperative management of patients.

Academic experience

Ganga Hospital is accredited for post graduate training in plastic surgery, hand surgery, anesthesia and orthopedic surgery and also has numerous fellowships in all these disciplines hence, the institution has a good academic set up which was beneficial.

Academic teachings were held three times weekly with provisions made for visiting professors. Teaching was in the form of presentations by the residents, fellows and consultants on general plastic surgery topics, hand surgery topics as well as case presentations which were extensively discussed. I had the opportunity to present a few topics as well as cases.

There was also the monthly Coimbatore plastic surgeons meeting where plastic surgery cases and topics were presented and discussed and I attended all monthly meetings without fail and presented a paper at one such meeting on ‘a rare case of brachial plexus tumor with intrathecal extension in a patient with type one neurofibromatosis”.

Visits by world renowned and eminent plastic surgeons to the hospital was a regular occurrence and  I was privileged to meet and be taught by surgeons such Dr Scot Kozin, Dr Scot Levine, Prof Kanaya,  Dr  Igor Gobulev  and Prof Venkatkhrishnan  who are all leading surgeons in their respective fields .

Microsurgery course

In April 2013, I participated in a one week microsurgery workshop organized by the Plastic Surgery Department of the Ganja Hospital and together with 2 other participants from England and India and together, we constituted the 500th, 501st  and 502nd  microsurgical trainees. The Centre has trained people from all over the world including other African countries and I was the first Ghanaian trainee at the Centre. Though this was the second microsurgical course I had undertaken (the first being the Canniesburn Microsurgery Course), participating in this course further improved my basic microsurgical skills. The training facility is well equipped with good supervision and attention to detail and coupled with the further real microsurgical practice, has greatly improved my skills in this regard.

Conferences and Workshops

I attended a number of workshops some of which were organized by the hospital these included:

  1. The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce Conference on Medical Tourism. Chennai
  2. Ganga Operative Hand Surgery Workshop, Coimbatore
  3. Association of Plastic Surgeons of India Conference. (APSICON 2013) Mumbai
  4. Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Association of Plastic Surgeons Conference (TANPAPS 20140) Tirupur.

These conferences and workshops enabled me gain insight into aspects of plastic surgery which are not commonly practiced in my Centre

During TANPAPS 2014 I presented a free paper on ‘the management of primary tumors of the brachial plexus, a case series of 7 patients’. I am currently working on writing the same topic for publication.

Life outside the hospital

The regular hospital working hours were from 7:30 am to about 7pm from Mondays to Saturdays with Sundays usually being half days unless you were on emergency call.  The other exception was post duty days off where the day ended around 10am following day from 7:30 am on the previous day. There was therefore not much time spent outside the hospital on a regular basis. However, a few friends a will usually organize dinner outings and I spent most of the Sunday afternoons in the multiplex of the Brookfield’s Mall

General impressions

Ganga hospital is an efficient set up and has a lot to offer both clinically and non-clinically. The prompt manner in which lab results, blood and other patient related matters are handled, is something I will like to see implemented in my center.

Radiological investigations and the PACS system made it simple and easy to refer to patient’s images as soon as they were taken

The anesthetist promptly saw patients and there were virtually no anesthetic challenges regarding availability

I witnessed several instances where poly trauma patients were promptly resuscitated and anaesthetized as part of the resuscitation and prompt surgical interventions made. I could only stand back and hope that one day such facilities and services will be available in my Hospital

Working Experience since returning

At the time of writing this report I had resumed work and just after 2 days I have notice a number of areas in which we can make changes that will have a great impact on patient care

Typed discharge summaries can be implemented at the cost of a computer, a printer and a typist and this will ensure that patients will have access to their medical records and will not need to carry bulky folders around. And we could also add to the discharge summaries clinical photographs

Recently, I was in the casualty department and saw a lady with a dorsal oblique amputation of the right middle finger tip, on further enquiry, I was told the plan was to wash the wound and allow it to granulate and heal.  I sought consent and promptly debrided and covered the finger-tip with a V-Y flap. There is still the lack of awareness on the availability of hand surgery services and it is up to the Centre to make this known and our best advertisement will be to actively seek these cases and make the result of our surgical interventions known.

Subsequently, we can then look at popularizing microsurgical services and climb up the ladder of complexity.

Recommendations

For subsequent trainees who will be interested in other fields of plastic surgery, e.g head and neck reconstruction, aesthetic surgery, and breast reconstruction, there are several hospital in the same region where these are done and brief observer ships could be arranged for further exposure to these fields

A memorandum of understanding needs to be drafted and signed in the shortest possible time so that work done during this period will be credited to the trainee as part of the training with certification which will recognized by the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons as well as the West African College of Surgeons.

Further arrangements could be put in place to have interested anesthetists, maxillofacial surgeons and orthopedic surgeons also do fellowships or observerships and this will allow them to see firsthand the results of working together as a team.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Chairman and Directors of ReSurge Africa, the management of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the RPSBC, the chairman of Ganga Hospitals Pvt limited and Dr S. Raja Sabapathy for the opportunity.

I will also like to thank Dr R. Bharathi, Dr H. Venkatramani, Dr K . Balaramani , Dr S. Ramkumar and Dr P. Bhardwaj who were my teachers and have done a really good job imparting clinical knowledge and skills to me.

I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all the doctors and nurses I have worked with in the past year and I hope I made their lives easy as they made mine during my stay, to all these people I say “romba periya Nandri”

 

 

Dr Edem K Anyigba

Changes at Resurge Africa

At the AGM of Resurge Africa held on 7 December in Glasgow, the Directors appointed a new Chair, Mr Odhran Shelly, Vice Chair Catherine Liao and President Prof Arthur McGregor Morris. Dr Patrick Turay, Director of the Holy Spirit Hospital at Makeni in Sierra Leone was welcomed to the board as a Director, as was Mr Allan Burns, retiring from an successful career as fundraiser for the charity.

These new appointments followed the retirement as Chair of Mr Martyn Webster, who has guided and inspired the charity since taking over from its founder Mr Jack Mustarde.

Prof. Arthur MacGregor Morris, an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Medical School KN University in Kumasi, is a retired reconstructive plastic surgery consultant from Dundee, Scotland.
He has worked in Ghana as a volunteer surgeon and teacher since 1994. He has co-ordinated the implementation of funding via Rotary in the East of Scotland to develop a Burn Intensive Care Unit and Reconstructive Plastic Service in Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi.
Mr Odhran Shelley is  a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at St James Hospital Dublin, and Director of the National Burns Unit, Dublin Ireland, and also a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at St Andrews Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns, Chelmsford, Essex, UK
Catherine Liao is a senior nurse in Critical Care and Neurosurgery. She spent 16 months in Makeni, Sierra Leone volunteering as a Nurse Lecturer and Clinical Nurse Educator with VSO and Resurge Africa. Catherine is am passionate about improving healthcare in West Africa through capacity building and sharing of skills.
Odhran Shelley writes:
“I would like to thank all for attending what was a productive, if lengthy meeting. What was especially wonderful was the obvious fact that Ghana, Accra and Kumasi, have become self sustaining units, not only delivering reconstructive care, but now training centres in their own right.

While the vision was Jack MustardĂ©’s this was achieved with the significant energy and enthusiasm of all, but in particular, in the UK , Allan, Arthur and Martyn.At the helm as Chairman, Martyn has given great leadership and direction, and invested heavily in the charity, both profesionally and personally.Allan has provided immense energy and ingenuity , persistence and persuasion to generate the funding and supplies which have allowed it All to happen.

Arthur has delivered and nourished the development of a successful prolific unit in Kumasi.

It gives us all great pleasure that they remain an integral part of the charity. Martyn and Allan as Directors and Arthur as President of the organisation.

Our thanks and warmest wishes to them,

I am honored to have been appointed Chairman at the meeting. There are definetly big shoes to fill! I am grateful that Catherine will be Deputy chair, and welcome Patrick Turay, from Makeni Sierra Leone as a new Director. No doubt there will be other changes over the coming months as we re-organise.

A lot has been achieved, a lot more still to be done, but the vision remains the same.

best wishes

Odhran

Report from Makeni

 

Dr Jalloh in theatre at Holy Spirit

Dr Jalloh in theatre at Holy Spirit

Dr Abdulai Jalloh is a young Sierra Leonean doctor in his first year of postgraduate surgical training programme at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Supported by Resurge Africa, he will return to Sierra Leone at the end of six years. Together with Dr Eric Wongo, also training in Ghana, and with the support of the charity, these two young surgeons will be equipped to run Sierra Leone’s first reconstructive surgery unit at Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni. Dr Jalloh has recently returned to Ghana from Sierra Leone where he spent two challenging weeks working at Holy Spirit Hospital, Makeni with UK Plastic surgeon Barbara Jemec, and Orthopaedic surgeon Rupert Eckersley and their team.  He also spent precious time catching up with his young family. Here is his report:

2 October 2013: I arrived in Freetown on the 3rd of September 2013. After spending few days with my lovely wife and wonderful kids in Freetown, I joined Dr. Barbara Jemec and her team in Makeni on the 8th of September 2013. Two sets of visiting medical students; from the Medical school in Freetown and from the U.K, were also in Makeni. They provided valuable Assistance.

In the two weeks that we spent together, we performed forty one free Surgeries. Mr. Rupert Eckersley (the orthopaedic surgeon on the team) and Dr. Jemec insisted that I be the lead surgeon in most of the surgeries. That was highly appreciated.  Their wealth of experience coupled with the friendly atmosphere made even the most challenging surgeries so simple and learning became fun.  The importance of safe practice and the need for one to be meticulous was constantly stressed. I indeed left Makeni a lot more knowledgeable.

On the 11th of September 2013, the team went to Freetown where Lectures in orthopaedics, Anaesthesia and Plastic Surgery were delivered to a group of House Officers and Medical students. A few consultants from the medical school were also around.

After the early morning ward rounds on the 21st of September 2013, I left for Freetown where I spent a week with my family. Even though I visited them on weekends for the two weeks I was in Makeni, the time we spent together seemed so short. The hardest part was when my son noticed me packing. He told me that he would come with me this time. The disappointment or anger was vivid on his face when he finally realised that he wasn’t coming along. He hardly slept on the eve of the night of my departure. Waking up intermittently during the night to make sure I was around.

On a whole, even though the parting was emotional at the end, the trip was a resounding success as I learned a lot in a space of two weeks. It also made me strengthen my resolve to concentrate on my studies and return home as quickly as possible.

My Family and My country NEED me in Sierra Leone.

Abdulai.

Report from Nursing at Holy Spirit in Makeni

Rose McDaid is Clinical Nurse Educator working with the Nurses to improve nursing care and overall Health Care at The Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni. Her position is supported by Resurge and VMO. Read her excellent report for a great insight into daily work at the Holy Spirit Hospital:
Update and Plans, May 3rd2013.Wi-Fi Access in Holy Spirit Hospital.The visit from the Internet Technology team from Don Gnocchi Foundation in April has resulted in the successful completion of Wi-Fi  access to some departments in the Holy Spirit Hospital.
The departments connected are Dr Turay’s Office  Administration Office and Resurge Office, Telemedicine and Ultrasound department.This work completed the programme which was commenced by Mr Paul Drake of Resurge Africa when he visited in February.

E-learning.

Wi-fi connection enables access to E-learning programmes for Nursing and medical staff. This access will greatly increase the knowledge available for treatment and care of conditions and illnesses which we meet in the hospital daily.

I am looking forward to accessing E-learning programmes for the Nurse Refresher course workshops in the Holy Spirit hospital.

Don Gnocchi Foundation Project Coordinator.  Ms. Esther Zappata has arrived to take up the position of Project Coordinator for Don Gnocchi. She will replace Mr. Sandros Greblo.Ms Zappata is here untill end of July to finalize the Don Gnocchi project. I am looking forward to working with her.

Medical and Surgical Skills Institute (MSSI) Ghana.

MSSI tutors visited the Holy Spirit hospital from 17th April to 23rd April  and carried out three workshops for Nursing staff. These were two day  workshops and the topics covered were Surgical Wound Techniques, Ward Management and Infection Prevention and Control (I.P.and C.)

MSSI tutors return on May 15th for a workshop on Basic Surgical Skills to complete the programme. Overall thirty five nursing staff from Holy Spirit  benefited from these workshops.  Feedback from participants confirmed that  the workshops were a great success influencing clinical skills and nursing attitudes in a positive manner.

Don Gnocchi Foundation funded this training.

Infection Prevention and Control (I.P.andC.) Committee.

One of the outcomes from the workshops is a plan to set up an I.P. and C. committee. Nursing staff will form this committee and the overall aim will be to strengthen and reinforce the importance of Prevention and Control of Infection within the hospital and to highlight areas which need improvement.

Matron, Nursing staff and myself are looking forward to developing this plan for the hospital in the near future.

Educational CD’s and Staff Library.

In the consignment that the Don Gnocchi Foundation sent recently I received very good CD’s in Topics in International Health like Malaria and Sickle Cell and Acute Respiratory Infection. These are very useful for teaching purposes in my nurse refresher courses.

Staff Library.

Rainbow for Africa (RforA) has supplied a number of books for use by medical and nursing staff. We have received other books from other sources also and Mr Allen Burns  from Resurge Africa has included books in the next shipment.

While a staff library is included in the longer term plan for the hospital, at the moment we are hoping to open a library on a small scale.  This would aim to give access to the books to all nursing and medical staff while ensuring that books are returned and cared for.

Esther and I are hoping to get this up and running this month.

Rainbow for Africa. Training and Outreach.

RforA are returning from May 20th to May 31st.  to complete the training programme for the trauma unit.

This training will be in the form of short snaps of training which will fit in with the nursing  ward cover and not disrupt that schedule to much.

Matron, Esther and I will work on that rota this week and the programme will be forwarded to the RforA team before arrival.

Outreach Plans.

Sandros has assured me that there is a small budget available from Don Gnocchi Foundation to facilitate an outreach programme  prior to the visiting missions in June and July.

These missions are RforA Orthopaedic team who visit from June 17th  to June 28th.  and the Resurge team from Accra Ghana who visit from July 9th to 19th 2013.

RforA training team will be involved in this outreach and it is hoped to carry it out for two days in week 20th to the 24th May.

We are also planning to involve Burns awareness raising in this outreach also.

Esther, John Kanu, Jocasta and myself will work on these plans.

Hospital Incinerator and Bleach Programme.

Antonia Cittadino from Don Gnocchi Foundation has completed the above programme at the hospital. It involved supervising and training the hospital cleaning and laundry staff. Thanks to him the hospital incinerator is working again.

These members of  staff are more aware of the importance of safe disposal of hospital waste and infected linens, and the hospital grounds are better cared for.
Nurse Led Diabetic Clinic.

This clinic has been opened now since Wensday 10th of April.

It is a weekly clinic every Wensday from 1000 hrs. to 1300 hrs.

The service involves Blood Glucose monitoring, Urinalysis, Body Mass Index, Eye examination and lower limb examination and Diet advice and general health care advice regarding Diabetes Care. A Diabetes Register is kept of all confirmed Diabetics and clients requiring medical treatment are referred to Dr. Turay.

The first clinic saw a large attendance because Registration, Examination and medicines were provided free of charge.

The last few weeks the clinic has been quieter however there is evidence that Diabetes is quite common within the community.

We keep Dr. Veronica Sawicki from London who carried out the original training informed of developments of the clinic.

A case of suspected Lassa Fever.

We have had a recent case of what was very suspicious of Lassa Fever. The laboratory tests were taken and sent to the treatment unit in Kenema district but to date the case has not been confirmed.

The young man was very ill and transferring him to the treatment unit in Kenema was considered but it was decided he would not survive the journey. He died within 48 hours of admission.

It was a sad and scary experience. However we were pleased that he was isolated quickly and all Standard Precautions and use of Personal Protective Equipment was initiated quickly by all staff involved.

So from that point of view it was a good learning experience.

A list has been recorded of all staff who were involved in his care and we were requested to monitor our temperatures for two weeks following the case. To date there have been no suspects among hospital staff.

Burns Case. Unfortunately there has been a recent burns case of a two months old child who did not survive.

The child received burns to the face and chest from an accident with hot water but the family did not seek medical assistance immediately.

When the case presented at the hospital the respiratory rate and temperature of the infant was increased. Examination and treatment was carried out by Dr Kamara the paediatrician and dressings were done under aseptic technique. However it did not survive the first twenty four hours of admission.

The Staff Bus.

This service is up and running at the hospital and most staff are pleased with the service. However it will only be when the rainy season really kicks in that we will know the real benefit of the bus assisting staff to get to work.

The Rains and the Staff and Residents at the Guesthouse.

Michael and all the staff at the guesthouse are fine.
Esther is getting settled in we will all miss Sandros when he leaves.Jocasta and I are
fine.
Everyone is waiting on the rains they have started but only in short bouts, it is still very hot, but what else can we expect we are in Makeni Sierra Leone.

Bye for now,

Rose Mc Daid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Ghanaian trainee in India is a star

Prof Raja Sabapathy, formerly at Canniesburn in Glasgow, is the supervisor and mentor hosting Ghanaian surgeon Dr Edem Anyigba in Coimbatore, India. Dr Anyigba is  pursuing a one-year reconstructive surgery Fellowship training programme in the Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand and Reconstructive Micro Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery & Burns Surgery at Coimbatore. He is making an extremely positive contribution, as Dr Sabapathy reports:
“This note is just to tell you and all others who were involved in sending Edem to us as to how happy we are to have him. He is a nice person and a wonderful student. I am very confident that he will be a worthy surgeon of Ghana in the future. I am telling him that he has to become the ‘Star of Ghana’! We are teaching him a bit of Tamil also .
Edem is a good ambassador of Ghana here and I am happy that we had a wonderful person as the first trainee. Thank you for sending him.”

Dr Edem Anyigba – report from India

Dr Edem Anyigba

Dr Edem Anyigba

Dr Edem Anyigba is a trainee Reconstructive Plastic surgeon at the Korle Bu teaching hospital in Accra. In March this year he flew to India to attend the international Hand surgery conference, and from there to Coimbatore where he has begun his one-year reconstructive surgery Fellowship training programme under Professor Sabapathy. Edem is funded in this training by Resurge Africa; the charity is grateful to Prof Sabapathy and his institute for hosting and training Edem.
Here is Edem’s first report from India:

 

Hello from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. And thanks to all the supporters who made this fellowship possible.

We (Dr Darko and I) arrived in Delhi on march 3rd 2013 for the IFSSH conference. The conference was very well organized and there was a lot to learn. I attended various sessions on hand trauma and the use of flaps for hand injuries.

The most memorable aspect of the conference was “Reflections of the legends”. Seeing the likes of prof Fu Chan Wei, prof Venkatswami and James Urbaniak share thoughts on their careers was really thought provoking and it strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in hand surgery.

There were so many good lessons and experiences gained from the conference.

We also met with Dr Sabapathy during the conference, a man who I have come to know in the last few days as a very thoughtful, kind and highly principled person and I can see myself learning a lot from him.

We flew to Coimbatore on Friday the 8th of march and were hosted in the hospital guest house. We passed by the hospital and to my utter shock work was going on in full force as if nothing happened in Delhi

We were privileged to have two world renowned hand surgeons give a series of lectures at the Ganga hospital. Dr Scot Levine and Dr Scot Kozin gave lectures on pediatric brachial plexus management

I have so far been involved in clinical work and also assist operations in theatre. There is no shortage of work at the hospital and one year definitely will impart a lot of knowledge and skill

I have also found accommodation which is walking distance from the hospital.

It is a great opportunity to learn and I will make the most out of my stay at the Ganga hospital