A 38 medical team from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) has ended a week-long free surgical outreach for residents in the Upper East Region, particularly at Sandema in the Builsa District.
The team, which was made up of reconstructive plastic surgeons, paediatric surgeons, Obstetrics and Gynaecologists, general surgeons and Anaesthetists, attended to more than 130 patients with various conditions.
Some cases operated on included cleft lips, keloids, goitres, thyroids, fibroids, lipomas, hernias, scars, lumps and birth defects among others.
In an interview with the Chief Executive Officer of KBTH and the leader of the Team, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, he said that as a tertiary healthcare facility, they have the requisite personnel and expertise to give back to society.
He said the outreach was one of the ways of reaching patients in far-off regions who needed urgent medical attention but cannot access care, due to space and financial constraints.
Dr. Ampomah also noted that the outreach provides an opportunity for hands-on-training for practitioners and capacity building for smaller healthcare facilities, adding that it helps the smaller hospitals to reduce their backlog of surgical cases, due to availability of skilled personnel.
He revealed that the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burn Centre had been undertaking a number of such outreach programmes since 2015, during its 15th Anniversary.“At the time, I was the Director of the Centre and felt the need to extend plastic surgery services, which had just five specialists in Ghana, to remote areas”, he revealed.
He said that in 2014, Christ to the Rural World, a wing of the Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry (CEM) partnered the Centre for a surgical outreach in Jirapa in the Upper West Region.
He noted that since then, the collaboration had been ongoing to provide highly specialized and needed surgical services to patients in the remote parts of the country.
Dr Ampomah thanked Ghana Health Service and Christ to the Rural World, a wing of the Charismatic Evangelism Ministry (CEM) for their support in helping the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital undertake a successful outreach to residents in the Upper East Region.
Reverend Dr. Emmanuel Tsegah, a coordinator for Christ to the World and a member of the outreach team in an interview noted that providing the free surgeries did not only relieve beneficiaries of their financial burden, but gave them a new lease of life.
He said a patient with hernia, for instance, would have difficulty in working on his farm and a woman with a fibroid may not successfully become pregnant. If such a condition is removed the woman can successfully have children, Dr. Tsegah added.
A beneficiary of the Outreach, Anthony Arioyunpa Azertiba, in an interview said he developed hernia about five years ago. He said the condition had been a bother, preventing him from working effectively on his farm.
Mr. Azertiba said he could not afford the cost of a surgical operation and was, therefore, happy when he heard that a team from Korle Bu was coming to Sandema to offer free surgery.
The Chief of the Builsa traditional area, Nab Azagsuk Azantilow II, could also not hide his joy and appreciation when he met a section of the outreach team.
“For leaving behind your work in Accra to come and relief my people of their pain, you are doing the work of God,” he said, adding, “when my people are strong, they can go to their farms and my Kingdom will be strong too.”