Fall 2016 Medical Mission Nursing News

Our Fall Mission began with the arrival of Karen Currie, RN, in Ghana on November 6th 2016. Dianne Perry, RN BSN, a recently retired Canadian nursing educator, with expertise in various specialties including surgery, obstetrics and tropical diseases, joined Karen from Europe. Dell highly recommended Dianne and KBNF was able to facilitate her Ghana Visa via Italy.

After a 2 day stay in Accra, they travelled to Techiman by air. Karen and Dianne discovered a kindred spirit. Dianne’s influence was immediate, as she commenced her day on the nursing units at 05.30 hrs. Working alongside the nurses, Dianne taught them in groups of 2s and 3s in short sprints. She was urgently called to the OR one night to help deliver a baby via C- section. Mom and baby were in crisis and it was thought that the baby would not survive. However, both mom and babe did fine, much to everyone’s relief. Triplets were born and are doing fine, coming in for regular weekly checkups. Dianne’s impact was well noted and she reports she will be pleased to return for future missions.

Hazardous nursing practises were addressed and corrected. Some of these practises we have tried to correct in the past, but were observed to have resumed. Having the by-in of various nursing leaders helped to make this transition more effective. Providing an alternative that made sense to the nurses seemed to have the desired effect. Reinforcement was necessary and will continue to be so. Another decision solidified by Dr. Kessie to enhance nursing care is that the TV perched by the nursing station would be relocated to the maternity unit. Nightshift breaks are being monitored closely and have improved.

The nursing administrators, Thomas and Robert are motivated and understand the need to advance the nursing department. They partnered closely with Karen and Dianne throughout their stay, very grateful for all the expertise. They look forward to visiting Vancouver for an educational experience.

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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.