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Sierra Leonean Nurse trainees – SRN training at Njala University, Sierra Leone

Nurse Trainees from Sierra Leone

Nurse Trainees from Sierra Leone

Earlier this year, with the support of ReSurge Africa, three Sierra Leonean nurse candidates started their SRN training at Njala University in Bo, Sierra Leone. Foday Koroma,  Fatmata Jalloh and Augustine Kamara are now four months further down the line.

On the 27th July 2015, Augustine Kamara writes:

“Greetings, I am Mr. Augustine kamara, Trainee State Registered Nursing in Sierra Leone , four months back I¬†traveled¬†from my home Makeni city to Bo city with the purpose of going through the State Registered Nursing Programme¬†at Njala University and becoming a well trained and qualified State Registered Nurse (SRN),This is indeed a great opportunity and I thank RE-SURGE AFRICA charity and partners for their assistance, I should have started this course eleven¬† months back but due to the present Ebola outbreak in the country, His Excellency the president Dr. Ernest¬† Bai Koroma and the World Health Organisation (WHO) decided that all schools, colleges and universities across the country should be closed as this is one of the preventive measures to be put in place for combating the disease.

when the confirm Ebola cases has decreased, His Excellency the president permits learning institution to reopen again on the 16th April 2015, but before this could happen we have lost one academic year and the educational system has been depreciated, Notwithstanding, the government and the ministry of education have put modalities in place to restructure the educational system in the country.

 As a State Registered Nurse Trainee, I am really enjoying the course even though there are a lot of challenges. Four weeks back I have been posted by the University to Bo city government hospital for practical training on nursing procedures, I really enjoyed the practical training on the procedures of nursing at the hospital, I have returned from the hospital to continue my theoretical classes.

State Registered Nursing training at Njala University involves two exams each academic year, presently I am preparing for the first exams which will commence on the first week of next month.

The course has been a challenge on several issues however¬† I thank God¬† for the grace to persevere, my family and RE-SURGE AFRICA¬† team for their assistance, May GOD continue to bless RE-SURGE AFRICA members and partners.”

Fatmata and Foday add:

“As a State Registered Nurse Trainee, we are expected to be computer literate. But to my disadvantage I don‚Äôt know how to use a computer and cannot afford to buy one and am facing challenges in school to do my research and project writings. I have been posted by the University to a surgical clinic in BO city a few weeks ago. I happen to learn about various surgeries which I have never witness during my course as a State Enrolled Community Health Nurse (SECHN) and even during my working experience at the HOLY SPIRIT HOSPITAL.

I really enjoyed the practical training. I have returned from the hospital postings to continue my theoretical classes. We are suppose to start our first semester exams on the first week of August.”

I thank you for providing such a wonderful opportunity of capacity and human resources training, I promise to give back more to HOLY SPIRIT HOSPITAL and its wider Sierra Leone community at large.”¬† ¬† Fatmata Jalloh


“As a state registered nurse trainee, I am really enjoying the course even though there are a lot of challenges. Four weeks back I have been posted by the university to mercy hospital manage by the united Methodist church organisation Bo city for my first practical training on nursing procedures and for me I was refreshing on what I have been doing because nothing was strange during the practical training, I have returned from the hospital to continue my theoretical classes.

State registered nursing training at Njala University involves two exams each academic year, presently I am preparing for the first semester exams which will commence on the first week of August.

The course has been a challenge on several issues but however, I thank God for his grace upon my life to persevere, My family, the Re surge Africa team and the holy spirit hospital for their assistance, May God continue to bless Re surge Africa team and partners.” Foday Koroma





Dr Levi Ankrah gives presentation at the BAPRAS Summer Meeting 2015 – Bruges, Belgium

Dr Levi Ankrah

Dr Levi Ankrah


Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium


The BAPRAS Summer Meeting 2015 was held in conjunction with the Royal Belgian society for Plastic Surgery (RBSPS) in the outstandingly beautiful city of Bruges from 25th to 27th of June 2015.  The venue for the meeting was the Concertgebouw, Bruges.  It was also the 60th anniversary of the RBSPS.


The Meeting was attended by Dr Levi Ankrah.  Dr Ankrah, from Ghana, is a Registrar in plastic surgery whom the charity has supported to undertake post-fellowship training at Canniesburn Hospital in Glasgow.

Dr Levi Ankrah writes:

“My presentation was on the afternoon of day 1, 25th¬†June, in a parallel session on Burns, Skin and Vascular. It was my first time in Belgium and the first time I was making a presentation abroad at an international conference. I had previously submitted an epidemiological study on burn-related injuries in the National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre (NRPSBC), Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) which had been accepted as an oral presentation. The title of the paper was ‚ÄúLiquefied petroleum gas-related burn injuries: An experience from an emerging oil and gas economy‚ÄĚ and it had previously been accepted (though not presented) for oral presentation at the ISBI meeting 2014. “


Liquefied petroleum gas related burns: An experience from a burns unit in an emerging oil and gas economy

Levi Nii Ayi ANKRAH, Edem ANYIGBA, Kwame DARKO, Opoku Ware AMPOMAH, Albert PAINTSIL

National Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.


Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has gained widespread acceptance and usage in Ghana. As a domestic fuel, consumption rates have risen four-fold in urban areas within the first decade of this millennium. In 2008, the transport sector accounted for about a third of LPG-consumption, with many commercial drivers using hybrid engines that run on both petrol/gasoline and LPG. However, unpublished data from our unit indicated a rising trend in the incidence of LPG-related burn injuries (12.8% in 2008, 15.1% in 2009 as presented at the 1st and 2nd Ghana Burns Conferences respectively). With the recent discovery and drilling of commercial quantities of crude oil along the Ghanaian coastline, we anticipated an increase in consumption as a result of greater availability and cheaper prices. This we hypothesized might eventually lead to a possible increase in LPG-related burns. Data on burn injuries was therefore required to inform national policy.


A prospective study was conducted over a 20 month period (January 2013 to August 2014) in 480 patients. Data was collected on the patient’s demographics, aetiology of injury, extent of burns (%TBSA), presence of inhalation injury, length of hospital stay and mortality. Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.


The commonest cause of burn injury was scalds (52.3%) and LPG-related burns as the second (21.7%). This was a significant difference from earlier results where burns from open flame (e.g. being trapped in a burning building) ranked second. Furthermore, in combination with burns from other petroleum-related products (such as petrol, diesel or kerosene related fires), these accounted for a quarter (26.1%) of all burn injuries presenting to our centre. Children under 5 made up 42.1% of all burn injuries, with 72% of these from scalds.

The LA50 for our centre was a %TBSA of 24.27%. The mean hospital stay was 28.8 days. The mortality rate was 26.5%, more than a third of all deaths (36.8%) resulted from LPG-related burns. The average TBSA burn percentage in LPG-related burns was 30.56% (range of 6 to 95%) which was second only to petrol-related burns. There was a significant difference in survival and %TBSA based on the aetiology of burn (p <0.01).


This is the first study that investigates the epidemiology of burn injuries in Ghana’s largest teaching hospital and indicates a worrying trend in the increase in LPG and other petroleum-related burn injuries. In light of the recent mass casualties resulting from petrol explosions and the high incidence of LPG-related burn injuries, significant national policy guidelines and protocols need to be developed in order to curb this trend. Our centre is also faced with some peculiar challenges in managing severe burn injuries and with the recent steps to establish a Burns Intensive Care Unit, we expect some improvements in morbidity and mortality figures. Targeted interventions are also required in children under 5 to reduce the incidence of scalds.

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