Are you an accredited Neurosurgeon? A surgical nurse? A prosthetics technician? A compassionate person? We need you.
KBNF has projects ongoing in West African countries Ghana, Liberia, & Nigeria. To see these projects succeed, please donate.
"As the English mathematician and philosopher Alfred Whitehead once said, 'the art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.'" (By Reva Goujon & Matthew Bey)
Neuro Rehab for Ghana
Stroke resulting in some form of paralysis is a very common medical problem, in part due to the high incidence of untreated high blood pressure and diabetes. Developing a Neuro Rehabilitation Program & Unit at the Mount Olive Hospital in Techiman, Ghana is on the wish list of its director, Dr Gladstone Kessie. The first phase, initiated during the 2016 Spring Medical Mission trip, was to establish an out-patient rehabilitation clinic and train the staff in simple techniques that will improve the quality of life of stroke patients.
A second clinic was held in November 2016, attended by over 300 people.
Equipment and supplies for this clinic were received, and unpacked on site to the immediate use of patients recovering from stroke and like disabilities. Those struggling with mobility were given custom mobility aids free of charge. More clinics will be held in 2017, as a permanent clinic will also host rehabilitation staff.
KBNF has conducted dozens of Neurosurgical Medical Missions since 2002, first to multiple locations in Ghana, Nigeria (2009), Sierra Leone (2011) and Liberia (2014). These have been Teaching Missions, involving Neurosciences conferences with multiple KBNF speakers (Accra in 2011, 2012) and presentations in West Africa. One perpetual component is bedside and leadership nursing training. Teaching missions in partnership with DrUMM are conducted in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. We teach Heart Power! (compassion in action) to hospital staff, schools of medicine, governments, port authorities, communities, churches and all Medical Mission volunteers.
A planned return Neurosurgical Mission to Liberia in the fall of 2015 was postponed due to the Ebola crisis. A return visit to Liberia in the spring of 2016 explored with Liberian officials the feasibility of developing a Neurosurgical service for the country.
The 2017 spring Neurosurgical Medical Mission will take place mid May - June in Ghana and Liberia. A Neuroscience Conference will be held in Nigeria, November 2017 along with a corresponding mission in Ghana.
How Can I Help? We need RT's, Nurses, Engineers, Surgery Staff, and Support Workers (non-Medical) to accompany our missions.Contact Us.
The various civil wars in West Africa, infection and accidents have resulted in a large number of amputees of all types and all ages. Available prostheses at best are usually rudimentary and may fit poorly, causing skin ulcers. The majority have no prosthesis at all.
Following the shipment of a donated prosthetic clinic to Liberia in 2015, we are seeking technical prosthetic experts to accompany a KBNF mission trip as we set up the clinic. The equipment and an eager to learn would-be prosthetics technician are waiting in Liberia!
How Can I Help? We urgently need a technical prosthetic expert to volunteer on our Medical Mission and help set the prosthetic clinic into gear.
Heart Power! (compassion in action), is a non-negotiable for delivering care that is kind, respectful, and compassionate, and is incorporated into each mission, whether through course work or within nursing and medical training. We teach Heart Power! to hospital staff, schools of medicine, governments, port authorities, communities, churches and all Medical Mission volunteers. Since Danny Moe taught Heart Power! to the entire Tema Port Authority, our containers clear customs and are on to their end destination in record time! Accra College of Medicine is the first official Heart Power! entity in West Africa, flying the Heart Power! flag and requiring Heart Power! for graduation. Mt. Olives, Techiman Ghana is aiming to become the first Heart Power! Hospital.
Medical Containers for Liberia
The dire need for hospital beds with side rails was made evident during the KBNF Neurosurgical Medical Mission to Tappita, Liberia in March-April 2014. This hospital, opened in 2011, vastly had beds with no side rails. The KBNF team saw firsthand how better beds would have assisted in the care of patients, preventing falls and in the care of restless individuals. On her return to Canada as the Ebola crisis escalated, Marjorie decided to provide Liberia with 1,000 quality beds with side rails. As of the beginning of 2016, several hundred hospital beds originating from Ontario and BC have been shipped to Liberia, with another 150 on hand awaiting the funds needed for shipping (The cost of shipping one bed is $150 CAD).
A tour of Liberia's recipient (and future recipient) hospitals was conducted in Spring 2016 with Compassionate Resource Warehouse President Dell Wergeland, to see the impact of our containers, and to plan what supplies, equipment and aid KBNF may supply to Liberia's Health Care system in the future.
Orthopaedic surgical tools we recently sent are incredibly valuable in and of themselves, and we will be adding to their impact as we have the financial means. Our first anticipated container shipment of the year is destined for Tappita, Liberia in 2017. All hands on deck to sort, pack, label & lift needed at our Delta, BC Warehouse as we prepare for the load. In lieu of muscle power, we take shipping money & donations.
Shipping Humanitarian Aid
One of the first KBNF activities was shipping 250 beds with side rails donated by Vancouver General Hospital to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Since 2000, much has been learned about preparing and transporting container shipments, most recently thanks to the assistance and expertise of the Compassionate Resource Warehouse (Victoria, B.C.) and its volunteers. We now ship in partnership with the Compassionate Resource Warehouse, equipment and medical supplies donated by provincial Health Authorities, nursing homes, donated items from the public and retiring physicians. are used to fill each container without leaving any airspace. (The cost of shipping one 40 foot container from Vancouver to Ghana is about $7500 CAD).
We continue to accept donations of new & gently used items for our shipments. Please see the Compassionate Resource Warehouse Ongoing Donations Needs page for a list of appropriate items.
Maintaining equipment in working order and obtaining parts and consumables (i.e. one use only) are two major challenges for medical facilities in West Africa.
When Vancouver Coastal Health Authority decided to use the same model of neurosurgical drill in all its facilities (to lower the cost of their one use only parts, such as drill bits), it donated four no longer used drills with attachments and new drill bits to KBNF. One of these drills and its parts were handed over to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) neurosurgeons in May 2015. Two others have been delivered to Liberia and Nigeria in 2016. The last neurosurgical drill donated is kept for use on KBNF Neurosurgical Medical Missions as of 2016.
The KBTH neurosurgeons have a wish list of instruments, some quite expensive (ex: neuroendoscope, used to treat hydrocephalus without the need for inserting a shunt catheter; cost $40,000 + USD). Donations for Neurosurgical Tools are a real and ready way to increase safe surgery.
How Can I Help? Got an 'in' at a surgical tool provider? Are you a hospital with tools you're no longer needing (but are serviceable)? Have money itching to provide safe surgery? Donations of tools & financial aid to purchase tools for Neurosurgical development in West Africa are welcome.
Further dissemination requires training the local staff in their proper use and measuring the positive impact on patient outcomes.
How I Can Help? Nurse volunteers are needed to help launch, implement and teach with these documents on our medical missions.
How Can I Help? We need volunteers to help our research efforts. Contact Us for details. Are you a university student? Does your University have a KBNC? You can start one, and we'll help you go from there.