After a good night of sleep in our guesthouse in Bolga, we headed out to meet with a dental surgeon who is the Medical Director of the Bolga Regional Hospital. The hospital was larger and newer than others we have visited in the past, but the crowded outpatient ward and chaotic records room were so familiar. Dr. Richard talked to us about the struggles the hospital faces in meeting the needs of its growing patient base, and the long trip (yep, that 17 hour bus ride) that health officials often have to take to the capital to pick up supplies.
From Bolga, we headed out to Walewale (which rightly is translated as “it is far”) to meet with Dr. Abdulai, an old friend and incredibly dedicated physician.
He gave us a tour of the Walewale hospital, and after volunteering in the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center this year, it was once again shocking to see the difference between the well stocked high-tech center in Baltimore (not that Baltimore doesn’t have its own share of health problems!) and the 5 boxes of sutures stacked on the dusty floor.
It was clear that Dr. Abdulai had spoken extensively with his new colleagues about MedPLUS Connect, and we hope to send a shipment of supplies to Walewale this winter.
Before leaving Bolga, we went to meet with the Regional Health Director of the Upper East, one of the ten individuals in charge of regional health care provision in Ghana. We were told by his secretary that he was in a conference all day, and left her with summary lists of this summer’s two shipments and a note saying that we were sent by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health. I don’t know if it was the 40 hospital beds or the Chief Director’s name that did it, but we had barely made it down the stairs when the secretary called Emily’s cell phone, letting us know that the Regional Director’s schedule was suddenly open and he wanted to meet immediately. The meeting went well, and we hope to expand to the Upper East region, one of Ghana’s poorest three regions, this coming year.