Dr. Gladstone Kessie, KBNF Board members and Gladstone's staff
Two weeks ago, Jocelyne Lapointe, Samuel Ampen-Asare, and I headed up to Techiman, a city of 5,000 in the Brong Afahu region, in the interior of Ghana. We flew up to Kumasi, then headed north, a two to three hour drive along a beautifully paved road. I noticed groups of people, mostly women, gathering up garbage in piles along the roadsides along the way. I learned that the government has a program to deal with garbage, paying citizens a small amount to retrieve the trash.
Arriving in Techiman, we were met by Dr. Gladstone Kessie, medical director of Mount of Olives Hospital. Gladstone was the medical director of Nsawkaw Hospital in Tain District, when KBNF sent in a container shipment of equipment and supplies four years ago. Currently, Gladstone is managing to deliver basic care to many patients in the district from a dilapidated facility and aged equipment. They have a simple operating room, and a nurse anesthetist provides support one-day a week. Their facility is simply overflowing with outpatients while they house approximately 30 patients in cramped quarters. They have a simple lab, a pharmacy, and a very organized medical records department.
Gladstone took us to the new 100-bed Mount of Olives Hospital under construction and expected to be ready for patients March 2013. It is very impressive. It will house two operating rooms and two floors of patient rooms, with bathrooms and showers in each room. A dental clinic, conference rooms and apartments for visiting medical mission teams are housed on the 3rd floor. A separate facility will be constructed on the property for kitchen and catering services, as well as toilet facilities for the community. Dr. Kessie and his wife are undertaking this project, funding it independently. His passion for his people is quite simply palpable. KBNF will be pleased to partner with his hospital in providing a container shipment of hospital equipment and supplies, along with teaching, training and medical mission support.
Gladstone runs an ultrasound clinic in Wenchi that provides service to the community. It also offers free ultrasounds for the district’s pregnant mothers. He explains that this advocates for their unborn children; otherwise, many mothers would not receive the prenatal care they need.
Mount of Olives Hospital houses a school for caregivers. Many of these students are hoping to become nurses someday and this is their entry option into the field. Jocelyne, Samuel and I taught two classes of approximately 30 — 40 students over the course of four hours. What is becoming so very clear is that we can teach skill, but without compassion and caring, it is practically worthless. In my visits with nursing and hospital administrators everywhere, from Sierra Leone to Liberia to Military 57 to KBTH to the UK, they are all saying the same thing, that many nurses are missing a critical ingredient: HEART. We’re hearing how so many nurses are focused on the job as employment and not as delivering health care.
Please click here to see images of the mission.