3 Health institutions collaborate to train personnel to provide surgical services
5/16/2012 11:31:17 AM -
The Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre (RPSBC) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) to begin an initiative to help train medical students, doctors and health personnel to provide surgical services for patients at the TTH.
The training forms part of a main surgical outreach programme through which free surgical services will be organised for patients in the hospital as part of activities to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the RPSBC.
The outreach programme will begin from June 4 to 11, this year, with the ultimate goal of establishing a reconstructive centre in the north.
It is planned to kick-start a regular clinical visit to the northern sector of the country where no reconstructive plastic surgery services are available.
Presently, patients have to travel all the way to Korle-Bu in Accra or the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, the only two places in the country where such surgical services can be obtained.
After the programme, a surgeon will be regularly sent to the TTH to work with the local doctors and health personnel, as well as provide training for the health personnel at the hospital.
The Director of the RPSBC, Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, who made this known at a news briefing to mark the beginning of the centre's 15th anniversary celebration, said the programme would, in the short term, enhance access to services and build local capacity.
'We plan to provide the surgical services free of charge during the outreach and as such we are calling on individuals and organisations to contribute meaningfully towards the programme to enable us to treat as many people as possible,' he said.
The director noted that injury from burns was the most devastating injury that a person could sustain and survive.
Apart from being potentially life threatening, he said, the prolonged physical and psychological morbidity from a severe burn was unsurpassed by any injury.
He said research indicated that at least 75 per cent of burn injuries could be prevented from the victim's own actions.
Dr Ampomah stated that the problem of burn management and prevention was further compounded by poor education and preventive strategies at the community, corporate and national levels.
He, therefore, called on stakeholders in the various sectors which worked at centres where burns could and regularly did occur to educate their members of staff and the public on the prevention of burns.
Last year, there were 7,443 outpatient visits and 785 admissions at the centre, out of which 1,184 surgical operations and 1,024 physiotherapy interventions were made, despite the challenges facing the centre.
Deficient burn-care facilities, poor referral system for burn patients, high cost of treatment, inadequate physiotherapy, poor psychological rehabilitation and occupational therapy services, he said, worsened the outlook dramatically for the injured patients.
He affirmed that the emergence of Ghana as an oil-producing country would make an already complicated situation more complex, hence the need to urgently construct an Internal Care Unit (ICU) for the RPSBC and a world-class burns centre which would serve the entire West African sub-region, since there was none in the whole of West Africa.
He stated that under the leadership of Dr Martyn Webster, a Scottish charity, Resurge Africa, was raising funds abroad to establish the new burns centre but it was the responsibility of Ghanaians, its intended beneficiaries, to also strive to raise funds locally to establish the centre.
Dr Ampomah, therefore, called for the collaborative effort of all stakeholders to get those challenges resolved to enable the centre to achieve its maximum potential in the provision of world-class services for all.