A REPORT OF MY VISIT TO KOMFO ANOKYE TEACHING
HOSPITAL(KATH) GHANA WEST AFRICA
I arrived in Accra ,capital city of Ghana on 20 th February 2006 around 2030
hours after an uneventful flight on British Airways from Edinburgh via
London. Within the natural stretch of one day I woke up in the freezing cold
of one part of the world and ended up in the warm humid breeze of another.
During the six hours flight I delved into the deep recesses of the mind in an
attempt to mentally explore the possibilities of advancing my vision for
maternity care in the developing world .I believe in the attainment and
sustenance of a significant reduction in maternal mortality in the developing
world regardless of what sceptics say.
The trip to Ghana was therefore a great opportunity to experience the impact
of the prevailing reality on my budding concepts .In short I asked ,will my
vision float or sink in the sea of stark reality?
After a few days in Accra I travelled to Kumasi, the second largest city in
Ghana where KATH is situated.The hospital has a well established Sicke cell
clinic which attends to patients from infancy right through to adulthood.
These clinics are run by haematologists and medical officers with interest in
the disease. The organisation of the clinic is impressive with very good
support from ancillary departments such as the laboratory ,paediatrics,
obstetrics and internal medicine.
I was delighted to find out that over the past two years maternal mortality in
sickle cell patients is on the decline. This is because two obstetricians have
taken up the responsibility of looking after these women in a ‘semi’ high risk
clinic. These patients have direct access to the obstetricians even after normal
working hours. This has ensured a consistent and good standard of care.
There are plans to establish a formal high risk antenatal clinic and I offered
some advice in this regard.
I interacted with the trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and this was
mutually beneficial. I also gave a well attended lecture on advances in
intrapartum fetal monitoring .I organised sessions on CTG interpretation
which generated a some interesting discussion.
Inspite of all the positive aspects of my trip, I was quickly reminded of the
impact of poverty and ignorance on maternal mortality as evidenced by an
unwarranted maternal death I witnessed. It strengthened my resolve to step
up my efforts in every possible way to prevent such deaths……Aluta
continua , Victoria acerta.
My profound gratitude to the BMFMS for the unrelenting effort in promoting
improvement in maternal health globally. Without the unique support of
BMFMS some of the positive aspects of my trip would have been impossible.
Gbemisola Okunoye, MRCOG
Royal Infirmary Edinburgh
VISIT TO K.A.T.H KUMASI, GHANA
DETAILS OF EXPENSES
TRAVEL (PART PAYMENT) £610.00
EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS + BOOKS
(USED AND GIVEN TO THE DEPARTMENT) £250