Roslyn Oduro, Second Year medical student UTMB Galveston
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.