Update on Erica, Liberia’s Neurosurgical First

Erica’s Update: Change takes a Champion

Dear friends, in 2014 Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation went to Liberia for our first Liberian Neurosurgical Medical Mission. We went at the invitation of Dr. Francis Kateh, then the CEO of Jackson F. Doe Memorial Referral Hospital, now Deputy Minister of Health. Our team of volunteer nurses, surgeons and support staff came from Canada, America and Nigeria to give Erica the chance of a lifetime.

Because of her plea, many more Liberians were able to get the vital Neurosurgery they needed. While we were there, Ebola broke out. We soldiered on, and when we got back to Canada, KBNF asked Dr. Kateh (then in charge of Liberia's medical response to Ebola) what Liberia needed most to fight Ebola. We sent over eight containers of medical supplies, beds and support items to help sustain and rebuild Liberia's shattered health care system during, and after the Ebola Pandemic.

It began with Erica, a brave young woman who refused to die because of where she was born. Her courage and dedication to see it through has changed the face of her entire country's medical future. KBNF will continue to support Liberia, to provide education and training to neurological & neurosurgical staff, to enhance safe surgical practices and help grow health care until Liberia no longer needs the support.

Who is your Erica? Where are they from? This holiday season, give for the people like Erica, who are desperate for surgeries, which will bring them back to wholeness so they too can spend their lives improving their countries and loving their families.

Thank you.


Primary Surgery (Volume One) is Published Free Online

Dear KBNF Family,

Our colleague Michael Cotton (part of the G4 Alliance) has released a Second Edition of the free textbook Primary Surgery.

Created as a free resource for medical professionals, this textbook is available here.

From the Preface:

The first edition of this work by Maurice King appeared in 1990 and has established itself as the gold standard of do-it-yourself guides to surgery in the up-country hospital. Some 50000 hours of work went into compiling the mass of expert contributions from many varied and far-flung individuals, all enthusiasts with a first hand indigenous experience of surgery in poor-resource environments. The need for such a book has been amply justified, and 25 years on, its usefulness is in no way diminished. Indeed, there is even greater urgency for such appropriate basic surgical guidelines to be disseminated in parts of the world where people’s access to surgery has been difficult or well-nigh impossible. To this end, it is envisaged that these manuals will be translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese, and also produced electronically as Compact Discs. Publication on a freely accessible web-site will allow more readers access throughout the world.

We are not involved in the creation, editing or establishing of this textbook, but feel it is okay to share the information with our readers.


5th Annual Walk for the Bu A Success!

The 5th Annual Walk for the Bu Fundraiser was a Success!

Thank you everybody who volunteered, walked, ran, rolled and pledged for health care in West Africa on October 1st, 2016. Our 5th annual event was the best yet, with such special people walking for KBNF and bringing their delightful smiles to our day. We had the honour of hosting the Ackah family during our event, and remembered James Ackah for his dedication to his homeland. He never forgot his home and when KBNF needed the finances to help Ghana, James was there. We ended our walk with a memorial for him, speeches from his family and a balloon release in his honour. We will always remember James, and we miss seeing him at our annual walk-a-thon.
So thanks to Diamond Delivery, Charlie's Marketplace IGA in Langley for the BBQ food and Vraeyda Media for sponsoring Walk for the Bu. Thanks to all our pledges, walkers and volunteers who give their time on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis. We're closer to our goals and partnering with hospitals all over West Africa to increase neurological care.

Forgot to Pledge?

Your Walk for the Bu pledges are still welcome! Donate today online.


2016 Spring Medical Mission Retrospective I:Geneva – G4 Alliance

KBNF President Marj Ratel with Arbutus Medical

KBNF President Marj Ratel with Arbutus Medical

The first leg of the Spring Mission commenced May 21st. Marj Ratel and foundation partner Dr. John Sampson (representing Johns Hopkins Medicine) attended the G4 Alliance Summit in Geneva, Switzerland. Sponsored by General Electric Foundation and Safe Surgery 2030, the 3 day event was held at the Intercontinental Hotel and Conference Centre, across the street from the UN and WHO. A 5 star facility, many of the participants including us stayed in alternative more cost effective accommodation across the city. Daily accommodation costs increased significantly the closer to the annual World Health Assembly meetings. The advantage of the location and time is that meetings with country representatives from Africa and around the world are possible.

Dr. Neil Parsan & Marj Ratel

Dr. Neil Parsan & Marj Ratel

G4 Alliance

History

The Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anaesthesia Care (the ‘G4 Alliance’) was formally launched at an event in Geneva attended by government ministers, health advocates and medical specialists in May 2015. The aim of the G4 Alliance is to advocate for the neglected surgical patient, to highlight the vital role of surgical care in averting premature death and significant morbidity from maternal health issues or complications of injury, and to integrate surgical care with existing public health frameworks in a collaborative and mutually beneficial way.

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Five billion people around the world are unable to access safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed, according to the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery report (publicly endorsed by KBNF when released). Out of the 313 procedures performed each year, only 6% are done for the poorest third of the world’s population. For road traffic injury victims, lack of emergency trauma care, safe surgical facilities or rehabilitation services can seriously exacerbate the impact and severity of injuries, while failure to provide care during the ‘Golden Hour’ after a crash often proves fatal. The Lancet Commission’s report argues that “surgery has proven to be a very cost-effective intervention, and failure to treat surgical conditions threatens to significantly compromise the economic productivity of countries. Widespread integration and scale-up of surgical care around the world is necessary to reach new targets for Universal Health Coverage, the Sustainable Development Goals and creation of resilient health systems.”

Marj Ratel & Executive Director Brendan Allen

Marj Ratel & Executive Director Brendan Allen

Responding to the efforts of the G4 Alliance over recent months, as well as to other advocates, health ministers at the World Health Assembly approved Resolution 68/31 on 22 May 2015 which included a call to “identify and prioritize a core set of emergency and essential surgery and anaesthesia services at the primary health care and first referral hospital level, and to develop methods & financing systems for making quality, safe, effective and affordable emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia services accessible to all who need it”.

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Stay tuned for more to come!
Marj


Nigerian Neurosurgery Unit Damaged in Fire!

Tragic news, family!

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Our dear friends in Nigeria, Neurosurgeon Dr. David Udoh, his Head Nurse Priscilla and their staff came to us with news that a fire broke out in their unit.

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Years ago, we sent a container of medical equipment and supplies to set up the Neurosurgery unit at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. Our 2009 Medical Mission had us in that unit conducting surgery and helping the people of Nigeria.

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Dr. Udoh comes on all our Medical Missions, and is an integral part of the KBNF Family. We need to bring them some relief. Help us put the money together to send them a container to replace what was lost.

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Help Rebuild UBTH's Neurosurgery Ward

Help us send a shipping container of medical equipment and supplies to Dr. Udoh’s Neurosurgery Ward in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Dr. Udoh and his team are instrumental to KBNF’s success in West Africa. It’s time to help!