We are on a pillow making journey, as Jocelyne and I prepare to begin teaching KBTH nurses in the med-surg and trauma units the critical importance of nursing care. Topics include Neurovital Sign Assessment, Communication is the Key, Pillow Talk, Stroke Teaching and Basic Patient Care is Not Basic, It is Life Saving. The need to reposition patients faithfully every two – three hours and ensure excellent hygiene are areas that all nurses worldwide must deliver. Research supports that good oral care equals an average reduced stay in hospital of five days! Why? Bacteria from gums and mouths can facilitate pneumonias, brain abscesses, lung abscesses, heart value destruction, etc. Oral care saves lives!
I firmly believe that a picture is worth a 1,000 words! It sure is for me. Consequently, Jocelyne will be illustrating brain scans to the nurses, enhancing the principles taught.
Pressure sores are another area that is entirely preventable and yet all too frequently encountered. Consequently, in order to prevent pressure areas, the resources are required. And one of the main resources is repositioning regularly using pillows. So we’re on a pillow and pillow cover hunt. My day tomorrow includes heading to town to meet with companies that sell waterproof fabric. The DON and I met with the KBTH seamstresses and covers will be sewn beginning next week, if we’re able to procure fabric. A KBTH stamp will be applied to each pillow cover.
A first KBNF meeting with Samuel Ampen-Asare took place this afternoon, as he begins his journey as a Board of Director. We have been invited by Dr. Gladstone Kessie to visit Nsawkaw and Techiman towns up in Northern Ghana. Nsawkaw is the town where we sent a container shipment in 2006 at the request of HE Dr. Margaret Amoakohene, previous Ghana High Commissioner to Canada. Jocelyne and I Googled the terrain and highway and discovered that it is very flat while many trees are in evidence. Dr. Kessie is now opening up a 100-bed hospital in Techiman and requests professional guidance.
Our most recent container shipment prepared for two hospitals in Nigeria and containing a wonderful selection of laundry, hospital equipment and supplies will be landing at Tincan Port, Nigeria, November 13th. We’ll keep you posted and our Nigerian team will be meeting to unload. I can hardly wait!
In the midst of spontaneous laughter and free trade organic coffee wafting through the air, nine energized volunteers joined together over the course of 10 wonderful hours on Tuesday, October 23rd, as we folded, packed, labeled and hoisted laundry onto skids for West Africa.
We congregated in the VGH old laundry department on the ground floor behind Centennial Pavilion, working on getting our incredible hospital linens and supplies so graciously donated by western Canadian hospitals and laundry services packed up for transfer to needy hospitals in Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Snacking on delicious barbequed chicken sandwiches, fruit, oatmeal cookies, muffins and oatcakes, seldom was there a moment when someone wasn’t giving their heart for our dear West African family.
Marlis, Ivy, Elsa, Vangy, Joyce, Peter, Christina, Brenda, joined me for an incredibly productive day. Thank you soooo much, ladies and gentleman!!! And thank you to Darren Schemmer’s mom for letting her friends know. Marlis came as a result of that effort. And many more would have liked to have joined us, and will try to make it in the next couple of weeks, as we succeed in getting all of these donations ready for shipment. I’ll keep everyone posted on our next event.
Click here to see images of how much fun we had.
I was recently given many new neuro and medical magazines, generously donated by Dr. Jan Stoessl. They are making their way over to Nigeria as I speak.
I had to relocate them from my car prior to their transfer to the container shipment. I “happened” to see a Lancet November 2011 magazine perched on the top of one of the piles. It caught my attention. Besides an article about Dr. Stoessl, his life and his upcoming co-chairing of an international Parkinson conference in 2013, there was a very interesting article on the challenges of developing neuroscience in Africa. I have attached it below for your review.
The article identifies that the priority areas of epilepsy and stroke prevention can be treated for pennies a day. It also identifies that neuroscience developments are not for the faint at heart. I am pleased to know that we are not faint of heart, but are committed through and through.
I sent the article to Dr. Johnson, Chief Medical Officer, John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center – the leading Liberian hospital. Here was part of his response: “Our number one cause of death in internal medicine ward at JFK is not HIV or Malaria, but complications due to hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, such as stroke, and other neurological problems. So, there is need for a center that can address these major and emerging neurological problems we are facing as a developing nation.”
I believe you will find this article of significant interest, as we move forward advancing the cause of neuroscience in West Africa.
Here is a link to the article: Lancet Article. Enjoy!