October 2013

Chief Surgeon Report Summary

In October 2012, Dr. Stephen Gordon, M.D. travelled to New Abirem in order to conduct reconstructive plastic surgeries while training the hospital staff on the procedures and techniques.  During his short visit he screened 75 patients and operated on 22 with the assistance of Dr. Addams Mahami and hospital staff.  Dr. Gordon is also a surgical facility inspector who has helped American hospitals obtain accreditation of their surgical facilities.  What follows is a summary of Dr. Gordon’s evaluation of New Abirem Government Hospital.

Hospital Improvements Accomplished Made Before Visit:

  • Upgraded from medical clinic to hospital approximately 2 years ago
  • Construction of male, female and obstetrical wards*
  • Large capacity generator*
  • A new water well and pump are in the process of being constructed*
  • Medical supplies, surgical dressings, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, hospital beds, paint and cleaning supplies donated by GhanaHope Foundation
  • Hydraulic operating table donated by Dr. Gordon

The efforts by hospital staff, especially Dr. Mahami, to prepare for the visit were impressive.  Dr. Mahami was able to obtain and OR table as well as a stand light, anesthesia machine, and cautery unit.  The operating room was created out of what used to be a lab area.

The hospital leadership and the OR staff were found to be very cooperative, eager to learn and hard working.  They all worked extremely long hours without complaints.

Hospital Improvements Needed

  • Cleanliness of facility!
    • Assurance of employment of janitors
    • Running water
      • There was no running water during vast majority of the time
      • Restrooms and drinking fountains were not functional
    • Outdoor shower facilities built
      • To reduce risk of infection
    • Insitution of community volunteer program
    • Development of outpatient surgical treatment of keloids
    • Better organization of hospital supplies
    • Focus on re-usable equipment and supplies instead of disposable
    • Development of burn unit
    • Mosquito netting to keep insects from infecting open wounds
    • Creation of a hospital library

Goals for February 2013 Trip

  • Determine how financially invested the Ministry of Health and the District Government are in needed hospital improvements
  • Determine which players pay for what (facilities, resources etc.)
  • Help implement a cleaning schedule for hospital facilities.  Relay the extreme importance of having a clean facility and that future donations are contingent on a policy of cleanliness becoming a reality.
  • Follow up on water issues
  • Follow up on restroom issues
  • Discuss outdoor shower facilities with Newmont Mining
  • Meet with community members, traditional government and hospital administration to develop a plan to insure the community is more directly involved in the success of the hospital.  Develop volunteer plan.

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