The first offer of beds, hospital equipment and supplies in 2001 by the Vancouver General Hospital was the beginning of an amazing shipping history to Ghana and Nigeria.In the ensuing years, a dozen 40-foot shipping containers containing beds and medical supplies were sent to Ghana. In 2010, a shipment was sent to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, in Benin City, Nigeria, as a result of the Neurosurgical Medical Mission of November 2009.
In the last 3-4 years, many pieces of laboratory equipment and furniture were received from the Department of Pathology of UBC Hospital, associated with much laboratory glassware, due to the efforts of KBNF member Peter Easthope. They were generously stored, at no cost to KBNF, at the Diamond Delivery Warehouse in Surrey until enough items had been accumulated to fill another 40-foot shipping container. Three dental chairs from Burnaby dentist Dr. Jaspaul Seehra and 10 mechanical beds from the Broadway Pentecostal Lodge augmented the consumable medical supplies, books/ journals, and other items collected from various donors, including Vancouver General Hospital. A group of volunteers spent a Saturday in late November 2011 loading the container at the warehouse. It was full “to the gills” by the time the doors were closed and secured. This container arrived at the Port of Tema in late January 2012.
Because of the diversity of the items shipped, the College of Health Sciences (CHS) of the University of Ghana (UG) (situated on the premises of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital) was considered a more suitable recipient of the donations, rather than the hospital itself. The Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Prof AC Sackeyfio graciously undertook the responsibility of receiving the shipment and distributing its contents among the various schools of the College, including the Medical School, Dental School, Allied Health (i.e. Medical Radiography, Physiotherapy), Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (where the students from these schools acquire practical experience), with the help of Mr. Blankson of the Department of Anatomy. The unloaded contents were partially stored in the lobby of the College, where a small ceremony to officially receive the gifts was held on Friday, April 13th 2012, by the Provost of the CHS, Prof Aaron Lawson, in the presence of Prof Sackeyfio and representatives of other schools. I made the presentation on behalf of KBNF. Some items will be used on the existing campus while other will help furnish new CHS facilities on the UG campus in East Legon.
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