Thanks . . . and keep it coming!
Morning family and friends! Thank you so very much for your financial support! Every time Christina informs me that another donation has come in or I receive mail and there’s another cheque, my heart leaps for joy! We are well over half way there now with the funds needed to support the electricity needs for the outgoing hospital equipment to Ghana. Keep it coming, friends! Every contribution brings us closer to sufficiently fulfilling this need.
KBNF has been on a mission to provide the suitable power converters to support superb electrical tools, surgery equipment, hospital beds, machines and equipment being shipped over to Dr. Gladstone Kessie’s 100 bed Mt. Olives Hospital in Techiman, Brong Ahafo Region of northeastern Ghana. Ghana’s voltage is 220-240 Volts compared to Canada’s 110-120 Volts. We need a minimum of 20 electric power converters to ensure that the electrical equipment being sent can be effectively put to use. After some considerable team research, the suitable converters chosen have the capability to handle any 2 machines simultaneously.
In partnership with The Compassionate Warehouse, the 40 ft. container was chock-a-block with donated hospital supplies, furnishings and equipment including 20 wonderful electric / manual beds, with nary an inch of air allowed between anything. Brenda, Diane and I stood in awe as we watched Dell’s team pack the container like they were painting a masterpiece. It was a gift of exceptional planning, effort, and execution.
We are preparing a 2nd container for Mt. Olives in May, providing another load of excellent beds, dental equipment, and everything not ready to be loaded this time round including the converters. I would be remiss if I didn’t express our appreciation to Diamond Delivery for their faithful diligence and promptness in picking up equipment and supplies from around Vancouver and delivering wherever Brenda informs them it has to go.
Sponsor a converter and save lives!
Just one example of how lives can be saved . . . Imagine a child struggling to breathe. Can you picture how desperately helpless the staff and family would feel when their loved one is choking and there’s no access to equipment? Suction machines are critical for basic patient safety. Electricity is required. Because of your partnership, we can address this issue.
WE NEED YOUR HELP. . .
Your support is what gives KBNF the ability to extend our hand in partnership with Ghana and West Africa.
Either on-line via our website: www.kbnf.org or by phone or mail.
Thank you everyone!
I am so pleased to report that our Nigerian container was cleared from Tin Can Island Port last weekend. The first half of the container, destined for our University of Benin Teaching Hospital neurosurgery unit in Benin City, was delivered while the second half is on its way to a new maternity clinic in northern Nigeria.
We want to thank all of our team for their diligence in donating their time, expertise and effort in making this shipment possible. And big thanks to Rick Diamond and Diamond Delivery for their faithful support in transferring equipment and supplies from Vancouver to Victoria. Arranging for Seaspan to take our cargo across the Georgia Strait for free was such a cost savings. And thank you to Compassionate Resource Warehouse, led by Dell’s team, for their amazing attention to detail and efforts to fulfill the requests of our Nigerian friends – ensuring the load was filled to the maximum (i.e. no air!).
This shipment started with a heartfelt plea to help provide equipment for a maternity clinic being constructed for village women dying giving birth and our neurosurgery unit’s 20-bed expansion in Benin City.
We’ll keep you posted as photos come in.
Thanks again, everyone!!!
Click here to see additional images.
Two weeks ago, Jocelyne Lapointe, Samuel Ampen-Asare, and I headed up to Techiman, a city of 5,000 in the Brong Afahu region, in the interior of Ghana. We flew up to Kumasi, then headed north, a two to three hour drive along a beautifully paved road. I noticed groups of people, mostly women, gathering up garbage in piles along the roadsides along the way. I learned that the government has a program to deal with garbage, paying citizens a small amount to retrieve the trash.
Arriving in Techiman, we were met by Dr. Gladstone Kessie, medical director of Mount of Olives Hospital. Gladstone was the medical director of Nsawkaw Hospital in Tain District, when KBNF sent in a container shipment of equipment and supplies four years ago. Currently, Gladstone is managing to deliver basic care to many patients in the district from a dilapidated facility and aged equipment. They have a simple operating room, and a nurse anesthetist provides support one-day a week. Their facility is simply overflowing with outpatients while they house approximately 30 patients in cramped quarters. They have a simple lab, a pharmacy, and a very organized medical records department.
Gladstone took us to the new 100-bed Mount of Olives Hospital under construction and expected to be ready for patients March 2013. It is very impressive. It will house two operating rooms and two floors of patient rooms, with bathrooms and showers in each room. A dental clinic, conference rooms and apartments for visiting medical mission teams are housed on the 3rd floor. A separate facility will be constructed on the property for kitchen and catering services, as well as toilet facilities for the community. Dr. Kessie and his wife are undertaking this project, funding it independently. His passion for his people is quite simply palpable. KBNF will be pleased to partner with his hospital in providing a container shipment of hospital equipment and supplies, along with teaching, training and medical mission support.
Gladstone runs an ultrasound clinic in Wenchi that provides service to the community. It also offers free ultrasounds for the district’s pregnant mothers. He explains that this advocates for their unborn children; otherwise, many mothers would not receive the prenatal care they need.
Mount of Olives Hospital houses a school for caregivers. Many of these students are hoping to become nurses someday and this is their entry option into the field. Jocelyne, Samuel and I taught two classes of approximately 30 – 40 students over the course of four hours. What is becoming so very clear is that we can teach skill, but without compassion and caring, it is practically worthless. In my visits with nursing and hospital administrators everywhere, from Sierra Leone to Liberia to Military 57 to KBTH to the UK, they are all saying the same thing, that many nurses are missing a critical ingredient: HEART. We’re hearing how so many nurses are focused on the job as employment and not as delivering health care.
Please click here to see images of the mission.
The past week has been a flurry of activity, most of which did not include access to the Internet.
The Shiashie Sunday school children and I spent another energized morning Sunday, sharing inspiring Bible stories and drawing pictures. The artistic skills of these children are, in many cases, simply astounding. And the attention to detail amazed me. Singing lustily the ABC Bible song, I realize that it is becoming a favourite. They certainly enjoyed looking at pictures of themselves on my laptop. I look forward to one more Sunday with them, and will be pleased to give them each a candy cane.
This week we received the 300 pillow covers, prepared and donated by Polytex Industries. This was their first effort in providing pillow protectors and did an excellent job. Many thanks to the Managing Director, Dayal Thawani and his nephew and Finance Comptroller, Sashi Kant.
Next, we headed to AshFoam, a local company manufacturing pillows, sheets, towels and mattresses. We met with the Managing Director, George Massih, a gracious man. He learned of KBNF and the need for pillows at KBTH. As a result, AshFoam donated 50 synthetic, anti-allergen pillows, and significantly reduced the cost of another 100 pillows, purchased by KBNF for the various hospital departments. Many thanks to George and his team!
The shrink wrapped pillows were transported to KBNF by van and taxi. Next came having each pillow stamped with the KBTH logo prior to permanently sealing with the pillow covers by the sewing department. Jocelyne, Sammy and Alfred Lutterodt will present to KBTH.
Thank you all for your financial support in this tangible way, supporting our West African patients.
Click here to see additional images from the mission.
Late Monday afternoon, I met with the KBTH Director of Nursing (DON), Mrs. Victoria Aku Quaye. She is so very pleased to hear of the developments at KBNF, including my availability to teach nursing skills plus the opportunity to receive hospital linens, stretchers and mattresses for the hospital. They are so very dearly needed. Nii Otu Nartey, Victoria, and our team will put forward a proposal to solicit the funds from KBTH / MOH for shipping. I am so pleased! I expect to be spending quality time with the nursing department on Wednesday as we embark on various teaching sessions. My focus at the moment is teaching the value and skills of turning of patients, giving quality mouth care and general care, as well as charting skills. The DON is eager to visit Vancouver and meet with nursing departments, learning how they deliver North American standard care. We will arrange a visit for next spring.
Today began with a visit to meet with the KBTH Chief Orthopedic Surgeon, Rev. Dr. Abendigo Addo, Administrator Dr. Holdbrook Smith, and nursing sisters, as I handed over the donation of orthopedic instruments useful for their surgery cases. (Dell, they were so pleased with the quality of instruments. Thank you so very much!)
I shared the opportunity for shipping stretchers over. They were overjoyed and asked if we could raise the number to 30. As I walked through the emergency department, I observed decrepit stretchers perched high or collapsed in the hallways holding precious Ghanaians in every possible nook and cranny. And many other patients waiting in hallways and out on the lawn. The need for the new emergency centre is fully evident everywhere you look.
Seth Ayettey and I went to visit Patrick and Megan. Patrick, a Sierra Leonean, suffered a serious C7 spinal injury September 19th, when a tree struck him while driving in SL. Megan, his devoted fiancée, made every plea possible to get him transported to KBTH for emergency neurosurgery and care. He was stabilized by KBTH neurosurgeons and is now recovering at the Dean’s Guest House, while currently challenged with quadriplegia. Patrick has limited abilities in his grips and arms (right superior to his left) and thankfully, has sensation throughout his body. We are following up on his progress and how KBNF can support this tragic situation. Advanced physiotherapy will be pursued and we’ll arrange for Jocelyne to give expert recommendations on follow-up MRI scans. Seth will be following up as well with rehab. We trust his recovery will continue steadily.
Speaking of rehab, this is an area that is critically needed here and everywhere. Whether trauma, stroke or other maladies, there is no designated in-house rehabilitation unit. Jocelyne is recognizing this as a serious need and something that needs to be addressed sooner than later.
I’m heading over to meet with the KBTH neurosurgeons and deliver neurosurgery drill bits for their OR cases. Many thanks to Loretta Chan for her diligence in collecting them for our service here. And also to Dr. Felix Durity, for his inspiration in ensuring donations of these kinds are made possible.
Click here to see additional images from the mission.