News and Events


Proposed New Laundry and Theatre Sterile Services in Sierra Leone

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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Spirit Hospital in Makeni, Sierra Leone.¬† ReSurge Africa is working with their local partners to replace the current outdated and unsafe ‚Äėlaundry‚Äô facilities with a cost effective solution.¬† This sterile services unit will serve theatre in the first instance, but the whole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.

http://resurgeafrica.org/news/resurge-scholar-edem-anyigba/

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!

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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.

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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”.

ReSurge Africa – Sierra Leone & Ghana Updates

The work continues, despite the Ebola epidemic!  Although the incidence of new cases in Sierra Leone shows signs of leveling off, the removal of some road blocks has led to the discovery of villages with unrecorded cases.  Our International missions have been temporarily discontinued, as we encourage patients to come from outlying areas with the probability of  bringing infection with them.  However, ReSurge continues to train two Sierra Leonean surgeons in Ghana, ready for when the  Holy Spirit hospital is able to resume the reconstructive surgery programme and accommodate patients and clinical staff from further afield.  The main purpose of the charity is to train local doctors, so that the country can be independent from outside help.  The time when we will be most needed will be when our two surgeons return from Ghana to Sierra Leone Рin order to guide, supervise and help them to bring some order to their task.  There will be plenty to do!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

New proposed specialised intensive care unit РReSurge Africa aims to assist Ghana (which remains free from Ebola) to become a country that is capable of looking after acute large burns.  No such facility exists in West Africa.  A specialised intensive care unit needs to be built.  Staffed by surgeons and nurses who have already been trained in the techniques required, but lack the facilities to practice their skills.  This will be expensive Рabout $5 million US Dollars Рbut absolutely necessary.

A campaign to raise this sum will be launched this year.  Meanwhile training surgeons, nurses and therapists continues Рat a cost!

Proposed new unit

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO THIS CAUSE THEN PLEASE VISIT OUR DONATIONS PAGE

http://www.resurgeafrica.org/GetInvolved/Donate_Reconstructive_Plastic_Surgery_Africa.html

Thank you!

 

Allan Robert Burns retires from ReSurge Africa

Allen and anthillAllen & Quaich

Allan Robert Burns joined the team of “ReSurge Africa” in 2001.¬† At that time the charity was known as “The International Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Project (Ghana)”.¬† ¬†Allan has made a significant contribution to building the charity and giving it the strong identity it has today.¬† ¬†Working on his own, he changed the method of raising money for the charity.¬† He searched out Charitable Trusts and Grant giving bodies and approached them individually.¬† With his persuasive skills he raised a great deal of money for specific projects, the main project being the training of young African surgeons in the skills and techniques of modern reconstructive plastic surgery.¬† Through his hard work enough money was raised to be able to train a dozen surgeons and allow the Ghanaian Reconstructive plastic surgery programme to stand on its own two feet.¬† He also made contact with Sierra Leone and the charity has now started to train Sierra Leonean surgeons too.¬† He has also helped to train therapists and nurses.¬† Allan has spent many years in Africa and the well known saying “You may leave Africa, but Africa never leaves you” most definitely applies to him!¬† Sadly he is leaving us.¬† In the New Years Honours list, Allan was awarded an MBE for his work.¬† “ReSurge Africa” is proud of him and wishes him well in his future ventures.¬† He was presented, at dinner in his honour, with an antique silver Quaich in recognition of his work with the charity.¬† A “Quaich” is an ancient Scottish drinking cup – typically presented to a Scottish piper, filled with whisky.

More great news about our Trainees

Dr Eric Wongo

Dr Eric Wongo

Dr Eric Wongo has successfully passed his Part 1 Fellowship of the West African college of Surgeons . He will now join the Reconstructive Surgery and Burns Centre at Korle Bu in Accra as a senior resident/Spr for another 3 years to complete his training.
Thanks to you all for your continual support for Sierra-Leone’s first Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon.

And here’s even more good news!
 

Dr Edem Anyigba

Dr Edem Anyigba

Dr Edem Anyigba whom the charity supported in various ways including sponsoring him to train in India for 1 year at Professor Raja Sabapathy’s unit at Coimbatore, has successfully passed the exit exam of the West African College.

He is now a qualified Reconstructive Plastic surgeon. He was also the only successful candidate in West Africa in the specialty, at this sitting.

I don’t think we need any more justification for the continual investment the Charity has been making in quality training programs.

 

Thank you and Congratulations to all the hardworking team members of Resurge Africa.

Opoku Ware Ampomah FRCS
Director, Reconstructive Surgery and Burns Unit, Accra

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.

‚ÄėEBOLA 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 ‚Äô

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