On our front page yesterday, the Times produced the result of our peep into the sanctums of the consulting rooms and operating theatres of the Reconstructive Surgery Department of Korle Bu Hospital.
A non-medical visitor is likely to go away depressed by the sight of the seemingly helpless victims of burns, natural and artificial deformities, if the OPD and consulting rooms were all that he or she saw.
They have come from all over Ghana and beyond, their faces and their skins a picture of pain and suffering. As our Reporter wrote after his rounds: “Across their skin and their faces, they suffer severe or even life-threatening protrusions, defects, debilitating buruli ulcers and bubbling scars.” Some - mainly newly borns - have extra digits on their hands.
But the OPD and consulting rooms are not the end of the story. In the wards where they are admitted after the reconstructive surgery, hope smiles on the faces of both patients and their visiting family members.
At the end of the tour of the unit, there was only one word that was apt for a description of the yeoman's job being done by the doctors, headed by Dr Albert Paintsil, the nurses and the paramedics.
This is a team of whom anybody would be proud. Some of the feats they have accomplished in this unit will force a sound of wonderment from every visitor's parted lips.
We cannot express our “Ayekoo” to the Plastic Surgery team without recalling similar heroic deeds by other doctors. We remember, for instance, the nation's most famous example, the setting up of the Cardiothoracic Centre and the great work being done by Professor Frimpong Boateng and his team.
Another doctor who must be mentioned is Dr. J. E. Mensah, of the Urology Department, Dr. Clegg Lamptey, the surgeon, of the Reach for Recovery fame.
The Professor Baidoos, the Acheampongs, the Quarteys (RIP), the Yeboahs and the Laings of this world are the great and famous men who have not only left a mark in Medicine's sands of time, but who graced their generations and became household names because through Medicine they impacted the lives of hundreds in a way that went beyond the call of duty.
They have not only added to knowledge in Medical science; through them, also, Ghana's name is highly respected, even revered in medical circles across the world.
Their individual names will continue to be mentioned in dispatches because the feats they chalked have become memorials standing in their names.
Soon, this country will be able to perform complicated kidney operations.
The two pilots have proved highly successful and we have no doubt that it will not be long when our local doctors and anaesthetists will be able to handle kidney cases without foreign assistance.
To them we say Ayeekoo.