Analyses of the Types of Neurological Disorders

Amara Uzoma-Uzo, Third Year Medical Student UTMB School of Medicine Class of 2015

Analyses of the Types of Neurological Disorders- Korle-Bu Hospital 2012

Amara shares:

“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

Roslyn Oduro, Second Year medical student UTMB Galveston

Intermittent Prevention Treatment- Ridge Regional Hospital, Public Health-2013

Roslyn Shares:

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

Rosalyn Adigun, MD PharmD 2013 Graduate, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Rheumatic Heart Disease – Renewed Attention to an Old Problem-Ghana 2013

Rosalyn shares:

“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.”

KBNF Recognizes UTMB Research Students

The Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation (KBNF) Recognizes Students from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston who have performed Health-Care Research in Accra, Ghana.

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

Korle-Bu Foundation and The University of Ghana Meet to Discuss Plans Regarding the Establishment of a Neuroscience Graduate Research Program

The Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation, located in Vancouver Canada, is a registered charity with a global reach. Its main focus is to provide medical support for individuals in Ghana and West Africa who are suffering from brain injuries and other neurological diseases. The Foundation is currently establishing a Neuroscience Centre of Excellence in Accra, Ghana. Although, the clinical component will be the main focus of the proposed Korle-Bu Neuroscience Centre of Excellence; research is integral to the development of clinical knowledge, to the acquisition of new discoveries, and to the production of trained physicians and scientists.

The faculty members in the Anatomy Department at the University of Ghana are well trained in neuroscience, however, in order to create a sustainable research program there is an additional need for laboratory equipment, consultation regarding the development of neuroscience labs, assistance in the training of students in specific research techniques, and assistance with the development of certain components of the neuroscience curriculum. The neuroscience program will be designed by faculty at the University of Ghana and assistance will be provided when indicated to the University of Ghana, by members of the Integrative Neuroscience program at the McGill University, by associates at the Montreal Neurological Institute, and by faculty in the Neuroscience Department at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The African Scientific Institute (ASI) will play a significant role in providing consultation regarding clinical and research laboratory development.

The Foundation believes that the continued development of neuroscience research at the University of Ghana will make an important contribution to neuroscience research in the entire continent of Africa, which will expand to an international level.

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation is a registered charity with a global reach. KBNF is focused on providing medical support for brain and spinal injuries and diseases to the people of Ghana and West Africa. Started in 2000 by Vancouver-based neuroscience nurse Marj Ratel, KBNF is a volunteer-based organization. KBNF is one of the few charitable organizations in the world that is focused on providing both immediate and lifesaving medical support, with a long-term infrastructure vision. For more information, please visit