Analyses of the Types of Neurological Disorders- Korle-Bu Hospital 2012
“During the summer of 2012, I was fortunate enough to visit Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. While there, I participated in a project that analyzed the types of neurological disorders that presented at the Korle-Bu Hospital. I hope to continue working with the faculty and physicians there so that Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital can continue to maintain its excellent standard of care.”
Intermittent Prevention Treatment- Ridge Regional Hospital, Public Health-2013
I spent about 8 weeks in Ghana. The first 6 weeks were spent at Ridge Regional Hospital. I completed a project that was assigned to me by the Greater Accra Regional Director of Health, Dr. Linda Vanotoo. I completed a survey comparing IPTp (Intermittent prevention treatment in pregnancy) dosage to birth weight. Since Malaria is endemic in Ghana and is thought to lead to high rates of anemia and low birth weight when contracted during pregnancy, Ghana has instituted an initiative where women should receive 3 doses of IPTp (anti-malarial drugs) during gestation. Since the implementation of the initiative in late 2004, birth weights have increased and a greater percentage of women are receiving the antimalarial drugs. The goal of the survey was to see if there is a direct link between the number of IPTp doses and birth weight. After surveying about 120 women, I found that about 50% of the women received all 3 doses and those that received 3 doses had an average birth weight of 3 kg while those that received less than 3 doses had an average birth weight of 2.7kg. I plan on collaborating with Ghana Health Services to take this research further.
During this time, Dr. Vanotoo also provided me with Maternal Death Audits from Tema General Hospital. I analyzed the reports and submitted them to Dr. Vanotoo. I found that the greatest cause of maternal death is from Anemia/Hemorrhaging and Hypertensive disease.
There happened to be a 3-day polio vaccination campaign during the time that I was in Ghana. I participated for 2 days. I helped volunteer at one of the vaccination clinics and also visited the various sites and health facilities where the vaccinations were being given with the Director of Health of the Osu-Clottey District.
The final week or so was spent at the Osu Government Maternity Home. There I learned how to use a fetoscope to hear the fetal heart rate, interview/counsel patients, perform vaginal exams, and even had an opportunity to deliver a baby.
Rheumatic Heart Disease – Renewed Attention to an Old Problem-Ghana 2013
“During my second visit to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (March – April 2013), I was interested in evaluating the burden of Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) diagnosed via echocardiography in the patients at the National Cardiothoracic Center located on the grounds of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra Ghana.
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) remains a major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in developing countries and with the transatlantic migration of people for various reasons, it is increasingly important to implement better surveillance by health care personnel in developed nations. Although the preceding infection Acute Rheumatic fever (ARF) and RHD are rare in developed countries, they pose major public health problems among children and young adults in developing countries where these diseases are endemic with their most devastating sequelae presenting during the most productive years of the affected population.
The objective of my project was to evaluate the burden of RHD in Ghana by evaluating the echocardiography data in patients evaluated at the National Cardiothoracic Center Accra Ghana between November 2010 and November 2012. I was able to review over 9000 echocardiograms conducted during this period, and the World Heart Federation criteria for echocardiographic diagnosis of RHD was used to determine if a patient met the criteria for RHD.
While there are still limitations to capturing the real burden of the RHD in Ghana, this information learned from the project will provide evidence-based information to clinicians in educating patients, establishing surveillance programs, and providing better care to patients presenting with RHD. I hope to submit an abstract of my research findings for publication in the near future.”
A goal of the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation (KBNF) is to encourage student interest in the continued development of healthcare and medical research in West Africa. As Chair of Research for KBNF, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and Cell Biology and as a University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor, I find it significant to inform students of the importance of viewing healthcare, education and research on a global level. I relay to them my experience with the KBNF, in regards to assisting in creating a team to develop a neuroscience research program at the University of Ghana.
We want to recognize the outstanding students from UTMB who dedicated their time and service to contribute to health-care and research in West Africa. I served as a faculty mentor to the students listed below and The Global Health Program at UTMB provided financial support and additional mentoring to the students for their travel to Ghana. Posted on our website the coming week are comments from Rosalyn Adigun, MD PharmD, Roslyn Oduro and Amara Uzoma-Uzo regarding their experience in Ghana. We congratulate these ladies for their unselfish commitment to others.
Lisa Cain, Ph.D.
Chair, Research for the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation